Ohio employers can breathe a huge sigh of relief, as Governor Strickland, Senator Sherrod Brown and the SEIU president called a surprise press conference on September 4, 2008 to announce the Proponents’ withdrawal of the Ohio Healthy Families Act Ballot Initiative (Issue 4) from the November ballot. The Proponents have filed their official Notice of Withdrawal with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, which has processed the withdrawal and notified the Ohio Ballot Board.

According to the SEIU’s president, it decided to pull the issue from the ballot to avoid an inevitable costly and highly contentious ballot campaign this fall. In exchange for the withdrawal, Governor Strickland has pledged to support the federal version of the Healthy Families Act, which is currently pending before Congress and contains many of the same provisions contained in the Ohio Healthy Families Act—including a mandate that certain employers provide 7 paid sick days for full-time employees and a pro-rated amount for certain part-time employees.