COLUMBUS – State Representatives Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) today introduced House Bill 7, legislation that creates the H2Ohio Endowment Board and establishes a state trust to fund the preservation and restoration of Ohio’s lakes and rivers.
“Seventy percent of the world’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives along the water; and 90 percent of the world’s trade moves by the water,” said Representative Ghanbari. “I am thankful my colleague Mr. Patterson has joined me in co-sponsoring this bipartisan piece of legislation, which sends a clear and indisputable message that the Ohio House of Representatives understands the urgency of restoring the vitality of Ohio’s lakes and rivers and ensuring their sustainability for generations to come.”
“This unique approach of establishing a permanent trust, the “H2Ohio Endowment Board,” is the first if its kind in the country to ensure we can continually fund efforts to protect and preserve our precious natural resources.”
House Bill 7 will provide a long-term plan for Ohio, creating a secure, sustainable funding stream for the protection of water quality. The state budget bill approved last week, House Bill 166, included $86 million for the first two years of H2Ohio, as well as language creating an advisory board for the program.
“It is an indisputable fact that water is our most precious natural resource,” said Representative Patterson. “By establishing an endowment fund for the H2Ohio program, we are making an investment in our future for all who would live, work, and play in our great state.”
“I am proud to be a joint-sponsor of bipartisan legislation that supports Gov. DeWine’s initiative to preserve and protect all bodies of water in Ohio for us, our children, and our children’s children.”
HB 7 will now be assigned to a committee and will await its first hearing.