Cleveland has a message for Ohio legislators: We have the right to make laws on what we prohibit inside our borders, not you.
Last April, Cleveland City Council passed a law to ban restaurants from using cooking oils containing trans fats, as part of its Healthy Cleveland initiative.
On Tuesday, Mayor Frank Jackson filed a complaint in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court that said the legislature’s action infringed on the city’s home rule rights. The city believes that the state’s overriding of that is unconstitutional.
In recent years, the state legislature has passed laws to limit local control over gun control, residency requirements and predatory lending. Cleveland fought back on those issues but was ultimately defeated. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the city did not have the constitutional right to enforce its own gun laws, the right to control predatory lending through the passage of local ordinances, or the right to set residency rules for municipal employees.
The Ohio Restaurant Association is one of the groups opposing Cleveland’s trans fat ban, stating that the new state law will help restaurants expand and create more jobs.
Mayor Jackson was joined at the news conference by council members Phyllis Cleveland and Joe Cimperman. Mr. Cimperman, as chairman of council’s Public Health Committee, has been shepherding the Healthy Cleveland initiative through council. Ms. Cleveland, council majority leader, voted against the trans fat ban last year.
Trans fats have definitively been shown to contribute to heart disease, cancer and Type II diabetes.
A healthier population lowers health costs and will make Cleveland more attractive to employers. Trans fats are harmful to people’s health, and they can be swapped out for healthier fats.
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