Ohio Public Construction Law Amendments to Take Effect as of September 10, 2012

As a result of recent legislative actions, Ohio contractors will see changes to certain public bidding requirements, competitive bid thresholds and prevailing wage thresholds as well as a change in the statute of limitations in connection with written contracts.
Effective September 10, 2012, Ohio Revised Code §§2909.32 and 2909.33 will be repealed, eliminating the requirement that bidders on public projects submit a “Declaration of Material Assistance/Nonassistance to a Terrorist Organization” to the Director of Public Safety before being permitted to apply for a state contractor’s license or enter into any public contracts.
Effective September 28, 2012, Ohio Revised Code §307.86 will be amended to increase the value for County purchase, lease or construction contracts that are subject to the competitive bidding requirements contained in the Ohio statutes. As of the effective date of revised §307.86, any contract with a County Board of Commissioners with a cost in excess of $50,000 is to be procured through competitive bidding. The statute does not apply; however, to contracts for personal services, including architects, attorneys, professional engineers and construction project managers, and is subject to other exceptions contained in §307.86.
Effective September 29, 2012, all public contracts for new construction valued at $200,000 or greater will be subject to Prevailing Wage Laws as published by the Ohio Department of Commerce. This is an increase from the current $125,000 contract value. All public contracts for reconstruction valued at $60,000 or greater will also be subject to Prevailing Wage Laws. This is an increase from the current $38,000 contract value. According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, these contract value thresholds will again be increased to $250,000 and $75,000, respectively, as of September 29, 2013.
Substitute Senate Bill 224, signed by Ohio Governor Kasich in June, amends Ohio Revised Code §2305.06, shortening the statute of limitations for bringing a cause of action upon a contract or agreement in writing.  Effective September, 28, 2012, a plaintiff has eight (8) years from when the cause of action arises to file suit in Ohio or the action on a written contract will be barred.
For additional information regarding any of these changes to Ohio law, please contact Rob Remington, HL Construction Law Practice Group Chair.