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Ohio Senate Considers Withholding Money From Projects With Local Hiring Goals

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The Ohio Senate has inserted language into a state transportation bill that would limit what cities can do to ensure contractors on their projects hire local residents. The Senate language would forbid any state or federal funds from going to public projects with local hiring goals.

It’s similar to language that was stripped from the House version of the bill last month after Akron officials traveled to Columbus to protest.

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic calls state officials hypocrites.

“There is an issue, in my opinion, with people who philosophically, politically, any other way you want to say it in Columbus claim that they’re against big government … and then from big government on high in Columbus they dictate to what a city can do,” he said.

It’s unclear if the new Senate language would affect Akron’s $1.4 billion sewer overhaul because the project will be paid for by local sewer customers – though done in part with state loans.