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Patton Leads Historic Transportation Budget through General Assembly

Patton declares the legislation a 'huge jobs bill'
March 29, 2023
Thomas F. Patton News

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State Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville), who is Chair of the Finance Subcommittee on Transportation, led the historic transportation budget bill through the General Assembly as it was approved by both chambers on Wednesday. 

“I’m proud to have been a part of this complex process to deliver this historic transportation budget for our state,” said Patton. “We’re moving Ohio forward with this huge jobs bill that’s going to enhance safety, infrastructure, and our economy for future generations.”

House Bill 23 is Ohio’s largest funding commitment for highway infrastructure and the largest jobs bill in Ohio history with $13.5 billion in investments. Additionally, Patton sat on the conference committee for the bill that finalized differences between the two chambers.

Specifically, Patton reinserted language to increase public safety in Brunswick and Strongsville that requires ODOT to ensure that limited access exit and entrance ramps to interstate highways exist at least every 4.5 miles in adjacent municipal corporations. This will be enforced if each city has a population above 35,000, they are located in different counties, and at least one of the cities is in a county with a population above one million.

Key components of the legislation include:

·         $2.2 billion for pavement, $717 million for bridges, $360 million for dedicated safety upgrades, and $1.5 billion for large, capacity adding projects like those that are reconfiguring our urban interstates. The investments will help local contractors and small businesses create jobs and expand their workforces across the state.                                    

·         Funding the Brent Spence Corridor project, reinforcing the critical role Ohio plays in the nation’s supply chain.  

·         Requiring the Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) and the Environmental Protection Agency to create and submit a report to the General Assembly within 90 days of the effective date on the transportation of hazardous materials and waste in the state.

·         Requiring that PUCO examines both current uses of and best practices for use of the following railroad safety technologies and will submit an information report within 90 days.

·         Mandating that an operator be notified of a wayside detector system defect.  Requires DOT and PUCO to ensure the messages are sent and that investigations are conducted.

·         Requiring that a train must have a two-person crew related solely for safety.

·         Changes the way that force accounts are managed for the first time in over 20 years that provides for greater flexibility for local municipalities on road projects to manage costs. 

·         Reducing the registration fee for a plug-in hybrid vehicle from $200 to $150 effective January 1, 2024.

House Bill 23 now heads to the governor for his consideration.