COLUMBUS- In a bipartisan 83-13 vote, the Ohio House today approved the proposed budget plans for the Ohio Department of Transportation and several other state agencies. House Bill (HB) 26, the $7.8 billion transportation bill, largely funds infrastructure projects and public safety programs over the next two fiscal years.
"House Bill 26, which received significant bipartisan support, provides funding for vital services such as public safety, the Ohio public works program and critical infrastructure throughout the state of the Ohio," said Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake). "While there are areas of the bill that I think could have been addressed differently, at the end of the day I believe HB 26 will ensure roads are repaved, bridges repaired, and jobs are created – all positive impacts that contribute to vibrant communities."
Rep. Rogers offered an amendment on the House floor to hold local public transit systems harmless from cuts due to proposed changes to the Medicaid managed-care organization (MCO) tax. However, his amendment was tabled along largely partisan lines.
"There is an ongoing awareness of the need for improved public transportation throughout the state," said Rogers. "Local communities and public transit systems are currently facing another round of cuts due to proposed changes to the MCO tax. I am disappointed my amendment was tabled, as it would have ensured public transit authorities had the resources necessary to continue helping men and women get to and from work every day."
In addition to investing almost $8 billion, House Bill 26 also includes several other notable changes related to Ohio infrastructure and transportation, including:
* Establishes a Division of Freight within the Department of
* Increases an earmark for Transportation Improvement Districts from $3.5 million per year to $4.5 million
* Establishes a two-year pilot program in Clinton, Lucas, Montgomery and Stark counties to reduce commercial vehicle registrations from $30 to
$15 and requires the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to study the effect of lowering commercial trailer fees.
House Bill 26 now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.