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Ohio Governor Wants To Head Off Sick Days Vote




Ted Strickland, Ohio governor continues to work to head off the Ohio Healthy Families Act, or HFA, before it gets to voters.

Ohioans for Healthy Families, a coalition of 229 member organizations, filed petitions containing about 240,000 signatures, Tuesday, Aug. 5, to put mandatory paid sick days on the ballot in November. About 120,000 signatures are required.

The Ohio Secretary of State office and county boards of elections are checking signatures. If OHF comes up short, it will have an additional 10 days to gather the required number.

But Keith Daily, Strickland’s press secretary, said, “The deadline the governor is keeping in mind is September 5. That’s the last day the proponents can remove (the proposal) from the ballot.

“We have approximately a month,” he said.

“Time (enough) to continue discussions, and arrive at a compromise.”

Common Sense

Daily said Strickland and his office have been engaged with key stakeholders from both sides of the question- proponents of mandated sick days, and Ohio’s business community, which opposes any mandate.

“Discussions have been positive and encouraging,” Daily said.

“We are welcoming all stakeholders to join us at the table and work toward a common sense solution, without the need to go forward (with the ballot issue).”

Daily said Strickland wants a compromise that will keep the sick days proposal off the ballot to avoid a costly, contentious campaign by both sides.

Also, a contentious campaign by both sides would damage the perception of Ohio’s business climate, Daily said.

Already, a potential employer that could have brought 500 new jobs to Archbold has halted that project.

Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, said the company told him as long as the HFA is a possibility, it will not locate a plant in Ohio.

Leadership

Daily said now is the time for leadership on both sides of the HFA question.

While some of the opponents of the HFA have said they will not accept a compromise, a letter signed by officials of 10 businesses, including AT&T, American Electric Power, and the Business Roundtable, support ongoing discussions.

“A solution is hopefully possible,” Daily said, adding, “it may not be.”- David Pugh


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