Ohio Senate Rejects House ban on project Labor Agreements - (5/5/2016)
Ohio Senate rejects House ban on project labor pacts
Local governments can continue to use project labor agreements on
construction projects after the state Senate on Tuesday squashed a
House-passed bill that would have largely banned them.
A House chamber voted 51-42 for a union-related bill that would have
prevented state and local governments from requiring the use of project
labor agreements on projects that include state funding.
The Senate voted 25-8 less than an hour later to reject changes to
Senate Bill 152.
The overwhelming Senate vote, combined with the narrow House vote,
means the bill is probably dead.
11 House Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the bill, which
also would have prohibited cities from imposing residency requirements
for workers on public construction projects.
The vote followed a long, debate in which supporters argued that
project labor agreements increase costs and reduce competition among
those bidding on a project.
"The purpose of this is to put government in the position where it's
unbiased," said Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy. "They are simply saying, `Show
us your bid. All we're going to look at is the actual elements of the
Rep. Kevin Boyce, D-Columbus, said labor agreements secure a better
workforce, add safety to the project and prevent work stoppages over
Rep. Kent Smith, D-Euclid, said a labor agreement got new Euclid schools
opened on time and under budget.
"Why would we want to remove this as a possible tool for all of those
local governments?" Smith said. "Let's let the local communities
They also debated the use of local residency requirements, such as
Akron's requirement of 30 percent local hiring on its $1.4 billion sewer
"People who live in these communities want to access economic benefits
of construction in their neighborhoods," said Rep. Emilia Sykes,
But some Republicans argued that local hiring quotas are a burdensome
requirement and give out-of-state contractors an unfair advantage
because they don't have to follow them.
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