Ohio transportation budget

photo of Sen. Joe Uecker
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A pair of Republican senators want to keep requiring Ohio vehicles to have front license plates. A new provision that drops that requirement goes into effect next year.

State Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) said law enforcement can use cameras in places such as gas stations, intersections, and school buses to catch criminals. But Uecker said, being able to see a front license plays a crucial role.

Photo of Mike DeWine
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Republican Senate leaders say they plan on making more changes to the transportation budget, which might include making further cuts to the proposed gas tax increase which currently stands at a nearly 11-cent hike. 

DeWine has said his original 18-cent gas tax increase, which would also be indexed to inflation so it could rise, is the bare minimum to maintain and repair roads and bridges.

photo of gas pump
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Senate is preparing to roll out its revised version of the transportation budget, which right now includes a gas tax hike of just under 11 cents. Republican leaders have hinted at some possible changes that could lead to debate among the Senate, House, and governor’s office. 

Gov. Mike DeWine said an 18-cent gas tax increase will help Ohio keep up with major infrastructure costs. The House brought it down to a 10.7-cent increase over a two-year span.

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It’s been a few years, but state lawmakers are trying again to put rules on local traffic cameras, which they’ve said communities are using to generate revenue rather than improve safety.

The new regulations are part of the same budget that would raise the state’s gas tax.

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine doesn’t think there should be a federal hike in the gas tax. 

DeWine said increasing the federal gas tax wouldn’t be good for Ohioans.

“I’d rather for our drivers to pay money and let it stay right here in Ohio with no one taking anything off the top than for us to send it to Washington and let them skim some off and send it back to us.  We are a donor state. We contribute more in federal taxes than we get back in regard to the gasoline tax.”

photo of Larry Householder
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

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.

photo of Ohio lawmakers working on transportation budget
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Republicans in the House and Senate have reached a compromise on the transportation budget. 

The House and Senate went back and forth in a joint committee on a number of issues, especially raising fees.

In the end, the House got its measure allowing counties to hike the vehicle registration fee by $5. Republican Rep. Rob McColley says the fees can provide a boost to local road projects.

“With cars becoming more fuel efficient, people driving less miles, the strain is being put on our local governments and they’ve asked for assistance.”