(L to R) Senator Joe Uecker and Representative Ron Maag announce legislation aimed at lowering costs for local governments and eliminating unfair residency requirements on Ohio contractors and professional design firms.

State Senator Joe Uecker (R–Miami Township) announced legislation today prohibiting local governments from requiring contractors and design professionals to reside within a particular city as a condition for participating in city projects.

The proposed legislation seeks to eliminate residency requirements on Ohio contractors and design professionals.

“These requirements place an unnecessary burden on Ohio's construction and professional design companies which employ many in southwest Ohio," said Uecker. 

Residency requirements reduce competition and increase project costs as fewer contractors are able to bid on these projects due to unknown labor expenses. Ultimately, they give an advantage to out-of-state workers and their employers. The U.S. Constitution protects against discriminatory hiring practices based on state of residence but provides no protection based on residence within the same state. 

"Our bill is simple: it's about lowering costs for Ohio's cities; and eliminating baseless stipulations some cities have placed on small businesses that would otherwise be willing to perform higher quality work at a lower cost," said Uecker.

In 2009, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that cities could no longer require employees to reside within their city limits as a condition of employment. The Court determined that such requirements violated an employee's protected rights. 

The bill will be referred to a committee for further consideration on Wednesday.

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