COLUMBUS— Today, State Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) voiced opposition to the passage of House Bill 180, which will eliminate the City of Cleveland’s current local hiring standards, established in the Fannie Lewis Law (2004), which guarantee a certain percentage of city residents’ employment on public construction projects.

Plans to eliminate local hiring requirements began almost two years ago, due to the fact that contractors - outside of Ohio and within - wished to hire their own employees instead of Cleveland residents. During last year’s budget discussions, a similar provision was removed from the main operating budget at the request of Senator Williams, holding off the encroachment on local control for nearly a year.

During today’s floor debate, Senator Williams said of the motives behind House Bill 180, “In other words, some contractors want to benefit from Cleveland’s economic development dollars, but they don’t want to hire Cleveland residents.”

Senator Williams commented further, “For more than a decade, Cleveland’s business community has worked with the City of Cleveland and contractors on a reasonable goal for local hiring on construction projects. Local governments must be able to hire their residents, instead of having their residents result to illegal actives such as robbery, stealing, and gang activity in an effort to make ends meet.”

House Bill 180 will directly impact the City of Cleveland, the City of Akron, and any other municipality that employ residents on construction projects.

“This legislation comes at a time when Cleveland, with an unemployment rate higher than the state and national average at 5.5%, and a labor participation rate of 57%, can least afford this type of cut to city employment,” remarked Senator Williams.

House Bill 180 will now be sent to the Governor’s office for his approval and signature.

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