Politicians debate Senate Bill 5 in Mason

MASON, OH (FOX19) -  On Thursday, there was a heated Senate Bill 5 debate in Mason, as State Representative Connie Pillich and Senator Shannon Jones discussed both sides of the issue.

"This looming financial crisis leaves our communities with three options, raise taxes, cut vital services or layoff good teachers, police officers and firefighters," said 7th district Sen. Jones. "None of these are good for Ohioans."

Jones says the best option is to pass Senate Bill 5, evening the playing field between the public and private sector. The legislation requires public employees to pay at least 15 percent of their health insurance premiums and pay 10 percent toward their pensions.

But those planning to vote "no" in November, say Senate Bill 5 forces public employees to give up much more.

"We have bad times no doubt, but the people who work for a living didn't create this mess and it's unfair to try and fix all our problems on the backs of working people like teachers and firefighters," said Jim Meale who is against SB5.

Democratic Representative Connie Pillich shares those sentiments.

"I find it interesting that the public sector suddenly has caused this recession," said Rep. Pillich.

Pillich says the other sides promise that Senate Bill 5 will still allow for collective bargaining is false.

"The deck is stacked in the favor of management from the beginning to the end of the process, there is no bargaining," said Pillich. "It's like going into divorce court and finding out that your spouse is the judge."