State Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Toledo) today voted in favor of sending House Bill 62, the 2020-2021 Transportation Budget, to the Ohio Senate.
“I will always fight to support local governments and vital transportation systems like TARTA here in Toledo. A diverse portfolio of transit options is the only real way to secure the long-term growth of the state,” said Rep. Sheehy. “I am hopeful that the Senate will ensure that equal access to public transit remains a budget priority in Ohio.”
Democrats in the House claimed victory over the inclusion of a $200 million investment in public transportation, a major priority for the caucus in recent years. The new funding marks a turnaround from previous budget cycles, as Ohio currently invests less in public transit than nearly any other state in the nation.
Governor DeWine’s initial proposal sought to head off a several-billion dollar budget shortfall by increasing the state’s motor fuel tax by $0.18 per gallon and indexing the tax to inflation, meaning the tax would likely continue to rise over time.
The House of Representatives responded by passing a more modest 10.7-cent increase that would stay fixed until the legislature takes up the issue again, with a higher percentage of the revenues going directly to local government entities.