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Democrats Call a GOP-Backed Bill Another Attack on Labor and Home Rule

Reps. Sykes, Strahorn and Celebrezze

The Ohio House is getting ready to vote on a bill that would ban cities like Akron and Cleveland from imposing local-hiring requirements for public construction projects. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports it also would restrict cities and the state from requiring contractors to use union labor on public projects.

Republican Rep. Joe Uecker’s bill would ban communities from requiring that local workers be used on state funded public construction projects.

“Anytime you limit who can bid on a project, that immediately serves to increase the cost of the bid.”

Uecker says the bill would make the process of awarding construction contracts more fair. But Democratic Rep. Fred Strahorn says it would not require workers to be paid a living wage, and that it jeopardize jobs and destabilize local economies.

“It’s a problem in search of a problem.”

A similar measure had been put by Republicans into last year’s budget, but Democratic Cleveland Sen. Sandra Williams agreed to vote for the budget if it were removed.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.