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Ghanbari Backs Historic Transportation Budget

The General Assembly approved the bill Wednesday, sending it to the governor
March 29, 2023
Haraz N. Ghanbari News

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State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) supported House Bill 23 during a House vote Wednesday, which invests a historic $13.5 billion into the state’s infrastructure. Both chambers approved the finalized version of the bill during their respective sessions.

Ghanbari, who serves on the House Finance committee, served a key role in vetting the legislation.

“I continue to prioritize our state’s infrastructure and public safety,” Ghanbari said. “This bill provides significant investments to improve our roads, bridges, and much more. As a result, we’ll be seeing more jobs and improved roadways for residents and businesses alike throughout Wood County and the entire state.”

The legislation is the largest commitment of highway infrastructure spending in Ohio history with $13.5 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. The investments will help local contractors and small businesses create jobs and expand their workforces across the state.                                    
  • 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 $15 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.
  • Requiring that PUCO examines both current uses of and best practices for use of the following railroad safety technologies and will submit an information report within 90 days.
  • Mandating that an operator be notified of a wayside detector system defect. Requires DOT and PUCO to ensure the messages are sent and that investigations are conducted.
  • Requiring that a train must have a two-person crew related solely for safety.
  • Changes the way that force accounts are managed for the first time in over 20 years that provides for greater flexibility for local municipalities on road projects to manage costs and bid out projects.
  • Allowing for the permanent registration of noncommercial trailers.
  • Reduces the registration fee for a plug-in hybrid vehicle from $200 to $150 effective January 1, 2024.

The legislation now moves to the governor for consideration.