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Government & Politics

Deadline for Transportation Budget Passes Without a New Spending Plan

photo of Mike DeWine with Larry Obhof and Larry Householder
Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina, left) stands alongside Gov. Mike DeWine during DeWine's first State of the State speech in March. House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) is on DeWine's right.

The deadline for a new state transportation budget with a gas tax hike came and went at midnight – without a new spending plan being signed. Lawmakers are coming back this week hoping to work it out.

Senate President Larry Obhof says the most significant disagreement continues to be the increase in taxes on gasoline and diesel – the House and Gov. Mike DeWine have agreed on 11 cents for gasoline and 20 cents on diesel, but the Senate wants 8.5 cents for gas and 13 cents for diesel. Obhof said talks are continuing past the Sunday midnight deadline, since the current budget’s funding will continue.

“We actually had an interim budget prepared if we needed to do one, but we believe that everything will continue running and that things are going to be fine.”

The transportation budget doesn’t take effect till July 1. Both sides have agreed on public transit funding at $70 million a year but are still on a front license plate requirement and fees on electric and hybrid vehicles.