COLUMBUS, Ohio —
Democrats have offered no amendments. Instead, they delivered boxes containing more than 65,000 opponent signatures to the House labor committee's chairman.
Opponents have vowed to lead a ballot repeal effort if the Ohio measure passes.
The GOP-backed revisions in the House make it more difficult for unions to collect certain fees. The committee also altered the bill to ban automatic deductions from employee paychecks that would go the unions' political arm. Other changes would prevent nonunion employees affected by contracts from paying fees to union organizations.
Unions argue that their contracts cover those nonunion workers and that letting them not pay unfairly spreads the costs to dues-paying members.
"Not only are they attacking middle-class wages, rights and benefits, but now the bill will punish people for even joining a union," said Eddie L. Parks, president of the 34,000-member Ohio Civil Service Employees Association. "Those who join will be picking up the tab for those who don't."
Lawmakers also revised the bill to include more details on who defines merit and performance pay. For instance, performance pay for teachers would be based upon a statewide framework from the state Department of Education and objectives from the school board.
Jennifer Blair, a 33-year-old music teacher from Westerville, said she believes the bill will "destroy public education as we know it."
"It's setting out to take away services our children have, take away services our teachers have, supplies in our classroom, teachers' rights, class size, safety issues in the classroom for our special needs teachers," she said.
AP Statehouse Correspondent Julie Carr Smyth contributed to this report.