Pavliga Supports Historic $12.6 Billion Transportation Budget
State Rep. Gail Pavliga (R-Portage County) supported House Bill 23 on Wednesday, which is the historic transportation budget legislation investing $12.6 billion into the state’s infrastructure. The legislation was passed by the Ohio House during the vote.
Pavliga played an important role during the legislative process of the bill as a member of the House Finance Committee.
“During this new General Assembly, it’s been a priority of mine to create jobs and enhance our workforce – this transportation budget is a huge jobs bill,” said Pavliga. “We’re simultaneously improving our state’s infrastructure and rural transportation routes to employment centers in order to create more jobs and boost our economic development here in Portage County and across the state.”
The legislation is the largest commitment of highway infrastructure spending in Ohio history with $12.6 billion in funding for Ohio’s transportation system over the next two years.
Other key components of the bill include:
- Funding $2.2 billion for pavement, $717 million for bridges, $360 million for dedicated safety upgrades, and $1.5 billion for large, capacity adding projects such as reconfiguring urban interstates.
- Creating the Rural Highway Fund, $1 billion in new money focused solely on projects that add capacity or reduce commute times to employment centers in counties that do not have a municipality over 65,000 residents.
- Providing reliable transportation routes for workers in rural parts of the state who otherwise might be forced to relocate in order to gain employment.
- Finding faster ways to connect areas of the state by funding the Strategic Transportation and Development Analysis to study links between Columbus and Sandusky and Columbus and Toledo.
- Investing $14 million to establish the Ohio Workforce Mobility Partnership Program, which allows one or more regional transit authorities (RTA) to work together to provide service for the workforce between the territories and supporting the employment needs of economically significant employment centers.
- Requiring the Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) and the Environmental Protection Agency to create and submit a report to the General Assembly within 90 days of the effective date on the transportation of hazardous materials and waste in the state.
- Mandating that an operator be notified of a wayside detector system defect. Requires DOT and PUCO to ensure the messages are sent.
- Requiring that a train must have a two-person crew related solely for safety.
- Preventing park districts being pulled into an improvement district without consent to standardize the practice used by other local government entities.
- Clarifying that the prohibition of counties and townships using traffic cameras applies only to enforcement of red light or speeding violations and not the detection and enforcement of criminal offenses.
- Allowing for the permanent registration of noncommercial trailers.
The legislation now moves to the Senate for further consideration and deliberations.