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Government & Politics

Ohio House Speaker Says Maintaining Roads Comes Before Public Transit

photo of Larry Householder
Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder, who said maintaining roads takes priority over funding for public transit.

Advocates for public transportation say they’re concerned that there’s no one from that sector on Gov. Mike DeWine’s committee that will recommend how to find money for major road construction projects. That group meets this week. Public transit might not be top of mind for the Ohio House leader either.

DeWine has said public transit advocates will have opportunities to testify before the commission.  But Republican House Speaker Larry Householder says maintaining current roads and bridges is the top priority, and then the state could look at other infrastructure needs that might bring economic opportunities.

“After that, is when I think we have to look at sort of the icing on top of the cake – what else are we capable of doing, if anything, and that would include public transit and all the other technologies that are out there," Householder said.

Householder was speaker when the gas tax was last hiked in 2003, and he says all options are on the table, and that he views a gas tax as a user fee – suggesting he might not be opposed to an increase.