COLUMBUS—State Representative Dovilla (R-Berea) today issued the following statement regarding the passage of Senate Bill 5:“Since January, I have met with hundreds of teachers, fire fighters, and police officers at town hall forums I have hosted, small group meetings I have organized, and individual meetings I have initiated regarding Senate Bill 5. During the course of these discussions, I have responded to over 1,200 individual e-mails and letters and have spent untold hours on the phone having one-on-one conversations with my constituents – many of whom I have had the privilege of knowing since elementary school.
One of the key lessons that I have learned during this period is the potential impacts that the Senate-passed version of this bill would have on the public safety forces who place their lives on the line every day. I met numerous times with members of the Protect Ohio’s Protectors Coalition to see what changes to the Senate version of the bill are needed to protect those who protect the public and am gratified that the House leadership has incorporated a number of my suggestions in the version of the bill that we are voting on today – such as restoring a binding arbitration process, allowing for wage negotiation within the new framework, and allowing collective bargaining for safety equipment.
My decision today to support this legislation is a culmination of seven weeks of thoughtful deliberation, public input and negotiations with the House leadership. As always, when looking at difficult issues, I believe it is important to stand on one’s convictions and for the principles upon which this state was founded – which is how I have arrived at my decision to support this bill. The structural imbalance our state, our communities, and our taxpayers face is unsustainable. Senate Bill 5 as amended by this House restores some of the needed protections for our public service employees while rebuilding our fiscal house.”