Legislative Update - October


The Ohio General Assembly continues their fall legislative session with the current focus on Covid vaccine mandate legislation while the county works on legislation regarding small business, minority and women business enterprise programs. Finally, the City of Cleveland is hearing legislation that, if enacted, would fund renovations to Progressive Field. CEA staff, legislative committee members and lobbyists are working very hard to ensure CEA voices are heard regarding all of these important issues. If you would like more information regarding any of these topics, please contact CEA Executive Vice President, Glen Shumate at 216-398-9860.

Ohio House Continues Hearings On Covid Vaccine Legislation

After much debate and a failed attempt to move HB 248 regarding vaccine mandates, the Ohio House Leadership decided to draft and introduce a bill that they hoped would strike a balance between employer rights to run their businesses and an individual’s choice whether or not to take the COVID vaccine. The leadership bill, HB 435, was put on the fast track and was voted out of the Ohio House Health Committee on the same day it was introduced. However, due to opposition from both Democrats and Republicans, the bill stalled on the House floor and was never brought up for a vote. HB 435 was then re-referred back to committee (House Commerce and Labor) for further debate. HB 435 received two hearings during the week of October 4th but was not scheduled for a vote. 

Cuyahoga County Works On Implementation of Executive Orders

At the time of the writing of this article, the County Council’s Public Works Committee had taken up Ordinance 2021-0013 which deals with the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program, Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) programs, and Women Business Enterprise (WBE) Program policies and procedures. This legislation, if passed, would enact executive orders that Executive Budish outlined at the end of last year. Hearings will continue on this legislation. 

These were the Executive orders in January that the legislation is based from.

Executive Order EO2021-0001
Contract by contract goal setting narrowly tailored to each County project
Definitive Good Faith Effort Criteria
Data collection reform 

Executive Order EO2021-0002
Posting of 24 month purchasing and contracting forecast & annually reoccurring purchases
30 day posting of bid opportunities

Executive Order EO2021-0003
Conduct outreach and training on MBE/WBE Program
MBE/WBE Compliance Program

Executive Order EO2021-0004
Expand the use of the Small Business Set Aside Program

Progressive Field Funding Legislation Is Being Heard By Both the County and City Councils

With the existing lease for Progressive Field due to expire in 2023, the County is considering legislation to approve funding renovations and improvements to Progressive Field. The County would provide $9 million a year for 15 years to assist with significant renovations to the ballpark. The County’s contribution to Progressive Field would come alongside investments from the City of Cleveland, the State and the team totaling $435 million. Reconstruction, refurbishment, renovations, upgrades and additional improvements will be made to the ballpark with these funds, and will also guarantee that the team will stay in Cleveland for at least 15 years.

County Resolutions

R2021-0218: The Office of Budget and Management is requesting an appropriation increase in the amount of $5,250,000. This appropriation request is for a contribution to the Ball Park Improvement Fund established under the indenture authorized by Resolution Number R2021-0219. This will reduce the County’s future obligations. The funding source is the general fund.

R2021-0219: A Resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of one or more series of County sales tax revenue bonds, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $202,500,000, for the purpose of paying or reimbursing the costs of reconstructing, refurbishing, renovating, upgrading, improving and equipping  Progressive Field.  

These resolutions are being heard in Council’s Committee of the Whole. 

Cleveland Ordinance
Ordinance No. 844-2021 
Authorizing execution of a cooperative agreement with the County of Cuyahoga, Gateway Economic Development Corporation of Greater Cleveland, and/or Cleveland Indians Baseball Company, LLC relating to the financing, operations, repair, upkeep, and construction of appropriate modernizations of Progressive Field, and authorizing contribution of City funding.

The legislation was heard in Finance Committee. Legislation approving the deal will still be vetted by several City Council committee. Council President Kevin Kelley said he did not have a particular timeline for when the plan could come up for a final vote. That will depend on how quickly the committees proceed. 

CEA has been in various conversations about how this massive investment in the area can be part of quality construction the region deserves and impact diversity and inclusion.