From Nancy and Albert Hamant, April 1, 2011
Subj: Re: Vote NO on SB 5 and HB 102: Focus on Creating Jobs, Not Attacking the Middle Class
We are appalled by your vote to pass SB 5.
Republicans have been the majority for the Ohio Senate for 21 consecutive years. Republicans were the majority in the Ohio House of Representatives for 16 years and are now once again the majority in the Ohio House. During those years of being the majority for both the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House, there were two Republican Governors,George Voinovich and Robert Taft. There was a Democratic Governor, Strickland, for the previous four years as well as a 9 person majority of Democratics in the Ohio House.
Based on the above facts, which party was in charge and responsible while Ohio middle class jobs were shipped over seas? Which party has been in charge and is responsible for the escalating costs for health care, prescriptions and insurance while reducing regulations and guaranteeing unbelievable profits to private health care providers? Which party did nothing to protect Ohioans from the collapse of the banking industry, wall street misdoings, and mortgage brokers while permitting unbelievable profits and bonuses to CEOs, CFOs, and COOs, while doing nothing to protect the Ohio middle class let alone those poor folks who have lost their houses.
Which party is stripping funding from Ohio's budget for children, elderly and those out of work? Which party chose not to fix Ohio's school funding problems? Which party is providing tax incentives to businesses and not holding them accountable for creating new jobs in Ohio, not regulating what they do with our tax money, and not expecting these businesses to pay back the money that Ohio citizens loaned to them when they default on their contracts and promises
Which party has the gall to pass SB 5 and then tell us it going to help Ohioans and provide jobs. You must not read the newspaper, or listen to the daily listings of workers who are being laid off as a result of the legislation you are enacting.
You tell which party is responsible for Ohio's mess. You prove to us how SB 5, and Kasich's proposed budget is helping the Ohio middle class. Tell us how many jobs are developed. Tell us how Ohioans are better off. And do it now, not tomorrow when Ohio is so devastated there is no digging out of the hole. And we want to see facts and figures not "philosophic reasons" as Shannon Jones stated.
November 2011 cannot come soon enough,
Nancy B. Hamant and Albert W. Hamant
From Representative Ron Maag, April 1, 2011
As your State Representative, I take my responsibility to represent the 35th House District very seriously. Your input is valuable and always welcome. After much deliberation and consideration of the opinions of my constituents, I cast my vote on the House floor in favor of Senate Bill 5. I believe this bill is necessary to restore fairness to taxpayers and will help prevent massive layoffs of dedicated public servants during these difficult economic times. This legislation specifically restores Ohioans’ influence over the government and its workers that the taxpayer pays to employ.
Senate Bill 5 wholly reinvents the relationship between public-sector unions, local governments and the taxpayers. With many local governments threatened by bankruptcy and unable to control their costs, many communities may suffer massive tax increases or widespread layoffs just to keep public services solvent. Senate Bill 5 aims to save these vital jobs while also lowering the tax burden on the middle class.
Among House modifications to S.B. 5 are provisions that allow collective bargaining for safety equipment, permit communications between bargaining parties, clarify that death benefit amounts for spouses are not affected by changes in the bill, and eliminate jail time as a possible penalty for striking.
The House version also removes the use of ticket quotas to determine performance-based pay for law enforcement officials, eliminates automatic union deductions without written consent, and prohibits “fair share” fee penalties as a requirement to be a non-union member within an organization. Additionally, under certain conditions, labor disputes may be settled by voters at the ballot, with last best offers of each bargaining party considered and resolved by Ohio’s taxpayers.
To specifically advance the quality of education in Ohio’s classrooms and reward teachers, S.B. 5 establishes standard state guidelines to determine educators’ compensation and other terms of employment. While 50 percent of educator evaluations must be based on student performance as developed by the Ohio Department of Education, local school boards have the authority to establish objective measures related to quality of instructional practice, communication and professionalism, parent/student satisfaction, and other relevant factors.
As passed, Senate Bill 5 is expected to save local governments more than $1 billion while ensuring that public employees can still collectively bargain under a better system with negotiations, mediation and fairness.
I would like to thank you for your letter regarding this issue. It is an honor to serve as your State Representative. I sincerely appreciate your feedback about the issues that are facing the state of Ohio, and I encourage you to continue contacting my office with any questions or concerns.
Ron Maag State Representative, District 35
Albert Hamant to Representative Ron Maag, March 30, 2011
Subject: Vote NO on SB 5 and HB 102: Focus on Creating Jobs, Not Attacking the Middle Class
I am writing to ask you to oppose Senate Bill 5 and House Bill 102. These measures are an attack on Ohio’s middle class and does nothing to create good jobs for Ohioans.
Ohio voters sent a clear message to you and other lawmakers in November: focus on creating good jobs. Unfortunately, SB 5 and HD 102 do nothing to address our jobs crisis. These bills are an unneeded distraction from the balanced approach we must have in order to deal with our economic crisis.
There are over 500,000 Ohioans currently looking for work across the state. These workers need the Ohio General Assembly to take the lead and bring workers, businesses leaders and community groups together to solve the huge problems facing Ohio. They need balanced solutions to not only create good jobs but raising the bar for all workers to revitalize our middle class.
These bills not only miss the mark on job creation but are bad for taxpayers and public service workers who keep our communities safe. SB 5 would put essential services at risk of reductions in quality and endanger the lives of firefighters, police officers and other public service workers who put their lives on line everyday. HD 102 actually encourages the use of out-of-state labor when we can provide those jobs right here in Ohio.
I am also concerned by the way SB 5 was pushed so rapidly through the Senate without the needed consultation of Ohioans. Political games were played with the hearing process which silenced the voice of thousands of opponents of the bill. Middle class Ohioans were literally locked out of the Statehouse. Republicans Senators were even removed from their seat on the Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee in order to get the bill passed.
I recognize the tough decisions facing you and other lawmakers but taking away the voice on the job for firefighters, police officers, nurses, bus drivers, sanitation workers and other hard-working public service workers will not help to create jobs, will hurt taxpayers and put our services at risk. Please oppose these bills and ask your fellow colleagues to do the same.
Albert W. Hamant