Ohio Lawmakers Could Eliminate Local Hiring Rules for Contractors

ideastream file photo by Brian Bull
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by Karen Kasler

State lawmakers could vote this month on a bill that would ban cities from requiring contractors to hire a certain number of local workers for big construction projects.

Supporters of a ban on local hiring quotas say they reduce the number of companies that bid on projects, give an advantage to out-of-state companies and drive up the costs of projects.

Democratic State Rep. Emilia Sykes of Akron has been fighting this bill.

“I don’t think that argument stands up when you start looking at communities across the state who have been very strategic and smart about making sure they can meet these local hiring requirements and be on budget or under budget,” Sykes said.

Democrats have tried to amend the Republican-backed bill to allow for some residency requirements. But only one amendment has been adopted: to allow ODOT to comply with state and federal job training rules.

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