There are around 80 days till election day. And the Republican leaders are now asking the leaders of the group that put the attempt to toss out Ohio's collective bargaining reform law before voters this fall to compromise. But the leaders of We Are Ohio seem confident in a win this fall, and uninterested in discussions.
Senate Bill 5 is just one of several collective bargaining reform measures in several states. But it apparently was not developed by an organization that has been writing model legislation that's been introduced in Ohio and around the country. The American Legislative Exchange Council has been drawing fire because so many of the issues it has dealt with - state budgeting, prison sentencing reform, the federal health care law - have come up in Ohio and elsewhere. Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) is a board member of ALEC, and is just back from the ALEC conference in New Orleans. He answers questions about ALEC's influence, funding and transparency.
There was a fracking good discussion at the Columbus Metropolitan Club this week on what other subject but fracking - the process of hydraulic fracturing. The focus on two big shale formations in eastern Ohio suggests a bit of gold-rush-level excitement, but environmentalists are cautious about drilling and especially fracking. Tom Stewart from the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and Ellen Mee from the Ohio Environmental Council sparred over fracking at the forum.