On Monday, June 12, the Ohio Senate released its substitute version of House Bill 49, the state budget bill. You can view the Legislative Service Commission’s comparison document to see the changes between the executive, House, and Senate versions of the bill.
To our relief, the three provisions impacting public college and university faculty — the establishment of uniform post-tenure review; reduction of, and inability to bargain over, sick leave; as well as the financial disclosure requirement for any faculty who assigns textbooks — were removed.
Moreover, language was added explicitly stating that colleges and universities are permitted to establish paid leave donation programs, which lends clarity to what has been a gray area for institutions.
State Share of Instruction (SSI) figures remained the same as the House version, which is disappointing. However, the Senate did increase funding to the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG), even above the governor’s original proposed increase.
These are the results of many weeks of meeting with legislators, working with allies, and testifying to committee. Your messages to Senators made a difference, too.
On May 25, OCAAUP President John McNay gave testimony to the Senate Finance Higher Education Subcommittee. You can view the testimony here.
While we are encouraged by the Senate’s actions, the budget bill is far from being finalized. HB 49 still must pass the full Senate (that vote is slated for June 21); and after, will go to a conference committee, through which the House and Senate will work out their differences before submitting the bill to the governor, who is required to sign by June 30.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be working with allies and having conversations with House and Senate members to try to ensure that these provisions remain out of the bill. We may need to call upon you to contact your legislators, as well as members of the conference committee.
We will continue to keep you updated with information and ways you can help. Thank you for the good work and support you have lent to this effort so far.