Ohio voters are still behind a repeal of Senate Bill 5 in November, but that support appears to be waning, results of poll released last week show.
Support for repealing the highly controversial bill (it restricts the collective bargaining rights of public union employees plus requires public workers to contribute 15 percent toward health insurance and 10 percent toward their pensions) has been whacked by more than half since July.
The Quinnipiac University poll shows voter support of a repeal has dropped from a 24-point to a 13-point margin. It will appear as Issue 2 on the ballot.
Connie Wehrkamp, spokeswoman for Building a Better Ohio, the pro-Senate Bill 5 group, says the momentum is beginning to shift because the more people learn about the changes, the more they support the changes.
''We're focused on running a fact-based education campaign,'' she said. ''The other side is using fiery rhetoric and we're trying to focus on the facts.''
Melissa Fazekas, spokeswoman for the anti-Issue 2 group, We Are Ohio, says the poll continues to show that Ohioans think Senate Bill 5 is unfair. The poll, she said, ''continues to show that Ohioans support collective bargaining rights for workers like nurses, teachers, police officers and firefighters. Ohioans agree that these workers' voices should be heard, but SB5 silences them.''
The poll released Tuesday shows voters support 51 to 38 percent a repeal of the new law, compared to 56 to 32 percent in July.
Voters oppose 58 to 36 percent banning public employees from striking; 53 to 41 percent eliminating seniority rights as the sole factor in layoffs; and 54 to 39 percent banning public employees from bargaining over health insurance.
Voters support 60 to 31 percent replacing automatic pay increases based on seniority with increases based on merit; 59 to 35 percent requiring public employees to pay at least 15 percent of their health insurance costs; and 56 to 33 percent requiring public employees to pay 10 percent of their wages toward their pensions.
The telephone poll surveyed 1,301 registered voters Sept. 20-25 using cell phones and land lines. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.7 percent.
Congratulations to Judi Toles, who passed a milestone Tuesday: 40 years working at the Trumbull County Board of Elections.
Toles, who began work Sept. 27, 1971, was surprised by family and friends at the board office to celebrate her achievement. She also was presented a resolution by Trumbull County commissioners Dan Polivka, Frank Fuda and Paul Heltzel to mark the occasion.
But her service to the community and love of democracy goes way beyond working at the elections board. There are too many to name in this space, so here are a few: She has been a Democrat county central committee member for 40 years, has been involved with the county mental health and executive boards and political activities in Warren's 6th Ward.
Her political involvement has extended nationally under presidents Clinton and Obama, who personally invited her to his inauguration.