In a bipartisan 83-13 vote, the Ohio House recently approved the proposed budget plans for the Ohio Department of Transportation and several other state agencies. House Bill 26, the $7.8 billion transportation bill, largely funds infrastructure projects and public safety programs over the next two fiscal years. 


“The House passage of HB 26 is a good step toward resolving our critical infrastructure issues,” said Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo). “However, our work is not finished—we will need additional investment and more effort and collaboration on both sides of the aisle to meet all of Ohio’s pressing transportation needs, including the need for more robust public transit systems in our urban areas.”


Democratic lawmakers offered several amendments on the House floor, including proposals to change the failure to display a front license plate from a primary to a secondary offense; strengthen Ohio’s motor voter law compliance; require counties who want increase license registrations by $5 to place the increase on the ballot; and hold local public transit systems harmless from cuts due to proposed changes to the Medicaid managed-care organization (MCO) tax. However, each amendment was tabled along largely partisan lines.


In addition to investing almost $8 billion, House Bill 26 also includes several notable changes related to Ohio infrastructure and transportation:



  • Establishes a Division of Freight within the Department of Transportation.

  • 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. 

 
 
 
  
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