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Joe Roman on WTAM

Get the details from GCP President and CEO Joe Roman on why the organization is supporting two upcoming ballot issues: An increase in the City of Cleveland’s income tax—which has not been raised in almost 30 years and—and the four-year renewal of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s 15-mill operating levy.

The conversation with “Wills and Snyder” co-host Bill Wills also touches on the GCP’s opposition to a Cleveland-only minimum wage increase and a Cleveland-only part-time workers’ initiative. Both would hinder job creation and business growth in the city. Click to listen.

GCP/COSE urge long-term reforms to make unemployment compensation fund solvent

Greater Cleveland Partnership Board member Mike Stanek (above photo), who also chairs the COSE Board, provided testimony last week in Columbus before the Unemployment Compensation Reform Joint Committee regarding challenges related to unemployment on behalf of impacted GCP/COSE member businesses.

Testimony by Stanek, who is also chief financial officer of Hunt Imaging, and owner, Cleveland Cycle Tours, included comments about the need for change.

“Improvements to the system should ensure the unemployed receive the support needed to re-enter the workforce and also ensure that an unexpected burden on businesses does not happen again due to a future downturn in the economy or recession.

"Our members continue to advocate for long-term reforms that allow the unemployment fund to achieve solvency." Click to read his full testimony.

Amended Cleveland-only minimum wage proposal is still a bad deal

A national organization—interested in advancing its agenda, regardless of the cost that the City of Cleveland and Cleveland residents would incur—has announced that it has finalized language for a Cleveland-only minimum wage ballot measure.

As the public learns more about the Service Employees International Union’s misguided approach and why its minimum wage proposal is a bad deal for Clevelanders, the union amended its original proposal that was sent to Cleveland City Council and rejected by an overwhelming vote.

The new version, which will still only apply to Cleveland, calls for the city’s minimum wage to increase to $12 in the first year, with $1-per-hour annual increases thereafter, until it reaches $15. At that point, the minimum wage would be tied to the cost of living.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership continues to oppose this effort because it puts Cleveland on an unlevel playing field with the rest of the state. Read more.

City Council rejects Cleveland-only minimum wage hike; voters may still decide

Last week, Cleveland City Council voted overwhelmingly—by a vote of 16 to 1—in opposition to the most aggressive minimum wage increase in the country.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine even released an opinion more than a month ago stating that municipalities cannot legally set their own minimum wage.

However, Cleveland’s charter still could provide the initiative’s supporters the opportunity to place the issue—or an amended version—on a future ballot to be decided by the voters. Read more.

Take action to prepare your company for medical marijuana legalization

The Ohio legislature and Governor Kasich pre-empted a campaign to place the legalization of medicinal marijuana on the ballot by approving legislation a couple months ago that technically will—in September—make Ohio the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana.

The good news for employers is specific protections advocated for by the Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE were included in the legislation that passed.

In addition, the Ohio State Bar Association has made several recommendations to employers about how to ensure that your human resources policy clearly states your position on the use of medical marijuana. Read more.

Responding to public transportation funding cuts

In this week's "GCP Insight" video, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority CEO and General Manager Joe Calabrese talks about current and future budget challenges RTA is facing and what is being done to find a solution.

As an immediate action, the RTA Board approved a two-step 25 cents fare hike. Additionally, RTA is facing an $18 budget million cut due to lower sales tax revenue. Click to watch.