The budget process is a long, extensive job for state legislators here in Ohio. However, I am proud to announce that the first piece of the puzzle has been passed out of the Ohio House: the transportation and public safety budget. House Bill 53, sponsored by my colleague Representative Cheryl Grossman, was voted unanimously out of our chamber and will go on to the Ohio Senate for further evaluation. 


This bill allocates $7 billion dollars total for this portion of the budget, most of which comes from motor vehicle fuel taxes and fees. Of that total, about $5.9 billion will be going to our Ohio Department of Transportation, with $5 billion going directly towards road construction and maintenance. These are needed funds for ensuring safe, reliable travel for Ohioans. The rest of the money will be going to the Department of Public Safety, the Public Works Commission and other state agencies involved in these related fields.


My contribution to the bill was an amendment that was accepted and made part of the bill.  The amendment is a provision that will require the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to accept electronic payment by credit and debit cards.  This is common practice in today’s business world and will offer a convenient option of payment for Ohio’s drivers.


Additionally, HB 53 sets up a legislative task force to study how we as a state will pay for road work and repairs in the future. This would provide welcome research and analysis that is needed to adequately and responsibly fund state road projects. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am thrilled to see that work is being done in this area and I hope to see this make it through to the final version of the budget.


As we work on the rest of the budget bills, I will keep my constituents in Summit County in mind. I am excited to see the passage of this good piece of legislation, and look forward to continued work on the state budget.


As always, please contact my office on this and any other state government related issues. You can reach us at Rep36@ohiohouse.gov or by calling (614) 466-1790.

 
 
 
  
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