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SUPCO Strikes Down "Fannie's Law"

Sep 25, 2019

The Ohio Supreme Court struck down a Cleveland law requiring public works construction projects to hire city residents for 20 percent of the work, or the city could cut their contract price by 2.5 percent. 

Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Four justices agreed with state solicitor Ben Flowers, who argued before them in March that the state was right to approve a law in 2016 that invalidated Cleveland’s so-called Fannie Lewis Law, passed in 2003. He pointed to a previous ruling upholding the state law that banned cities from requiring employees to be residents, saying the state should protect a worker’s freedom to choose where to live.

“Laws like Fannie Lewis, with a quota, do not because the non-resident is at a disadvantage as to 20 percent of the labor hours.”

 

But Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor wrote that the state law violates the home-rule provision in the Ohio Constitution. The court’s two Democrats, Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart, joined in that dissent.