In Kettering Monday night, a town hall meeting on Senate Bill 5 brought both supporters and opponents together to discuss the legislation. The League Of Women Voters and Lift Dayton sponsored the event. About 250 people were in attendance. GOP State Senator Peggy Lehner was on hand to answer questions from the public along with union supporters from the city of Kettering. Republican house representative Jim Butler from the 37th district was also at the meeting. He says most of people there were opponents of Senate Bill 5, but he felt it was a good opportunity to promote what he says are needed changes to Ohio's collective bargaining laws.
"It's imperative that we get out and do more of these types of meetings so we can educate the people on what exactly is in the bill and what is does and why we need collective bargaining reform," says Butler, "and we need a lot of transparency and the free flow of information. I think that's important."
Butler says he is working on a proposal to pay police and firefighters based on rank and years of service, much in the same way that members of the military currently are compensated. Opponents of Senate Bill 5 say the bill is unfair to middle class workers and are working to petition to put a referendum on the November ballot.