Ohio voters reject Issue 2

Published: Nov. 8, 2011 at 10:09 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2011 at 5:22 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - The state's new collective bargaining law was defeated Tuesday after an expensive union-backed campaign that pitted firefighters, police officers and teachers against the Republican establishment.

In a political blow to GOP Gov. John Kasich, voters handily rejected the law, which would have limited the bargaining abilities of 350,000 unionized public workers. With nearly 95 percent of the votes counted late Tuesday, about 61 percent were to reject the law.

Issue 2 was formerly known as Senate Bill 5 and would have limited the collective bargaining abilities of 350,000 unionized public workers.

The measure allows bargaining on wages, conditions and some equipment. It outlaws public worker strikes, scraps binding arbitration and prevents promotions based solely on seniority.

We Are Ohio, the union-backed coalition opposing the law, had significant leads in both fundraising and polls heading into Election Day, building off anger over the bill that prompted days of Statehouse protests earlier this year.

Kasich congratulated his opponents and said he would spend time contemplating how best to take the state forward.

"I've heard their voices, I understand their decision and, frankly, I respect what people have to say in an effort like this," he said. "And as a result of that, it requires me to take a deep breath, you know, and to spend some time reflecting on what happened here."

Kasich said he has made creating jobs his priority and he's beginning to see his policies work.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.