Mayor Jackson and City Council President Kelley Call on Governor Kasich to Veto HB 180 and SB 152 If Passed
Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson and City Council President Kevin J. Kelley express strong opposition to House Bill 180 and Senate Bill 152, which would prohibit Ohio cities from using local hiring preferences for state-funded Cleveland construction projects.
The proposed legislation would prohibit the abilities of Cleveland and other Ohio cities to combat unemployment and poverty by requiring contractors to use a percentage of local residents in construction projects.
“Prohibiting local hiring will hamper Ohio’s economic recovery and contribute to segregation of cities by race and income,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “Our young people have increasing difficulty getting a start in Ohio’s workforce. These workers and the overall economy of Ohio will benefit from the local jobs created through the use of geographical-based hiring preferences on construction projects: jobs with apprenticeships, clear career paths, and quality on-the-job training.”
City Council President Kelley noted that Governor John Kasich embraced local hiring when he came to Cleveland last year to publicly back the $330 million Opportunity Corridor — a massive road project that will connect I-490 at East 55th Street to University Circle.
“The governor pledged $500,000 in public monies to create construction jobs for people living in the Corridor area,” said Council President Kelley. “That pledge appears to be fading.”
In 2003, the City of Cleveland enacted a local hiring law to help alleviate unemployment and poverty by providing residents with opportunities on construction projects funded, in whole or in part, with city assistance. These opportunities ensure Cleveland residents participate in, and benefit from, economic development in the City of Cleveland. Other cities across the state have similar laws.
House Bill 180 and Senate Bill 152 would reverse the progress made in providing Cleveland residents the opportunity to benefit from construction projects in the city and signal that the State of Ohio government is opposed to initiatives in urban areas that help improve local economies and the overall well-being of residents.