Two House Republicans on Wednesday unveiled proposed legislation to make Ohio a So-Called Right to Work State, but GOP leaders in the Senate killed the idea in a matter of hours.

Reps. Ron Maag, R-Lebanon, and Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, proposed separate bills that together would make it optional for public and private-sector workers protected by a union contract to help pay the expenses that a union incurs while fighting to guarantee the rights of all employees.

Their actions came roughly 16 months after the voters of Ohio overwhelmingly rejected efforts to institute collective bargaining limits on government workers via Senate Bill 5.

But by Wednesday evening, Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, issued a statement essentially halting the efforts of Maag and Roegner, at least for now.

“We have an ambitious agenda focused on job creation and economic recovery, and Right to Work legislation is not on that list. After discussions with other leaders and my caucus, I don’t believe there is current support for this issue in the General Assembly,” Faber’s statement read

ACT Ohio Secretary Treasurer Dennis Duffey commended Faber for taking quick and decisive action halting a “needless attack on Ohio’s working families.”

“These type of laws have been shown over and over again to do nothing to support economic development,” Duffey added. “ACT Ohio and Ohio State Building Construction Trades Council look forward to working with both parties on real efforts to create meaningful jobs in Ohio that help boost the economy.”

Twenty-four states, including neighboring Michigan and Indiana, have passed so-called right-to-work laws. Supporters often claim the intent is to create a business-friendly environment, but economic studies have struggled to document such benefits.

But data does exist showing salaries are lower, benefits cost more and worker safety decreases in current states where So Called Right to Work laws are in place.

So vigilance must be maintained. There is no doubt the So Called Right to Work efforts will pop up again in the Buckeye State.

While struggling, a petition drive continues to gather signatures to put a so-called right-to-work constitutional amendment on the ballot. Organizers have said if they can’t gather the necessary signatures by this year’s deadline, they will shift focus to 2014.

 

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