Ohio Republicans Wary of Right-to-Work Push

Wednesday, 12 Dec 2012 11:45 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Ohio's Republican lawmakers aren’t showing much interest in trying to pass another right-to-work law like their neighbors in Michigan did Tuesday, but a conservative grassroots effort is underway to put the issue to a statewide vote next November.
 
Chris Littleton of Ohioans for Workplace Freedom says the group needs to collect 386,000 valid voter signatures by next July to get the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot, reports the Dayton Daily News.
 
“Politically, it’s very difficult for a legislature, regardless of who is in control, to do something this big,” Littleton said, adding that if voters show support for the issue, it makes it easier for lawmakers to act.
 
“If Michigan goes this direction, we almost don’t have a choice,” Littleton said. “It’s hard to say what this would mean to Ohio’s economy over the next five years if two of our biggest border states, except for Pennsylvania, go right to work.”
 
Indiana also adopted a right-to-work statute earlier this year, making it harder, Littleton suggested, for Ohio to compete with its neighbors for new business and investors.
 
But Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, still stinging from the rejection by voters earlier this year of his GOP legislative efforts to rein in union activities and collective bargaining rights, showed no interest this week in revisiting the issue. In fact, the Daily News reported that he sought to divert attention away from what was happening in Michigan to his 2013-2014 budget agenda, which includes tax and education reforms.
 
“That’s the agenda I’m focused on. That’s all I got to say," Kasich said, according to the newspaper.

Republican legislative leaders also said there have been no discussions related to any agenda that includes right-to-work proposals.

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