MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - Inside the Pendelton Art Center Thursday night, Middletown Mayor Larry Mulligan Jr. gave his annual state of the city address. Outside the center, dozens of protestors lined up to protest Senate Bill 5 and Mayor Mulligan's support of the bill.
"It was king of rushed through, I think they need to look at this because I think a lot of the middle class is going to be hurt by this," said Roger Hopper.
The protestors' chants were directed toward the bill and Middletown Mayor Larry Mulligan Jr.
"We are here to tell Mayor Mulligan that he was wrong on this issue and tell the governor and all the republicans who voted for this bill they were wrong," said Jocelyn Buraco, Chair of the Butler County Democratic Party.
At one point, protestors chanted, "Mayor Mulligan has to go."
Mulligan stands by his position and said something has to change to reduce the state's $8 billion deficit.
"My support has been for change and the way the whole process works," said Mulligan. "Senate Bill 5 may not be the entire solution, I just think we need to work together."
Senate Bill 5 has now been signed by Gov. John Kasich but those against the bill said they won't stop fighting.
"The families that are effected by this bill are helping organize a referendum effort to overturn Senate Bill 5 on the November ballot," said Buraco.
At the rally protestors signed up to pass out petitions in their neighborhoods. Mayor Mulligan said he hopes both sides can come together soon.
"We've got a lot of responsibilities on both sides to address the issues that face our city, our state and our nation," said Mulligan.