Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) 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. Despite the increase, Democrats said the bill does not go far enough to meet the needs of Ohio workers, businesses and the state’s economic recovery. Rep. Hicks-Hudson voted against the bill.
“While many call this a jobs bill, it is not a true jobs bill for Toledoans who need public transit to get to jobs. A simple amendment was defeated which would have allowed local control and an opportunity to expand TARTA's territory. I decided to stand up for our community,” said Rep. Hicks-Hudson.
Democrats secured several other wins to improve the legislation, including:
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.
After passing the House, the transportation budget moves to the Senate for consideration.