Rep. Patterson Opposes GOP Transportation Bills
Kasich's empty turnpike promises pass House despite bipartisan opposition
March 01, 2013
[ John Patterson Home | John Patterson Press ]

COLUMBUS –State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) released the following statement upon the passage of both House Bill 35 and House Bill 51. The proposals would make changes to Ohio’s transportation laws and create $1.5 billion in new debt against the turnpike.

 “These are bad bills for Ohioans,” said Rep. Patterson. “I voted against the transportation bills today for several reasons. Among them, I believe the 30 year bond deal in the turnpike bill ensures that our children will incur debt for many years to come.”

 “The decision to close all tourism centers across Ohio is reckless and made with apparently little foresight. In the 99th District, our travel center in Conneaut is a gateway for Ohio tourists, and such a closing could be significantly detrimental to northeastern Ohio, just as it has the potential to become a burgeoning tourist destination.”

 “In regard to the transportation budget legislation, I also believe our roads and bridges are in poor enough condition already,” added Rep. Patterson. “By increasing the maximum weight and size of trucks on our roadways, our crumbling infrastructure will see increasing amounts of deterioration. This bill’s law changes, coupled with the cuts in infrastructure funding, will undoubtedly make our roads more unsafe and in some cases unusable.”

 Democrats offered amendments in Finance Committee and on the floor of the House that would guarantee that: 90 percent of turnpike revenue stays in Northern Ohio; tolls are frozen for EZ Pass users; and that all other rates are capped at inflation. House Democrats also sought fund restoration for the state’s travel centers, but all amendments were effectively kept out of the bills by House Republicans. 

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