State Transportation, Workers’ Compensation, and Industrial Commission Budget Review
The Ohio Legislature has started hearings on the State Transportation Budget (HB 62) which at this time is a couple sentence placeholder bill with details to follow. The legislation funds the Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio Department of Public Safety. Hearings will soon start on the BWC budget (HB 80) and the Industrial Commission Budget (HB 79). The BWC proposal asks for $15 million in additional funding for the Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program which is used to help employ and keep employees that are in substance abuse recovery. There is also $3 million marked for safety education campaigns to be done around the state. CEA and its lobbying team are reviewing these bills to see about their impacts on the construction industry.
Ohio Inspector General Recommends Changes to EDGE Program
A State inspection found that Ohio’s EDGE program was not able to properly track participants’ eligibility. More than 350 businesses had overstayed the program’s ten year limit. Companies that should have graduated from the program were instead being renewed and allowed to stay in the program. The IG’s report has suggested these changes:
- Review and revise policies to ensure DAS adequately documents, tracks and applies the 10-year eligibility restriction.
- Define and document how the Equal Opportunity Division will calculate what constitutes a 10-year period for the purpose of enforcement.
- Conduct an internal review of the EDGE program to determined which businesses are ineligible based on the 10-year restriction.
- Review and revise policies to ensure DAS collects and documents North American Industry Classification System code from EDGE applicants at initial and recertification states.
- Complete an internal review of the EDGE program to determine eligibility based on the small business size standards.
- Initiate decertification proceedings for those businesses that have exceeded 10 years in the program or no longer meet the economically disadvantaged business requirement.
- Formally notify all participants of eligibility requirements.
- Formally notify all states agencies of any corrective actions and how they may affect the agencies' EDGE participation and usage credit.
- Consider a review of EOD staffing, budget and tracking system upgrades to assist in enforcing the program's requirements.
- Provide additional training to employees on the EDGE program and its restrictions.
At this time, the report findings reside in the Ohio Department of Administrative Services which is on the clock for a sixty day review period and response to the findings.
CEA and its lobbying team are working with industry partners to craft legislation that supports reasonable reform that allows subcontractors the ability to receive payment in a timely manner for completed work while protecting the responsibilities of the general contractors and owners.
County To Undertake Disparity Study
Per County ordinance, the County must undertake a disparity study periodically. It is that time again as the County has hired Griffin & Strong P.C. a company based out of Atlanta, Georgia for a disparity study to support a Minority and Women owned Business Enterprise Program. The contract runs until 12/31/2019. The County’s Office of Procurement and Diversity will be involved. The data being evaluated will cover a five year period. The process to gather data usually takes about a year.