Election 2011
9:30 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Ohio Voters Reject Union Limits

Early returns show that Ohio's new law limiting the collective bargaining abilities of 350,000 unionized public workers has been defeated after an expensive union-backed campaign that pitted firefighters, police officers and teachers against the state's Republican establishment.

The law hadn't taken effect yet. It was thrown out Tuesday amid high turnout in a year without a presidential election. Current union rules will stand until the GOP-controlled Legislature plans its next move.

Republican Gov. John Kasich traveled the state to promote retaining the law, which set new minimum contributions for public employee health care and retirement and banned strikes, among other provisions.

Supporters promoted the law as a means for local governments to save money and keep workers. Opponents said the union limits threatened public safety with little proof of cost savings.

UPDATE: 9:53 PM Ohio gov says "the people have spoken" in rejecting union-limiting law. Gov. John Kasich  says he's heard voters' voices, respects what they've said and will pay attention.

Kasich had traveled the state to urge support for the law. He and his fellow Republicans had promoted the law as a means for local governments to save money and keep workers. He cautioned local governments Tuesday that there is no bailout coming.