Senate Bill 83 Expected in State Budget Bill
This week, the Ohio Senate will unveil their version of House Bill 33, the state operating budget bill. We anticipate that at least some, but likely all, of SB 83 will be amended into HB 33.
It is less clear what may happen in the Ohio House. It is our understanding that SB 83 as it is currently written likely does not have sufficient support in the House Higher Education Committee. We would expect the bill to undergo further revisions before that committee would call for a vote. At this juncture, it appears clear that SB 83 will be the vehicle and HB 151 (the companion bill) will be sidelined. Even if SB 83 were to pass from the House Committee, we believe it ultimately will be dealt with in the budget bill conference committee.
Last week, unions across the labor spectrum united on a letter that was sent to all members of the Ohio House of Representatives. It sends an important message to House Republicans, who are less anti-union than Senate Republicans, that all of labor is watching and will not tolerate anti-union legislation. Feel free to share that letter far and wide, especially with your own State Representative.
TAKE ACTION: Contact House Republicans & The Governor
We ask you to take the time to make calls and send personalized emails to House Republican members and Gov. DeWine. Click here for a spreadsheet of targets and contact information. For the Representatives, use both email addresses. We highly recommend that you use your personal email address for these communications.
Remember to keep your communications concise and courteous. Phone calls likely will be answered by an aide or go to voicemail. Personalize your message with how the bill would negatively impact your teaching, students, and institution.
Here is a sample script for calls and emails to State Representatives:
I am calling/writing today to urge Representative [last name] to oppose Senate Bill 83. This is a dangerous bill that not only attacks union rights for campus employees, but also attempts to micromanage classroom instructions and college and university operations. The bill will drive up costs for students and deter quality faculty and students from choosing Ohio institutions. SB 83 isn’t salvageable. Please also reject any attempts to put the contents of SB 83 into the state operating budget.
Here is a sample script for calls and emails to Gov. DeWine:
I want to make sure that Gov. DeWine is aware of Senate Bill 83, legislation that threatens quality higher education and workforce development in Ohio. Should this bill reach his desk, I sincerely hope that the governor will exercise his veto power. Should any of the components of SB 83 make it into the state operating budget, I hope that Gov. DeWine will exercise his line-item veto authority.
We will continue to provide updates and action items as the process unfolds. We know that this is a frustrating process, but we must keep up the fight. Please share this information and ensure your colleagues are still paying attention during the summer. Lawmakers will take our silence as acceptance; so it’s important that we keep making noise, not only for the sake of our profession and academic freedom, but for the sake of our students and quality higher education!
Senate Bill 117 Receives Third Hearing
On Wednesday, May 31, Prof. Steve Mockabee delivered interested party testimony on behalf of OCAAUP to the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee about SB 117. You can find our testimony here and watch the entire hearing here. This was the third hearing of the bill at which all testimony–proponent, opponent, and interested party–were accepted.
SB 117 would create two institutes–one at the University of Toledo, the other at The Ohio State University–that would “conduct teaching and research in the historical ideas, traditions, and texts that have shaped the American constitutional order and society.” The purported goal of these institutes is to create “intellectual diversity” on these campuses.
The institutes would be overseen by academic councils and run by directors. Mockabee noted that OCAAUP fundamentally disagrees with the “need” for such institutes, but more pointedly addressed the many issues with the proposed compositions of the academic councils, the lack of process for hiring faculty at the institute, and other pieces of the bill that are vague and require clarifications.
This Wednesday, SB 117 will receive its fourth hearing and likely will be voted out of committee and head to the Senate floor for a full vote by the chamber. Due to the appropriations that are attached to this bill to initially fund the institutes, we expect that this bill also is primed to be amended into the state budget bill.