DeWine approves $1.3 billion in capital projects

On June 19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 481, which re-appropriated nearly $1.3 billion in capital projects and saved tens of thousands of construction jobs, including jobs for members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 24.

The legislation, which was passed by both houses earlier in June, provided funding for a variety of construction and renovation work for numerous colleges and universities, sports complexes and arts organizations around the state.

The re-appropriation bill predominantly covered higher education projects, including renovation or new construction of dorms, classrooms and other campus facilities. Besides college projects, professional soccer stadiums in Columbus and Cincinnati also received funds, as well.

The $100 million stadium in Columbus is being built under a Community Benefits Agreement.

The project remains on schedule, despite the coronavirus pandemic. The first steel beam was set into place on May 15. The entire steel frame will be completed later this year, followed by the canopy’s completion likely in late fall.

The governor is also expected to sign Senate Bill 4 later in July, which will replace the traditional two-year capital spending bill. Due to plummeting tax revenues related to the pandemic, lawmakers issued a mini-capital bill instead of the traditionally larger bill.

This legislation includes $555 million for schools and infrastructure projects statewide.

S.B. 4 authorizes the state to issue up to $300 million in bonds for K-12 school construction projects through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission during the next two fiscal years.

It also permits the Ohio Public Works Commission to issue $255 million in bonds, including $175 million for the State Capital Improvement Program, an initiative to support local infrastructure projects. Another $37.5 million will go to the Clean Ohio Conservation Program.

The Senate Bill is expected to create thousands of jobs for members of Ohio’s building trades.

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