During the Belmont County Democratic Party's annual summer gathering Sunday, Ohio House of Representatives Minority Leader Armond Budish attacked SB 5. Budish, D-Beachwood, said the law "contains horrible cuts to education, local governments and law enforcement, and leaves our communities less safe."
No, it does not. Though state legislators are considering budget measures that reduce support of public schools and local governments, they are not included in SB 5. The law says nothing about how much money Columbus will dole out for education or local governments. Nothing.
SB 5 relates only to collective bargaining by public employees, along with how their pay and benefits are handled. Budish knows that, yet chose - as have many critics of the law - to misrepresent the situation.
"We're seeing an unprecedented attack on the middle class coming from Columbus," Budish continued.
Again, no. Unless Budish believes public employee union members are the only members of the middle class in Ohio, he's not being candid. In fact, public employees are a tiny fraction of the Buckeye State's middle class.
As far as collective bargaining limits in SB 5, there are some. But the new law does permit public employee unions to continue negotiating their members' pay, the most important item in most contracts.
Among other provisions of the law are one requiring public employees to pay at least 15 percent of the cost of their health insurance, another outlawing strikes by public employees, and a third requiring teachers' pay raises be awarded on merit, not seniority.
Far from attacking the middle class, SB 5 gives their elected representatives on school boards and other local entities the ability to curb the ever-increasing cost of government. That will help, not hurt, the overwhelming majority of middle-class Ohioans.
Again, Budish knows all this. His philosophy and that of public employee union leaders is simple: Misleading Ohioans worked well in the past, so why shouldn't it now?
But there is a difference this year: Buckeye State residents have seen the harm done by liberal, special interest politics in the past. They're not going to fall for it again.
Let us hope that the people of the Buckeye State look to the truth and not blatant lies from desperate unions and their desperate beneficiaries.