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Akron, Ohio

State Again Attacks Home Rule

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City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of stephanie york
Published: 03-17-2015

 

              

               Akron, Ohio (March 17, 2015) –              The Senate’s latest Amendment to the transportation budget bill forces Ohio’s cities to choose between hiring residents and borrowing State money at lower interest rates.  Specifically, the Senate’s version of the bill would prohibit the distribution of state or federal funds to a public agency that has local hiring goals.  To the extent that the prohibition includes loans, which Ohio cities rely upon for low interest funding for large projects including Akron’s combined sewer overflow project (CSO), the effect on large city projects could be staggering.

            “The State should not be trying to control City projects that are funded solely with City funds, including loans that are repaid with local taxpayer dollars,” said Mayor Don Plusquellic.  “The State is famous for railing against Washington, arguing that ‘big government’ should not interfere with the State’s right to govern itself.  Now State officials are doing the same thing to its cities.  The State has interjected itself into areas that have historically been locally regulated, falling under the category of “home rule” or a city’s right to local self government, including banning residency requirements, banning local licensing of ambulance companies, severely restricting the use speed cameras in school zones, and banning local oil & gas regulations.  This is a direct attack by the State on the City’s right to hire residents for projects paid for by the residents.  All Ohio cities should be outraged.”

            The language is not the same as the transportation bill provision that was removed from the House version after State Representative Emilia Sykes, City representatives, and Union leaders spoke out against the bill.

            Mayor Plusquellic has been very proactive about requiring contractors working on Akron’s CSO projects to hire Akron residents, and about training Akron residents for the specific work needed.  Through the State’s Ohio Water Development Authority, Akron has received lower-interest state loans for its CSO projects, with the State distributing over $145M in loans to date.

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For further information, contact:
stephanie york
communications director
Phone: 330-375-2345
E-mail: syork@akronohio.gov

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