Ohio is a bit closer to loosening the unions stranglehold on the taxpayers.

(CNN) — The Ohio state Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would curb the collective bargaining rights of public workers and strip away their power to strike.

Lawmakers approved the measure by a count of 17 to 16, with six Republicans voting in opposition.

The bill, known as Senate Bill 5, is supported by Republican Governor John Kasich. It would curb a 1983 Ohio state law that affords collective bargaining rights to public employees.

“No surprise,” said Senate President Tom Niehaus. “I’ve been saying for weeks that we have the votes to pass this bill. It reflects the diverse interests that our members have around the state of Ohio,” he said.

The bill now moves onto the Republican-controlled House where lawmakers are expected to take up the measure on March 10.

Ohio, often considered a battleground for presidential politics, faces an $8 billion shortfall in the next two-year budget.

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