Earlier this year, the Ohio House of Representatives’ Manufacturing and Workforce Development Committee held hearings on House Bill 151 and House Joint Resolution 5.
HB 151 would enact a “right-to-work” law for the private sector, while HJR 5 would place the issue on the statewide ballot for voters to decide. HJR 5 would impact the private and public sectors. There was a third “right-to-work” bill introduced during this General Assembly, HB 152, that had not received a hearing; however, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ron Maag, waived his right to give sponsor testimony. As a result, there was no movement on Rep. Maag’s bill or the other “right-to-work” legislation during the “lame duck” session. Nevertheless, we expect that similar legislation will be introduced next year in the new, 131st Ohio General Assembly. Election Results
All incumbent Republican statewide officeholders (Governor, Auditor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State) were re-elected to their positions. In the Ohio Senate, there was no shift in the balance of power – Republicans will maintain their 23 seats while Democrats retain their 10 seats. Sen. Keith Faber (R-Celina) will remain President of the Ohio Senate. However, in the Ohio House, Republicans gained five additional seats. Next year, Republicans will hold 65 seats, while Democrats drop to 34. Rep. Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) will be the new House Speaker, succeeding long-time Republican legislator Bill Batchelder of Medina. House Bill 616In September, Rep. Anthony DeVitis (R-Green) introduced HB 616, legislation that would prohibit a faculty member of a state institution of higher education from requiring a student to purchase a proprietary textbook or a customized textbook for use in that faculty member’s course of instruction unless the course of instruction is exclusively offered by the institution.
It would also would forbid colleges and universities from producing or requiring a student to purchase a custom textbook for any course that can be transferred to another institution. There was no movement on this legislation during the remainder of the legislative session. However, DeVitis has indicated that he will reintroduce the legislation next year. Redistricting ReformOver the last two weeks, the Ohio Senate and House each approved HJR 12, which would create a new process for drawing Ohio’s state legislative districts. The resolution, which must be approved by voters in November 2015 in order to take effect, had broad bipartisan support in both chambers. HJR 12 is a big step in the right direction with apportionment reform, as it creates a bipartisan commission in which minority members of the commission would have to support the maps in order for them to take effect. If HJR 12 is approved next November, Ohioans should expect to see maps that keep communities together and do not favor one party over the other. As a result, we should see more competitive Statehouse races after the year 2020. This proposal only impacts state legislative maps and not congressional ones.
On the Horizon
Republican leaders already have begun talking about the next state budget and other legislative goals.
Specifically, Sen. President Keith Faber (R-Celina) has said it is one of his caucus’ priorities to cut the cost of a college education by five percent (5%). He said that he wants colleges and universities to tell the legislature how they will reduce their costs.
Moreover, Gov. Kasich’s team has indicated that additional state income tax cuts likely will be a component of the governor’s proposed budget.
In addition to closely monitoring these developments, OCAAUP will be pursuing its own legislative agenda aimed at addressing issues such as: administrative bloat, working conditions and salary of part-time faculty, and faculty and student representation on Boards of Trustees.
To our members in the Ohio Conference AAUP: We are seeking nominations for the 2015 Ohio Conference elections. In accordance with our governing documents, you must have been a member for two years and current on your dues to be eligible for a Trustee position.
Nominations should be sent to Executive Director Sara Kilpatrick at firstname.lastname@example.org and must be received by January 30, 2015. Below is the list of positions that will be elected directly through the Conference elections next year. Those who are elected to these positions will serve a two-year term beginning on September 1, 2015.
–At-Large Member – Public or Private (nominees may be members of chapters at private institutions or of chapters at public institutions with fewer than 100 members)
The Vice President presides in the absence of the President and serves as a delegate to the AAUP Annual Conference and the Assembly of State Conferences Annual Meeting.
The Treasurer serves as a delegate to the Assembly of State Conferences Annual Meeting and is responsible for overseeing the Conference’s budget.
Serving on the OCAAUP Board of Trustees is a rewarding way to engage in statewide AAUP issues and state government advocacy. If you have any questions, contact Sara Kilpatrick at email@example.com.