March 4, 2011- It looks like Wisconsin won't be the only state with dramatic elections to settle a fight over collective bargaining rights this year.
Now that the Ohio state Senate has approved S.B. 5 by a single vote, thanks significantly to Republicans pulling an opponent of the bill off the relevant committee at the last second, unions are shifting their focus to a statewide referendum that would prevent the law from being implemented:
Union leaders and Democrats have already begun shifting their focus to a referendum fight, which would require union supporters to gather hundreds of thousands of signatures in the days following an expected signing of SB 5 by Gov. John Kasich (R).
Once that's done, the law could be placed on hold (meaning it wouldn't go into effect at all) while Ohio waits to see what voters have to say about SB 5. And that's a fight the Democrats say they can win.(…)
What comes next could be a long game for both sides. Even if Kasich sings SB 5 next week as many expect he will, it will be at least 90 days until the law goes into effect. That period will give the opponents of the bill the chance to gather the 231,147 signatures (based on 6% of the vote total in the 2010 gubernatorial race, as state law requires) they'll need to put a repeal referendum on the ballot. They can start the process with just 1,000 signatures. The entire process is outlined here.
If opponents of S.B. 5 can get enough signatures, the referendum will take place in November of this year. It's also possible, depending on the time frame in which the signatures are gathered and submitted, that the referendum will take place as late as November 2012.