COLUMBUS: The first hearings have been scheduled as the Ohio House prepares to begin its work on a bill to restrict public employee unions.
A statement from House Speaker William Batchelder's office says the opening hearing will be held late Tuesday afternoon. Vouchers for members of the public who wish to attend the House Commerce and Labor Committee hearing will be distributed on a first-come basis on the Statehouse steps an hour before the panel meets.
The hearings will continue Wednesday and Thursday.
Batchelder's spokesman has said the speaker is hoping for at least three weeks of hearings on the bill, which would limit collective bargaining for some 350,000 Ohio teachers, firefighters, police and other public employees. The legislation squeaked through the state Senate last week on a 17-16 vote.
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