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Ohio Voters Defeat Republican Backed SB 5: Are The Winds Of Change Already Blowing?
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Ohio Voters Defeat Republican Backed SB 5: Are the Winds Of Change Already Blowing?

The law, refered to as Senate Bill 5 ( SB5) was controversial at best, even when it was first read. Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the Republican backed billed into law after it passed through the largely Republican state legislature in March of this year despite protests and public outcry. The bill, signed, was immediately put on hold pending the results of a referendum. The voters in Ohio have loudly spoken and while the final results are not currently in, it looks highly probable that the law will be repealed. Less than thirty percent of the voting precincts had reported in showing over 60% voting for the bill to be repealed.

SB5 was meant to limit the bargaining rights of the state's public workers, including teachers, policemen and firefighters in regards to their salary, their workplace conditions and the hours that they work. If it was allowed to stand, it would also limit the number of hours that public workers could work per week as well as the number of employees that could work per shift.

In addition, the controversial law would have also kept workers from striking, kept them from getting seniority based pay raises and would have also required that all public employees contribute ten percent of their overall income toward their own pension. The Tea Party has said that the law was necessary to help Ohio trim some of its state spending. Other states had their own version of this law which was also meant with vocal opposition. In Wisconsin, a law with similar wording sent thousands of protestors to the state capital. Voters in that state are hopeful that they will be able to repeal that law.

In Mississippi, another controversial attempt at law is likely to be defeated, called by many as too vague, too ambiguous to be passed. Other experts have said that the wording and implications of Initiative 26 are too complex for the average person to fully understand. That Initiative would have legally defined "personhood" as starting from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent. The law, if had passed would have prevented the use of the morning after pill as well as as some forms of birth control. It would have also outlawed abortion for all reasons, including rape and incest. Other states have tried similar laws but have all failed. Three states plan to put their own version on the ballot in the coming year while five others are in the planning stages.


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