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Rep. West statement on transportation budget passage

Says bill a step in the right direction to meet the needs of people, businesses, state's economic recovery
March 4, 2021
Thomas West News

Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) 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. West voted in favor of the bill, which now heads to the Senate for consideration.

“As with many bills this General Assembly passes, HB 74 makes some progress toward where we should be as a state,” said Rep. West. “However, we still have an urgent need for a dedicated, reliable source of public transit funding. Efforts my colleagues and I made to that end were not successful, but we will continue our advocacy in the future. Individuals deserve to have adequate access to the public transportation they need in order to get to work, the grocery store, their child’s daycare, or wherever else they need to go in their daily lives.”

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.