Good news out of Ohio tonight: It looks like Republican Governor John Kasich and his pals’ plot to strip the Buckeye State’s public workers has been resoundingly halted in its tracks in a major progressive victory.
As of around 9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific, Ohioians were overwhelmingly voting down Issue 2, a referendum on Senate Bill 5 (Kasich’s anti-worker legislation). A mammoth 63.8% of votes tabulated so far are against the measure. with only 36.72% for. Well over three quarters of a million votes have been counted so far.
Issue 2’s failure means that Senate Bill 5 will be repealed.
S.B. 5 tried to ban public worker strikes, weaken unions by requiring them to pay workers who choose not to join their union, restrict the number of days public workers can cash in upon retirement, and prevent unions from negotiating on certain benefits on behalf of their workers. S.B. 5 shared many similiarities to the un-American legislation ramrodded through the Wisconsin statehouse by Scott Walker and Republican legislators.
Following S.B. 5’s approval, Ohio’s union movement launched a signature drive to force a public vote on the legislation, which has just taken place. The results speak for themselves.
We extend our congratulations to the people of Ohio for rejecting S.B. 5. This vote makes clear what progressives have been saying for months: Ohioians do not support John Kasich’s war on working families.
POSTSCRIPT: The White House has released a strong statement from Vice President Joe Biden hailing the outcome of Issue 2.
“Tonight the people of Ohio delivered a gigantic victory for the middle class with their overwhelming rejection of a Republican attempt to strip away collective bargaining rights,” Biden said. “Fundamental fairness has prevailed. By standing with teachers and firefighters and cops, Ohio has sent a loud and clear message that will be heard all across the country: The middle class will no longer be trampled on. The people of Ohio are to be congratulated.”