Ohio House approves bill striking labor hiring mandate

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio cities, townships, school districts and public universities could no longer require the use of local unionized labor on construction projects under a bill the Ohio House has passed.

The restrictions on project labor agreements were added to a bill banning local hiring quotas on public construction projects. The measure passed the House on a 51-42 vote Wednesday.

Backers say such agreements increase the costs of public-works projects and limit competition. Opponents argue they support local jobs and help stabilize local economies.

House Democrats have noted the Ohio Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting a public entity from requiring project labor agreements for local projects in 2002.

The Senate passed an earlier version of the bill and must agree to the changes before the measure could go to the governor.

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