COLUMBUS—The Ohio Senate passed legislation on Wednesday investing $7.8 billion to fund the construction and maintenance of the state's transportation system. The bill also enhances safety, promotes commerce and puts tens of thousands of Ohioans to work.

“This budget represents a significant investment in our state’s infrastructure, and in a fiscally responsible way,” said State Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township). "It's about more than just state highways and bridges; I am particularly pleased that the Senate has enhanced state support for public transit, and for local projects."

Passed by the Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support, House Bill 26 provides funding for the Ohio Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety, Public Works Commission and Development Services Agency.

“These appropriations will not only put thousands of Ohioans to work over the next two years, but will also improve the attractiveness of Ohio as a place to live, work and raise a family." added Eklund.

Among the bill's provisions included in the Senate-passed version:

  • Additional Funding to Local Governments: Allocates an additional $48 million in funding over the biennium from the existing motor fuel tax revenue to counties and municipalities for the improvement of local roads and bridges. This is above the $124 million proposed by the Administration.
  • Maintaining Ohio's Bridges: Reauthorizes the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program which is a construction initiative designed to provide resources for county bridge projects.
  • Bringing Business Back to Ohio: Reduces the registration fee for high-volume, commercial vehicle fleets, encouraging this business to stay in Ohio, resulting in more job opportunities and economic development in Ohio's trucking and commercial vehicle industry. It also modernizes and streamlines the current registration process.
  • Enhanced Consumer Protections: Requires any entity other than the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to use a prominent disclaimer about fees charged for services that are already provided by authorized local registrars.
  • Increasing Efficiency: Allows townships and municipal corporations to enter into agreements to share services as it relates to maintenance, repair and the improvement of their roads by creating joint road districts.
  • More Funding for Public Transit: At least $33 million per year will be invested in public transit options across the state. The bill also directs an additional $15 million from an existing emissions settlement towards public transit vehicles powered by clean energy.

House Bill 26 now proceeds to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

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