Senate Democrats Vote For State Transportation Budget
Pleased with additional funding for public transportation

Columbus—Today, all the members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus voted for the state transportation budget (House Bill 26) after more funding for public transportation was added to the bill.  The version of HB 26 that unanimously passed the Senate included an additional $30 million over the next two fiscal years for public transportation investments.  Those investments include new buses for transportation systems across the state.
After the vote, Democratic Senators issued the following comments:
Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni
“This year’s transportation budget provides a long overdue funding increase for Ohio’s public transit systems.  However, I am concerned about the change made by the Senate that would allow the Public Utilities Commission to approve increases to the fees gas companies can collect for economic development. The state should play a bigger role in paying for natural gas infrastructure development – not the ratepayers.”
Assistant Senate Minority Leader Charleta B. Tavares
"The Senate Democratic caucus wanted a budget that would provide support to our existing infrastructure while also expanding public transportation. We appreciate that an additional $15 million each year will be provided to help fund public transit throughout the state. We are also proud of the 19% increase in funding for construction and maintenance of roads in our metropolitan parks. However, the budget still falls short in finding a way to ensure that vehicles that run on alternative fuels contribute to the infrastructure needs of our public roads, securing permanent state funding for public transit, and taking the necessary steps to make Ohio ready for a multi-modal transportation system that includes passenger rail. Despite the missed opportunities, what is in the transportation budget represents a true bi-partisan effort to provide for the transportation needs of the residents of Ohio."
Minority Whip Edna Brown
“Our transportation budget funds crucial aspects of Ohio, such as our port authorities, our bridges, our buses, and our roads. And while I am happy today to have helped pass this budget, I believe that our state can do more and needs to do more to invest in our transportation infrastructure. Public transportation needs special attention in our rural, suburban, and urban places. I, along with my fellow Democratic members, fought hard for adequate funding—funding that we know creates economic growth.”
Senator Kenny Yuko
(D-Richmond Heights)
"While there is certainly room for improvement, I am proud of the progress we've achieved.  I am disappointed that the committee did not fully acknowledge the Statewide Transit Needs Study’s advice that we increase funding for public transit. I will continue to find a way to improve the funding for all public transportation, which is incredibly important for all citizens of Ohio, and will help attract new businesses and people to work and live in our state."
Senator Michael Skindell
"I am glad to see the additional $30 million included in the Transportation Budget for public transit. However, a better investment in affordable public transportation will best serve the needs of all citizens. By providing a more robust system, the state can more adequately promote self-sustainability and independence. "

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