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OSFC OKs Funding for 9 Projects

The Ohio School Facilities Commission voted Thursday to approve $193 million in state funding toward nine projects totaling nearly $500 million in construction work.

 

Contingent on Controlling Board approval, the state funding will be combined with $303 million in local-share money from the nine participating districts, who must raise their local amount within 13 months.

The commission's action provides funding for projects in the following districts: Ayersville Local, Champion Local, Chillicothe City, Cuyahoga Falls City, Firelands Local, Lake Local, Poland Local, Reading Community City and Southwest Local.

 

"This is a critical step in ensuring that our children are in new or renovated facilities that help support academic achievement," said OSFC Executive Director David Chovan in a statement. "There is also a significant economic impact attached to today's commission action - the construction work generated by this project could translate into both job opportunities for local residents and increased purchases of goods and services from local businesses." 

House Committee Hears Architect Board's CE Bill (HB243)

The Ohio House State Government Committee took testimony June 25 with regard to HB243, an AIA Ohio supported bill to make changes governing the architects board and the landscape architects board regarding continuing education requirements.

Rep. Schaffer offered sponsor testimony on the bill, which revises the law regarding architect training.

He said the bill will bring Ohio's continuing education (CE) requirements for architects and landscape architects into alignment with national trends and will give the state boards more control over CE requirements.

"Ohio's CE requirements are currently in conflict with model law set forth by the respective national associations, which is used in most other states," he said, noting the reason for this request is an issue that arose during the Landscape Architects Board five-year rule review with the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) in 2014.

"JCARR's position is that the board did not have authority to change the types of activities which qualified for CE credit. After almost a decade of experience with mandatory continuing education, both boards have found that some of the activities do not constitute the acquisition of new knowledge," he said. "For example, one license applicant submitted a book that they had written 20 years ago to try to qualify for CE credit. Others have submitted irrelevant community service as continuing education credit. JCARR has insisted that these activities remain in the rules as options."

He said the Ohio Architects Board and the Ohio Landscape Architects Board would like to fix their language in the same fashion.

 

"By adopting the model law set forth by the national trade associations, Ohio will have standards that more clearly define CE activities that are related to the health, safety and welfare of the public and the profession," Schaffer said. 

Legislature to Prohibit Residency Requirements for Architects and Contractors (HB180 & SB152)

Both the Ohio House and Senate have passed companion bills designed to wipe out rules in Cleveland, Akron and elsewhere requiring that a certain amount of local workers be hired for publicly funded design and construction projects.

The Ohio House passed a ban 61-31 on June 30, five days after the Senate passed its own identical version. The legislature will wait until the fall to decide which of the two bills to send to Gov. John Kasich.

A local hiring quota ban was previously added to the state's two-year budget plan (HB64). But state Sen. Sandra Williams, a Cleveland Democrat, reportedly got that language removed at the last minute as a condition of voting for the budget bill

For 11 years, Cleveland's "Fannie Lewis" law has required that local residents perform 20 percent of work on all city construction projects costing $100,000 or more.  Akron requires contractors bidding on its $1.4 billion sewer project to hire half of their workers locally by 2018.

Opponents of such quotas say they often make it harder to hire the best people. And because out-of-state companies don't have to abide by such rules, residency quota critics say they put Ohio contractors at a disadvantage.

Labor organizations argue that non-residents will crowd out local residents on local construction jobs and that many of the losers will be from low income neighborhoods.

Both House and Senate bills passed mostly along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor.

Prohibiting Resident Quotas for Contractors and Design Professionals (SB152)

 

The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee June 25 approved SB 152, which would prohibit a public authority from requiring a contractor to employ a certain number or percentage of laborers from the public authority's defined geographic area or service area for the construction or professional design of a public improvement.

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  • Legislative Issues

    AIA Ohio’s Legislative affairs program provides information and leadership through advocacy and monitoring of legislation and regulations at the state level.  By collaborating with allied professionals, industry representatives, code officials, and state and local representatives, AIA Ohio strives to build strategic alliances to address issues of public health, safety and welfate, design excellence and in advancing the quality of life through the built environment.

    As advocates of innovative approaches to legislation, AIA Ohio advances state regulations that benefit the practice of architecture and promotes good design that positively affects the quality of life of for all citizens of Ohio. Through our efforts, AIA Ohio works to educate the public and legislators on a wide facet of issues relating to architecture including:

    • Qualification Based Selection
    • Historic Preservation
    • Sustainable Design
    • Building Code development and regulation
    • Statute of repose

    Working through our highly qualified staff and experienced membership, AIA Ohio proposes regulations, positions architects as leaders, and tracks and responds to legislation that benefits both architects and users of the built environment alike. Additionally, through our Political Action Committee, we strive to support legislation, and allies in the legislature, that advances the needs of our members.

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