Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tuesday is the day!
SB5 Vote Alert - 3 Day Rally at the Statehouse!
By Dave on March 27, 2011 11:34 AM

The most direct attack on Ohio's middle class in a generation, SB5, is scheduled to go up for a vote this Tuesday.
Families and workers from across the state will be out in force at the Statehouse this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Show our lawmakers we will not be silenced and we will not have our rights taken from us.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Rally at the Statehouse Against SB 5!
West Lawn
9am - 2pm
4pm - 6pm
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Rally at the Statehouse Against SB 5!
West Lawn
9am - 2pm
4pm - 6pm
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Rally at the Statehouse Against SB 5!
West Lawn
9am - 2pm
4pm - 6pm
These will be outside events, so please dress accordingly. Consider bringing your own food and water or be prepared to purchase them from local businesses.

Pssst...hey, STRS, look what CalPERS has to say about investment profit projections one day after Dennis's's dropped to........

From John Curry, March 12, 2011
..... 7.5%! Of course, Dr. Leone has warned you (one day earlier) about highballing of investment profit projections, hasn't he?
Dr. Leone said, in his presentation to the Ohio House Health, Aging, Retirement and Pensions Sub-Committee on March 9, 2011, the following. I will quote him,
"Take note that the STRS Board is assuming an average yearly 8.0% positive stock market return over the next 30 years, plus an average yearly 4.0% positive payroll growth of active members over the next 30 years."
CalPERS expected to cut forecast of portfolio profit
By Dale Kasler

Mar. 10, 2011
In a move that could intensify the debate over retirement costs, CalPERS is considering cutting its official forecast of investment profits by a quarter of a percentage point.
While the change seems subtle, it has major implications for taxpayers and public employees. The less CalPERS assumes it will earn on investments, the more it's likely to demand from taxpayers – probably tens of millions of dollars more.
The California Public Employees' Retirement System already imposed a $400 million rate hike on the state this year to help it recover from huge investment losses in 2008.
Following months of study, CalPERS staff this week said the forecast should be shaved to 7.5 percent a year. It's currently 7.75 percent.
"There appears to be a consensus that returns are expected to be lower … over the next 10 years," staffers said in a memo to CalPERS' benefits and program administration committee. The committee is expected to make a recommendation on the issue next week. The full governing board will have final say."
The investment forecasts rarely change. CalPERS hasn't touched its forecast since 2003.
But in the past year, many public pension funds have reduced their forecasts in the face of economic uncertainty. A big factor is a dramatic fall in interest rates, which hurts bond income.
Among those making changes is the California State Teachers' Retirement System, which cut its forecast a quarter point in December, to 7.75 percent.
CalPERS and CalSTRS earned more than 12 percent each last year, but analysts say returns are softening over the long haul.
Because pension funds depend on investments for about three-quarters of their income, even a slight change in the forecast is big. The quarter-point drop in CalSTRS' forecast means the teachers' fund needs an additional $300 million in annual contributions, officials say.
The cost of public pensions is already a major issue at the Capitol. Last fall the Legislature reduced benefits for newly hired state workers, and Republican lawmakers are pushing Gov. Jerry Brown for additional changes.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Maybe SB 5 isn't a slam-dunk after all......

Not So Fast: Ohio’s Anti-Union SB 5 Has Several Hurdles to Clear
By: David Dayen
March 8, 2011
When we last left Ohio, the state Senate had passed a bill, SB 5, that would severely restrict collective bargaining for all public employees, including police and fire. It would all impose criminal penalties for strike actions, and allow local officials to determine arbitration disputes rather than an independent third party.
At the time, there was credible speculation that the Ohio House, which has a 59-40 split for Republicans, would quickly take up and pass the same bill, moving it on to Governor John Kasich for signing. But a funny thing happened on the way to Columbus. The House Speaker, William Batchelder, announced hearings. The first occurs today, coinciding with Kasich’s State of the State Address. Labor groups have scheduled a rally at the state Capitol for later today. Thousands are expected to attend, though it may not be as large as the estimated 20,000 who protested SB 5 last week.
The belief was that the Ohio House was far to the right of the Senate, which struggled to pass SB 5 and only accomplished it by one vote, 17-16, after kicking Republicans off of two key committees to get the bill through. But Batchelder wants three weeks of hearings, with three of them scheduled for this week. This has many observers thinking that the House either wants to change the bill or let things cool down before passage.
“If they wanted to pass it unchanged, it wouldn’t take three weeks,” said Tim Burga, the President of the Ohio AFL-CIO. “But the more they drag it out, the more Ohioans learn about the bill and find out they don’t like it.”
This extended process has a number of implications. First of all, any changes to the bill would mean that the Senate would have to vote on SB 5 again. At that point, they could take up the House version or go to a conference committee to resolve differences. Burga and other observers think it’s likely that the Senate would just take up the House version.
But that would be an extremely difficult climb in the State Senate. The debate on the bill was agonizing, and in the end it succeeded by only one vote. One of the Republican Senators who voted yes, Sen. Karen Gillmor, told constituents at a town hall that SB 5 was “a bad bill that hurts people,” that it’s likely to be overturned by statewide referendum, and that she would sign a petition for that referendum. In addition, Gillmor tried to claim that Senate Majority Leader Tom Niehaus was the bill’s deciding vote, when in a 17-16 split, everyone who voted for the bill was the deciding vote. This doesn’t sound like someone who would particularly relish voting for SB 5 again. And that’s true of several Republicans in the state Senate. “I’m sure some Senate Republicans didn’t want to vote for this before, and they’re not interested in going through the meat grinder again,” Burga said.
Complicating this further is the rightward tilt of the Ohio House. If there are changes made to SB 5, it’s likely they would move the bill even further to the right. A Tea Party group, the Ohio Liberty Council, sought a number of changes to the bill in the Senate, and are pushing for the same types of changes in the House. This includes essentially a “right-to-work” rider for public employees, so they can choose to not be in the union, as well as the ability for public workers to decline to pay union dues. “I suspect the House is interested in making some changes,” said Burga. “And they’ll probably make it tougher. We’re anticipating more anti-worker legislation, this bunch made it clear that they want to wage war on working families.”
If the legislature does pass the bill, it is very likely that it would go to a statewide referendum, what the AFL-CIO’s Burga described as a “citizen veto.” Supporters would need to gather around 230,000 signatures for that to trigger. “We’re no strangers to ballot initiatives and I like our chances on that ballot,” said Burga.
But this unexpected delay has implications for when that ballot measure would take place. If the bill is signed into law before April 6, it would go on the November 2011 ballot, alongside several municipal elections. If it drags out past April 6, the vote would happen on the November 2012 ballot, coinciding with the Presidential election in the swingiest of swing states. The law would not take effect until after the referendum.
There are pluses and minuses to both dates. In 2011, a host of local officials who deal with public employees on a regular basis would be on the ballot, and would have to take a position on SB 5. It could end up a galvanizing event to shift city elections. In 2012, the citizen veto of SB 5 could bring union members to the polls in large numbers, which could provide support to Democrats. The larger turnout may help actually pass the veto and nullify the bill. “We have little control over the timing,” Burga said. “Either way we have to be prepared.”
So, to recap, it’s not clear when the Ohio House will pass the bill, it’s not clear what changes they want to make (though they will probably go even further), it’s really not clear that the Senate wants any part of this again, and it’s not clear when the dust settles when a referendum would be held. The only thing that is clear is that labor has been totally energized by this battle in Ohio, much like the similar battle in Wisconsin.
“We’re more solidified, more energized than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime,” said Burga of the Ohio AFL-CIO. “There’s an opportunity here for us to educate the general public on the benefits of labor and rights in the workplace. We’re going to move forward and SB 5 won’t be the end of it. We have to sustain this movement. We have to educate, mobilize and organize.”

GOP leaders looking at 401(k)-style retirement plans for Ohio workers

401(k)-style retirement plans for Ohio workers on the table, GOP leaders say
March 10, 2011
COLUMBUS - Ohio's GOP legislative leaders say a 401(k)-style retirement plan may be on the table for new public employees, although it is not currently in the pending pension reform legislation.
The General Assembly is considering an overhaul to Ohio's five public retirement systems. A House committee is holding hearings on the legislation.
House Speaker Bill Batchelder, R-Medina, and Senate President Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond, say they are open to moving new hires from the current defined-benefit plan to a defined-contribution plan. Ohio's legislative leadership spoke on a panel Thursday at the annual legislative session sponsored by The Associated Press.
In a defined-benefit plan, public employees and their employers contribute a certain percentage of their salary throughout their career, and then they are guaranteed benefits for as long as they live after retirement. In a defined-contribution plan, employees have their own investment accounts which they tap into once they retire. Benefits end once the money runs out.
Both Batchelder and Niehaus said it is a priority to maintain the current benefit structure for those currently paying into the retirement systems.
Three of Ohio's five public pension funds lack the assets to cover 30 years of liabilities as required by state law. Those systems must present a plan to the Legislature to bring their funding back in line.
Given the economy and the longer lifespan of the average worker draining each of the funds, Ohio lawmakers have asked all pension funds to come up with reforms.
"We have been working on it, but it's not something that we can handle quickly," Batchelder said.
Pension reform is complex, so it likely won't come before the full Legislature until the end of session, Batchelder said.
Senate Minority Leader Capri Cafaro, D-Warren, said she has concerns about the way the current House bill is being handled. All five pension systems are being addressed in a single bill, although the bill has different provisions for each system. She said each pension system has a different dynamic, therefore should be considered separately.
A defined contribution plan might be more difficult for some public employees than others, she said, hence the need to consider the systems separately. Employees in the School Employees Retirement System, who typically work for lower wages, may not have the means to pay into a 401(k)-style plan, she said.
Cafaro also noted that Ohio public employees do not pay into Social Security, therefore cannot participate in the program once they retire.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"And in exchange John, I'll create some jobs for future laid-off teachers -- they can read the menus to our illiterate customers"


STRS Board to meet March 16- 17, 2011

From STRS, March 9, 2011
The State Teachers Retirement Board and Committee meetings currently scheduled at the STRS Ohio offices, 275 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, are as follows:
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
...11 a.m. Disability Review Panel (Executive Session)
Thursday, March 17, 2011
...9 a.m. Health Care Committee Meeting
...10:30 a.m. Retirement Board Meeting
The Retirement Board meeting will come to order at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 17, 2011, and begin with a report from the Investment Dept., followed by the Executive Director's Report, public participation, a report from Member Benefits Department - Health Care, routine matters, old business, new business or any other matters requiring attention.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Dennis Leone: 3/9/11 Testimony before the Ohio House Health, Aging, Retirement and Pensions Sub-Committee

Testimony Before the Ohio House Health, Aging, Retirement, and Pensions Sub-Committee
By Dennis A. Leone
March 9, 2011
TOPIC: Proposed House Bill 69 (State Retirement Systems)
Chairman Kirk Schuring and members of the Ohio House of Representatives, thank you for providing me with an opportunity to speak on a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. I am speaking today as a retiree of the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) and as a former elected member of the STRS Board. I served on the STRS Board until 18 months ago when my term expired. My remarks today pertain only to what has been recommended to you by the current STRS Board, and the provisions of House Bill 69 that involve STRS.
To begin with, I wish to state that I hope that the emotions associated with the collective bargaining bill will not detract from the need for lawmakers to move forward decisively with this bill, and I also hope that external union pressures will not cause a softening of the key components of this legislation. What do I hope you will do? I hope you do everything you can to protect the current 133,000 STRS retirees. Permit me to explain further:
1. In order for STRS to be financially solvent for current and future retirees, this legislation must include the requested 3% increase in the annual contribution rate of active STRS members. Do not allow OEA and OFT to convince you that this is unfair or too much. In fact, be aware that there is a piece of the proposed STRS Board plan that is rather weak in nature. The STRS Board seeks your authority - but not a legislative mandate - to raise the contribution level of active members at some undetermined year in the future by another 1% (on top of the proposed 3% increase). Believe me when I say that if you do not mandate a total 4% increase for STRS active members by a certain date in the future, it will not happen due to union pressure that the STRS Board will not be able to handle. The five active teacher members on the current STRS Board came very close a few weeks ago to stopping even the 3% increase recommendation that you have before you. And in case you are not aware, raising the active contributions by 4% would bring the total active contribution level to 14%, which would match the current 14% that school boards pay.
2. The STRS Board plan seeks to change the Final Average Salary calculation from a 3-year calculation to a 5-year calculation (which would return it to what it was some years ago). The problem with this provision of the STRS Board proposal is that the requested implementation year is not until 2015. While I am not saying that it would be fair to require this change as early as this year, it certainly should occur in either 2012 or 2013. In fact, I think an argument can be made - in the spirit of creating long-term pension solvency - for the Legislature to mandate a new 5-year Final Average Salary calculation for 2012 or 2013, then require that STRS go to a 7-year Final Average Salary calculation several years later, perhaps in 2018. Trust me when I say that it definitely will be needed in the future.
3. The costly 88%-35-year retirement benefit at STRS has been in effect since 2000. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. It has contributed to the unfunded liability problem that exists today at STRS. It has created a two-tiered system of the "haves" and the "have nots." The STRS Board plan calls for it to be eliminated in 2015. This benefit, as well, needs to go far sooner, in 2012 or 2013. It should have never, never happened in 2000. There is probably not a single STRS Board action that upsets STRS retirees who retired before 2000 more than the current 88% benefit.
4. The STRS Board is requesting a new age-60 requirement for retirement, but the plan has an overly generous 12-year phase-in period. It does not become fully implemented until 2023. In other words, the plan protects a teacher who is currently 48 years old. OEA and OFT officials say how wrong it would be to have a quicker phase-in period. But let me tell you about a little secret that I learned 2 years ago as an STRS Board member: Guess what the average age of retirement is now for STRS retirees? It is 59.1 years old. Let me repeat that: 59.1 years old. In other words, it already is nearly what is being requested as a requirement in the STRS Board plan. The facts in this situation put a dent in what OEA and OFT claim is unfairness and insensitivity. Please remember what I've told you here today in this area.
5. The STRS plan immediately cuts retirees' Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) by 1%. Interesting, isn't it, that whenever STRS decides to do something that adversely affects retirees, like requiring them to pay more for their insurance premiums, like completely taking away health insurance for their spouses, or like cutting their COLA - those things need to happen "right now." There is no phase-in or phase-out period to protect retirees in the STRS Board plan, but you sure see such protection in the STRS plan for active members. I am asking today that you please do everything you can to make sure that the COLA for retirees is not cut more than 1%, as the COLA is the only possible way that retirees can even hope to keep up with increased health insurance costs. Also please be thinking of the reality that the COLA is a statutory requirement for current retirees of STRS. It certainly is something than can be dropped legislatively for future retirees - and indeed the STRS Board plan calls for new retirees to go without a COLA for 5 years - but taking away something now that STRS retirees have statutorily could produce a legitimate legal challenge. You might want to look into this.
6. Please be aware that states in this country already have adopted legislation to drop the COLA for new retirees, and many states have decided that brand new teachers who are contributing to the retirement system for the very first time will not be eligible for a COLA upon their retirement 35 years later.
7. A shameful omission in the STRS Board plan - a provision that definitely needs to be there - is language that would better protect the oldest STRS retirees who have the least. There are 30,000 STRS retirees (23.7% of the total) who have annual pensions of less than $30,000 per year - which is very close to the new U.S. poverty level. Most of these retirees are between 85 and 100 years old. It would seem that if the changes that I am suggesting here today were made to improve pension solvency, then these oldest and most-needy retirees also would not need to have a 1% COLA reduction.
8. Please recognize that in terms of pension solvency, the current required 14% contribution for school boards cannot be lowered. Reducing the 14% would be massively destructive to STRS in the long run. The STRS Board, to its credit, has responded to the mandate it was given to prepare a solvency plan that does not increase a school board's required contribution. Increasing the required employer contribution, while part of the STRS Board's original plan, is now off the table. Please do all that you can to help your colleague legislators understand how reducing the required employer 14% contribution would likely translate into 133,000 retirees seeing both their COLA and their current pensions cut.
My final point today pertains to the attached chart, which contains 4 tables for your review. If there is a single document that illustrates the need for the Legislature to take the STRS plan a little farther, as I am suggesting today, it is this chart. For the recommended plan to reduce the pension system's unfunded liability to the desired 30 years, the STRS Board is banking on certain other assumptions occurring. This is extremely important to fully understand. Take note that the STRS Board is assuming an average yearly 8.0% positive stock market return over the next 30 years, plus an average yearly 4.0% positive payroll growth of active members over the next 30 years. While I suppose it is possible, absent another downturn in the economy, that STRS could see stock market returns exceed 8.0% per year (which they have six times in the past nine years), I am nervous that external factors beyond everyone's control will suddenly drive the stock market south significantly. I am even more nervous that the assumed 4.0% payroll growth for active members simply is not going to happen. As you can see, the average payroll growth in the past 7 years has been just 2.65%. How in the world, with all that is happening, can the payroll growth suddenly increase over what it has been for the past 7 years.
In conclusion, please recognize how important it is not to soften the pension solvency plan due to emotions associated with the collective bargaining bill. Please recognize how critically important it is, to better ensure pension solvency long term, that the STRS Board plan go deeper in the areas that I have suggested. Please recognize that the reality of the attached 4 tables will make the changes I am recommending an absolute necessity. And please make a slight adjustment in the final plan so that it will better protect the oldest STRS retirees who have the least.
Thank you.
[Click image TWICE to enlarge.]

Click here to view testimony.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Protesters at Ohio Statehouse 3/8/11 for Governor Kasich's State of the State address

Something to print, cut out and put on your fridge and keep for future Novembers.........

Click image twice to enlarge.

"In November WE'LL REMEMBER!!!".

Monday, March 07, 2011

All kinds of rallies this week! (And more)

As collective bargaining bill heads to Ohio House, supporters and opponents plan rallies to be heard
REAL savings, eh, Governor, and your favorite newspaper, the Dispatch?
Dispatch’s missed Sunday headline: SB 5 does a horrible job in saving local governments money
SB 5 fails to detail a whole lot of variables.........see for yourself........
Pay raises, much more to change if bill passes

More articles you may want to read.......

So, what will SB 5 mean to educators....if all provisions remain intact?
Senate Bill 5 could drastically change landscape for teachers, school districts
SB 5 fails to detail a whole lot of variables.........see for yourself........
Pay raises, much more to change if bill passes
HB 69 and SB 3....Ohio pension bills yet to be hashed out!
Teacher pension changes proposed
Wachtmann fires shot over the bow of Ohio pensions and pensioners!
Proposed changes won’t save tax money
Public pensions are NOT bankrupting states!
Why employee pensions aren't bankrupting states
Wachtmann fires shot over the bow of Ohio pensions and pensioners!
Proposed changes won’t save tax money

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A not-so-oldie but a goodie and one that should be read by every active educator in the State of Ohio

From John Curry, March 6, 2011
So, active educators...just how much do STRS retirees have to pay for their (and their spouse's) health care through STRS? I'll give you a clue...right now, it's over $1,300 per month for the retiree and retiree's spouse (for an 80/20 PPO) if both are under the age of 65! If you are paying little or noting under your current teaching contract STAY IN TEACHING UNTIL YOU AND/OR YOUR SPOUSE REACHES 65 as you are getting a, you are getting "a steal." For some reason, when I tell actives this, they look at me in deer staring into automobile headlights. TRUST ME, ACTIVES, IT IS TRUE!
"Tom Curtis of Stark County said when he retired from teaching in 1998 he paid just $30 a month for medical coverage for him and his wife. By 2004, STRS had stopped subsidizing spouses and reduced the subsidy for retirees. Curtis’ share now tops $14,000 a year, he said."
Retirees paying more for their health care
Medical bills are eating up more money than is being set aside to cover rising costs
DAYTON DAILY NEWS, January 3, 2010
By Laura A. Bischoff, Staff Writer
COLUMBUS — In 1974, the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund voluntarily started giving health care coverage to retired cops and firefighters. At the time, it was a bargain — $3 million.
But fast forward 34 years and the cost has spiked to $153.4 million a year. That doesn’t even count the higher co-pays, premiums and deductibles that retirees are paying out of their own pockets.
Now OP&F wants taxpayers to shell out more toward the retirement system for police and firefighters, in part because of high health care costs. Between the five public pension systems in Ohio, health care costs run $2.2 billion a year to cover 375,000 people.
"We know that health care costs are rising and life expectancy is increasing. It’s an added burden to our pension systems. It’s something we’ll have to get our arms around," said state Sen. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, a member of the bipartisan Ohio Retirement Study Council.
No state law or contract requires health care coverage for retired public employees. Still, lawmakers and the retirement systems intend to preserve it, Schuring said.
"It’s come to the point where many retirees depend upon that health care benefit just as much as, if not more than, their pension benefit," he said.
The pension systems are self-insured. That means they pay their own doctor and hospital bills.
Member contributions, employer contributions and investment income provide the revenue used to support Ohio’s public retirees. Each system sets aside a chunk of the employer contribution for health care costs.
So, for every $1 in wages, the government entity sends between 14 cents and 26.5 cents to the retirement systems to cover pension costs. From that contribution, the five systems set aside between a penny and 6.75 cents for health care.
It’s not sustainable over the long term. Thanks to portfolio losses and rising costs, four of the five pension systems plan to shave back the percentages set aside for health care. Medical bills already are eating up more money than is being set aside. That means if all stays the same, the health care money will run out.
Right now, the State Teachers Retirement System projects its health care fund will run dry by 2016 and the School Employees Retirement System will run out of health care money just four years down the road.
"Bottom line: I believe the pension part of the system is going to be solvent. The health care side, I don’t know," said Carl Curry, 62, chief bailiff at Vandalia Municipal Court and a retired Vandalia police sergeant.
Skyrocketing health care bills have forced each of the retirement systems to shift more of the burden onto retirees. That has kept the ratio between health care and overall pension costs steady and even reduced it in some cases.
But the move has been painful for retirees, and some have had to return to work to pay their health care. In 2000, retired bus drivers and school janitors chipped in $11.5 million toward SERS health care. By 2008, they paid $73.8 million — a 541 percent increase.
Retired teachers are paying roughly 40 percent of the STRS health care bill, STRS spokeswoman Laura Ecklar said. 24
Tom Curtis of Stark County said when he retired from teaching in 1998 he paid just $30 a month for medical coverage for him and his wife. By 2004, STRS had stopped subsidizing spouses and reduced the subsidy for retirees. Curtis’ share now tops $14,000 a year, he said.
Thirty years ago, retired cops and firefighters and their families paid nothing for health care. Now they pay as much as $932.50 a month for medical and prescription drug coverage for the retiree, spouse and one dependent child.
Doug Shade said he paid $80 a month for coverage for him and his wife when he retired from the Vandalia Police Department in 2000. After his out-of-pocket costs spiked to $800 a month, Shade went back to work full-time, this time as a municipal court bailiff.
Shade, 59, hadn’t planned for the added health care costs.
"When you start out in public service, you better be putting money aside in a deferred compensation program or something like that, because who knows what (the pension system) is going to be like in 20 or 30 years," Shade said.
OP&F Director Bill Estabrook said change is certain. Down the road, retirees may be given a monthly stipend to cover their health care or perhaps survivors and dependent children won’t be covered as they are now, he said. "They’re just going to have to bear more of the cost."

Dennis Leone to present testimony to Health and Aging Subcommittee on Wednesday, March 9

From Dennis Leone, March 6, 2011
I am set to present testimony to Schuring’s Health and Aging Sub-Committee on the afternoon of the 9th about House Bill 69 at 2:30 pm in room 018 of the Statehouse.
[This will be open to the public. KBB]
Click image to enlarge.


Thanks to OPERS, we have this excellent collection of Ohio newspaper articles re. Ohio's pensions

Speaker Batchelder Announces Process for House Commerce & Labor Committee Hearings

For Immediate Release:
March 6, 2011
Contact: Mike Dittoe
(614) 466-0863
Speaker Batchelder Announces
Process for House
Commerce & Labor Committee
Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) issued the following information today regarding the House Commerce and Labor Committee hearings on Senate Bill 5 this week:
Tuesday, March 8 (Statehouse Room 121)
Seating for the Ohio House Commerce & Labor Committee scheduled for Tuesday, March 8, at 4:00pm in Statehouse Room 121. Vouchers will be distributed on the south steps of the Statehouse beginning at 3:00 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis for those who wish to attend the committee. No attendance will be granted to the committee hearing without a voucher.
Wednesday, March 9 and Thursday, March 10 (Statehouse Room 313)
On Wednesday and Thursday, those who wish to give testimony must contact the Chair's Office by 5:00 p.m. the day prior to the committee. (The Committee will meet at 9:00am on Wednesday and immediately following House Session on Thursday). Those who will be giving testimony should report to Statehouse Hearing Room 114 no later than one hour prior to the committee to receive their voucher. Any remaining vouchers will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
NOTE: These guidelines for tickets access to the committee hearing do not apply to credentialed media. Limited seating for reporters, as well as floor space for cameras, will be made available immediately prior to the scheduled session.
Michael Dittoe
Director of Communications
Office of Speaker William G. Batchelder
Ohio House of Representatives Majority Caucus
614.466.0863 - office
740.215.8214 - mobile
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