COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio legislative panel has approved a budget proposal saying college athletes are not employees under state law.
The proposal comes after last month's landmark decision by a National Labor Relations Board official involving the Northwestern University football team.
The NLRB ruling says full scholarship players can be considered employees and thus can form a union. If the ruling holds up, it could have widespread repercussions in the multibillion-dollar college sports industry.
Supporters say the bill approved Tuesday clarifies Ohio law. House Finance and Appropriations Committee Chairman Ron Amstutz (AHM'-stuts) says the change could have little effect but if the employment issue comes up, it will be in state law.
The Ohio AFL-CIO accused majority Republicans of trying to "engineer punitive proposals."
The full House could vote Wednesday afternoon.