Senators agree on infrastructure bill to the delight of Ohio labor groups

Thanks to efforts by President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, Ohio labor leaders are anticipating an influx of infrastructure projects, including road construction, broadband expansion and more.

Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Mike Knisley shared his excited anticipation and hopes lawmakers can come to an agreement on a meaningful infrastructure plan in the near future. Knisley discussed this and more on today’s episode of AWF Union Podcast.

Florida condo building collapse

Knisley said the Florida condo collapse incident was a tragedy and he sympathizes with the families involved.

The incident may have been avoidable, however. Knisley questioned why the fairly new building collapsed. He said it is possible that its beachfront location contributed to the collapse, adding that sand from the ocean could have found its way into the material of the building, causing fractures and splits.

He also said the minimal regulations in the state could have contributed. The lack of building standards and trained tradesmen and tradeswomen on many job sites create potentially hazardous situations.

Work in Ohio

Knisley said work in Ohio is still strong. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed things down, but there were very few shutdowns. He credited Governor Mike DeWine for taking the pandemic seriously and being an advocate of instituting protocols early.

Gov. DeWine recently signed the latest budget, setting in place Ohio’s investments for the coming year. Knisley is pleased with the budget and the money it provides for infrastructure projects and more.

Bipartisan infrastructure deal

Knisley expressed frustration with federal politicians who can’t seem to agree on an infrastructure bill. This is one of the few areas where support is normally bipartisan. He also noted the popularity of infrastructure legislation amongst voters.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill is watered down and does not achieve all Knisley wished it would. He said it is a step in the right direction and it’s good to see some compromise amongst lawmakers.


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