ALEC-inspired SB 329 could kill state agencies

Posted Oct. 12, 2016 by

Ohio’s Senate Bill 329 could do away with entire state agencies, disrupting the lives of millions of Ohioans who depend on the government services OCSEA members provide. Besides creating government gridlock, the bill could interrupt the lives of millions of Ohioans who go to school, receive nursing home, long-term care or CHIP, get unemployment compensation, depend on state prison system to keep inmates locked up or who rely on safe drinking water and food.

SB 329 is such a reckless bill, it could destroy entire state agencies simply by inaction. The process has the potential for holding the state government hostage, just like we’ve seen on the federal level.

"This legislation is an outright attack on public employees and the services they provide," said OCSEA Pres. Chris Mabe. "This legislation is straight out the ALEC playbook," he said. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the lobbying organization, is behind the anti-public service, anti-union scheme to take away the rights of working Americans.

These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and directly benefit huge corporations at the expense of working men and women. See the inspiration for SB 329, ALEC's "Spending Evaluation," a rigorous evaluation of current and proposed state programs, agencies and mandates with the goal of privatizing them.

Call your Ohio State Rep. right NOW at 1-800-282-0253. Tell them to vote NO on Senate Bill 329. Tell them to vote NO because:

SB 329 is irresponsible and dangerous. It gives a handful of legislators the power to hold up state government and negatively affect the lives of thousands, or even millions of Ohioans. A single committee could abolish state agencies every two years, and all they would have to do is sit on their hands for it to happen.

This would be like the state budget process on steroids.The General Assembly already reorganizes and amends agencies during the budget process. It has the power to consolidate state agencies or review them for efficiency, if it wishes to. It’s already difficult enough to get a state budget passed every two years without throwing this into the mix.

Ohio’s existing Sunset Review Committee can't keep up now. It has already fallen behind and failed to meet in time. Why would we risk Ohio’s hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and more by making this process even more complicated and urgent?

This is just another drive toward privatization. While language was amended to take out the words "private contractors," the bill asks that the committee look into "alternative means or methods" that can be used to "improve efficiency and customer service" of state agencies, or as we know it––outsourcing!

Read more about the dangers of SB 329.

Watch Sen. Joe Schiavoni defend Ohio's state agencies and speak out against SB 329.