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Panel short-circuits college sports union move

Panel short-circuits college sports union move

/Photo courtesy of the Ohio Statehouse Photo Archive

COLUMBUS, Ohio – College athletes in Ohio hoping to form unions are getting no help from lawmakers.

An Ohio House panel has changed a massive budget bill to make clear that college athletes are not employees under state law.

The House Finance and Appropriations Committee is set to consider more changes to the midterm budget bill that is on track for a committee vote as early as Tuesday.

The move comes after a decision last month by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board involving the Northwestern University football team. The ruling said that full scholarship players can be considered employees and thus have the right to form a union.

Chairman Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster) told reporters the change could have little effect. But he says if it comes up, it will be in the law.

The amendment was among dozens made to the bill.

The Republican-dominated committee also removed a provision to require electronic registration for unemployment compensation benefits, and it sought to penalize counties who don’t follow state procedures for providing absentee ballots.

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