Ann Sanner

COLUMBUS: The state’s treasurer says he would back making Ohio a right-to-work state to compete with neighboring states that have banned requirements that nonunion employees pay unions for negotiating contracts and other services.

Legislatures in Indiana and Michigan approved right-to-work legislation last year.

Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel says he believes passing the law would help grow Ohio’s economy.

Gov. John Kasich wouldn’t say where he stood on the issue.

Mandel and other statewide leaders spoke Thursday during a legislative preview session for journalists organized by The Associated Press.

A group called Ohioans for Workplace Freedom has been circulating petitions for a ballot measure that would keep workers covered by labor contracts from having to join a union or pay dues. Supporters hope the issue appears before voters this fall.