COLUMBUS – Rep. Monique Smith (D-Fairview Park) issued a statement following the passage of House Bill (HB) 74, the state’s two-year transportation budget. Democrats fought against the governor’s proposed cuts to public transit funding in the bill, securing $193.7 million over the next two years, double the governor’s proposed investment. Smith voted in favor of the bill, which now heads to the Senate for consideration.
“Roads, bridges and public transportation are critical infrastructure for every Ohioan. While our governor attempted to slash funding for these investments, I was proud to vote yesterday for the stronger funding," said Rep. Smith. "As we continue to work on the budget, I will keep pushing for funding that puts the needs of Ohio families first and grows opportunities to kick start our economic recovery.”
Other key Democratic wins in the transportation budget include:
· Ensuring fairness and transparency of taxpayer dollars by requiring more highway construction and maintenance projects are subject to competitive bidding;
· Removing the governor’s proposed hikes in vehicle registration and other fees to save Ohioans money;
· Securing funds for public transit vouchers for victims of domestic violence who need help getting to court, medical appointments and school.
Democrats offered a number of amendments on the House floor Thursday, including an amendment to invest an additional $13 million in public transit funds in each of the next two years and other amendments on motor fuel quality testing and tracking gas tax collection data to see where and how funds are spent. However, Republicans rejected each amendment.