COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Republican state senator in Ohio who had expressed his disappointment in a bill that would restrict the bargaining rights of public workers has been replaced on a committee that is poised to approve the measure.

Senate leadership on Wednesday appointed Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay to the panel to replace state Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican. Hite supports the bill.

Commitee Chairman Kevin Bacon says it was done "due to vote count" on the panel, but would not comment further.

He says he has had the votes to get the bill approved and to the GOP-led Senate for a vote. The chamber could take up the measure as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

All four Democrats on the 12-person panel oppose the legislation.

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Some 350,000 teachers, university professors, firefighters, police officers and other public workers would be affected by the legislation if it becomes law.

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