Ohio Statehouse May Kill Cleveland's $15 Minimum Wage Ballot Measure

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The Ohio Statehouse is busy in this lame-duck session. Last night, the House teed up a measure that would eliminate Clevelanders' opportunity to vote on the proposed $15/hour minimum wage hike.

The minimum wage issue in Cleveland is set for a May 2017 special election.

Like we reported this week, legislators slipped that move into an unrelated bill that will allow pet stores in Ohio to sell puppies from puppy mills. Both measures — the bill itself and the new minimum wage amendment — seek to strip local municipalities of "home rule," their ability to regulate what happens within their bounds (outside of and apart from state law).

Council President Kevin Kelley has vigorously urged the state to crack down on this ballot initiative. "I've expressed my concerns to members of the General Assembly about the harm this would bring upon Cleveland's economy," he told Cleveland.com. "And I've told them I would welcome any help that the state could offer." (Earlier this year, Kelley used a Judge John O'Donnell endorsement meeting to bash the state government for infringing on municipalities' ability to pass their own laws.)

Expect this bill — SB 331 — to be fast-tracked. A House Finance Committee vote will come this morning, followed by a trip to the House floor. Note that SB 331 has been kicked around from Senate to House for months. This new measure has received zero public or representative input.

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