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Government & Politics

Senate Leader Optimistic About Transporation Budget Negotiations

a photo of Larry Obhof
Larry Obhof (R-Medina) is the president of the Ohio Senate.

State lawmakers are entering a final week of negotiations on the transportation budget.

And the Republican Senate president is saying the competing proposals are closer than they appear, despite big differences on how much the gas tax will increase.

The Senate’s plan would raise the gas tax by 6 cents, generating about $400 million in extra revenue. The House’s 10.7-cent increase and increases to the diesel tax would have created about $872 million in extra revenue.

Obhof says it’s less about the tax rate and more about determining the needs of Ohio’s infrastructure.
“Whether it’s the House, administration, or Senate, I think we’re all focused on the same thing which is making sure that we’re investing in what we can into infrastructure and what we need to in order to promote the best infrastructure possible.”
Gov. Mike DeWine still insists that the state needs an 18-cent gas tax hike in order to fill a widening budget gap. The sides have to reach an agreement by March 31 when the budget must be signed.