Law Banning Residency Requirements Struck Down by Appeals Court

Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals struck down House Bill 180 as unconstitutional, which means chartered municipalities throughout Ohio can impose residency requirements on certain public construction projects.

The victory means cities such as Toledo can legally impose residency requirements on certain public construction projects, helping create jobs for affiliated members of the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades who live in Toledo, which also helps keeps tax dollars in the city.

The City of Cleveland took the State of Ohio to court after the legislature passed HB 180 in May 2016. The law banned chartered municipalities from enforcing local hiring requirements, such as Cleveland’s Fannie Lewis Law, on certain publicly-funded construction projects.

Cleveland won a temporary restraining order on Aug. 30, the day before H.B 180 was to go into effect. Since then, the bill worked its way through the court system, up to the 8th District Court of Appeals.

“The Court made the right decision by allowing cities to impose residency requirements on certain projects,” said Northwest Ohio Building Trades Council Executive Secretary/Business Manager Shaun Enright. “Toledo and other cities within our region have the right to ensure a portion of their residents are part of the construction crews that work in their cities.”

Toledo has utilized residency requirements on a number projects, which mandated a percentage of construction workers on these projects must be city residents. This law has helped create hundreds of jobs for Toledo residents, while also helping to further community pride and keeping tax dollars in the city.

In the decision, Judge Sean C. Gallagher, Jr. wrote, “H.B. 180 was not advanced by a labor or worker group.  It was advanced by a contractor association, not for the benefit of workers, but to benefit their interests.  The contractors’ interest is in streamlining contract interactions with municipalities by limiting the ability of municipal governments to place terms or requirements on public contracts that are awarded within those municipal jurisdictions.”

According to the Plain Dealer, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s office did not know whether they would appeal the ruling to the Ohio Supreme Court.

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