The Ohio Senate today reinstated a controversial restriction in the state transportation budget that would prohibit communities from requiring that public construction projects completed with state or federal money employ a minimum amount of local Ohioans.


The controversial prohibition returns to House Bill 53 after a House panel nixed the restriction that brought sharp criticism from Akron City officials, State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and other Democratic lawmakers. Sykes successfully drafted an amendment that removed the controversial language.


“This restriction could have a dangerous and untold reach into our urban communities which will disproportionately impact African Americans who remain unemployed at a rate three times higher than the state average,” said Rep. Sykes. “This could hurt local communities and jeopardize Ohio jobs, and we haven’t seen any information that says otherwise.”


The City of Akron currently has a local hiring target of 30 percent for the city’s sewer and water improvements, with that goal increasing to 50 percent by 2018. Akron City officials appeared before the House budget panel to testify against a similar proposed law change that was later removed in the House.


“This rush to set up roadblocks to hiring local Ohioans is a losing scenario for our economy,” added Rep. Sykes. “We should be empowering communities to make decisions locally that strengthen our families, strengthen our economic opportunity and strengthen our community and state. We shouldn’t be in the business of rushing decisions based on a whim that will affect projects across the state.”


Today’s news comes as Cleveland breaks ground on the $331 million Opportunity Corridor and the City of Akron undertakes $1.4 billion worth of updates to its sewer system.


Ohio law provides local communities can dedicate a percentage of public construction projects to employing local workers. 

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Crucial Consumer Protections Headed To Governor's Desk, Says Rep. Sykes

 

State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 123, a bipartisan effort to enact consumer protections for the thousands of Ohioans who utilize short-term loans every day. Borrowers in Ohio currently pay some of the highest rates in the nation for payday loans, with estimated average interest rates at over 500 percent.



 
 

Rep. Sykes Reminds Constituents To Prepare For Driver's License Renewal Changes

 

State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) wants to remind Akron residents that beginning July 2, the procedure for renewing a driver’s license in Ohio will change. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will now mail new driver’s license cards to the applicant’s home address. A temporary card will be issued at the BMV until the official card arrives in the mail, about 10 days later. Officials say this change will reduce fraud and counterfeit licenses.



 
 

Sykes Statement On Profiling By Capitol Square Security

 

State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today issued the following statement in response to the latest in a string of incidents where she and other black women lawmakers have been subjected to additional security measures when entering the Ohio Statehouse and other government office buildings. Upon entering the Riffe Center in Columbus last week, security officials stopped the Akron-area lawmaker despite her presenting her security access badge.