House Votes To Send Transportation Budget To Governor
Investing in infrastructure and utilizing technology to keep Ohio competitive
March 29, 2017
 
[ Ryan Smith Home | Ryan Smith Press ]
 
 

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today approved the conference committee report on the state’s two-year transportation budget, House Bill 26. With approval from both chambers, the bill now awaits Governor John Kasich’s consideration.


House Bill 26, invests more than $7.8 billion over the next two years through creative and financially responsible proposals to both meet Ohio’s current infrastructure needs and position it for continued growth in the future.


“House Bill 26 administers a substantial investment in Ohio’s infrastructure and local communities’ needs while defending the tax dollars of our citizens,” said Rep. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon), the bill sponsor and chair of the Finance Subcommittee on Transportation. “The bill provides innovative solutions for many of our state’s transportation and economic needs and I feel that we are sending a good final product to Governor Kasich.”


House Bill 26 retains the taxation of the motor fuel tax (MFT) at the wholesale level, which ensures that business owners continue to have about a month after purchasing fuel before having to pay tax to the state. The bill also continues to exempt compressed natural gas (CNG) from the motor fuel tax to avoid placing an additional burden on an industry that is still in its early stages.


In an effort to make Ohio's trucking industry more competitive with other states, the bill creates a pilot program in six counties in which registration fees on semis will be cut in half, from $30 to $15, for two years. During that time, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles will be tasked with studying the effectiveness of the pilot program.


“One immediate way that we can add value to our economy is by further developing our infrastructure,” House Finance Chairman Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) said. “This bill invests in our roads and bridges and provides innovative solutions to our modern transportation challenges.”


The bill emphasizes expanding convenience and availability of local services, including: allowing vehicle owners to receive motor vehicle registration notices electronically; permitting a third-party business to advertise in a deputy registrar’s office; and allowing non-government deputy registrars to operate vending machines.


It also authorizes the Department of Transportation to establish variable speed limits that differ from the statutory speed limits on I-670, I-90 near Cleveland and I-275 in Cincinnati. This corresponds in part to various projects in Ohio aimed at expanding the use on technology on roadways. US 33 between Dublin and East Liberty, for example, will be known as the “Smart Mobility Corridor,” a 35-mile stretch designed to foster real-world research into autonomous and connected vehicles.


Other major provisions of the bill following the vote on the conference report include:


• Permitting an unattended vehicle to be running if locked or parked on residential property
• Making the failure to display a front license plate a secondary offense if the car is legally parked
• Allowing the Registrar to increase the transaction fee for deputy registrars to no greater than $5.25
• Allowing the operator of a watercraft to monitor skiers with a mirror and eliminates the requirement that another person is in the watercraft to monitor the skier
• Permitting a county commission to levy a $5 motor vehicle license fee, revenues of which must be used for transportation purposes
• Increasing to $1.50 per month the limit for a natural gas company infrastructure development rider for economic development projects, with the approval of a local development entity
• Increasing the earmark for Transportation Improvement Districts currently in the bill to $4.5 million per year from $3.5 million
• Designating several memorial highways

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Guest Column From Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith: Area Expansions Strengthen The 93rd House District, Ohio

 
Columbus - 

This summer has been a busy one in the 93rd House District, especially considering the steps the area has taken to advance community and business development. As always, I was able to make my rounds to most of our county fairs—one of the true highlights of the season in southern Ohio. It is incredible to see the dedication our 4-H students put into their craft, and I commend them for such devoted civic involvement. In addition to our fairs, I attended groundbreakings for many different industries across the district.



 
 

Guest Column From Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith: Sales Tax Holiday Provides Relief For Parents, Stimulates Economy

 
Columbus - 

Each and every summer, I am shocked at how quickly we seem to get to August. It feels like just yesterday it was snowing, and now we’re weeks away from the start of a new school year. As a father of four, I know firsthand how hectic and expensive this time of the year can be. From figuring out classroom schedules to making time for sports and extracurricular activities, ensuring each of my children are set up to succeed as they begin a new grade isn’t always an easy task.



 
 

Guest Column From Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith: Independence Day Thoughts Inspire New Speakership

 
Columbus - 

A lot has happened up at the Ohio Statehouse in recent weeks. In early June, I was elected by my peers to serve as the 103rd Speaker of the Ohio House, and I hope to be able to represent you and the rest of the 93rd District even better in my new role. Along with this honor comes great responsibility, and we’ve been incredibly busy over the past weeks to pass vital legislation that will impact Ohioans across the state.



 
 

Ohio House Finance Committee Introduces Budget Sub. Bill

 

The Ohio House Finance Committee today introduced Substitute House Bill 64, legislation which outlines the two-year budget proposal for Ohio by making appropriations and providing policy initiatives in various areas such as education, taxes and healthcare.