COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 7, legislation that creates the H2Ohio trust fund and establishes a state trust to fund the preservation and restoration of Ohio’s lakes and rivers.

The legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson), will provide a long-term plan for Ohio, creating a secure, sustainable funding stream for the protection of water quality. The state budget bill, House Bill 166, included $86 million for the first two years of H2Ohio, as well as language creating an advisory board for the program.

“Protecting Ohio’s water quality is extremely important,” said Speaker Householder. “The Ohio House is committed to supporting the Governor’s H2Ohio initiative. Ohio’s lakes and rivers are a vibrant part of our state and this legislation creates a long-term plan to protect them.”

House Bill 7 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.

“The nearly unanimous Floor vote for priority House Bill 7 underscores the importance of a strong bipartisan commitment to the protection, preservation, and restoration of Ohio’s fresh water lakes and rivers,” said Rep. Ghanbari. “Today’s commitment is a generational investment that will serve as a model for other states across the country. It’s was an honor to be the primary author of this legacy piece of legislation alongside my Democrat colleague Representative Paterson.”

HB 7 passed the Ohio House with 90 affirmative votes and 3 negative votes and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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