House Democrats today supported the final passage of House Bill (HB) 62, the state’s bipartisan two-year transportation budget. The bill makes historic investments in public transit and local communities for road and bridge repairs.
“Democrats were able to come together to make historic investments to improve public transit and allow local communities to rebuild crumbling roads and bridges,” said House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “I am encouraged that moving forward we can continue to work together to put people and communities first to restore the promise of our state.”
HB 62 makes historic investments in local communities, including $140 million for the state’s public transit systems over the next two years, as well as a 12.5 percent increase for the local community share of new gas tax revenue, resulting in over $700 million during the next two years.
“This bill is a good compromise, making substantive investments in our local communities to fix roads and bridges without overburdening working people, seniors and families,” said state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the ranking Democrat on the House budget committee. “The only way we can restore our promise of opportunity for everyday Ohioans is if we work together. Today shows we can still do that.”
The bill also:
- Increases Ohio’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 10 percent to 30 percent of an individual’s federal tax credit and removes a 50 percent EITC cap for those with incomes above $20,000.
- Passes Dallas Swogger Act, which prohibits skateboards from being attached to motor vehicles.
- Creates Emergency Snowfall Fund for communities that receive 18 or more inches in one event.
- Removes the state’s front license plate requirement and creates the Road to Our Future Joint Legislative Committee to study advanced technology to replace the front license plate.
HB 62 heads to the governor to be signed into law.
Here is what other Democratic lawmakers are saying:
“This was a long process, but we did what our constituents asked us to do: make the tough calls required for governing,” said Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington). “I’m pleased that we were able to successfully negotiate across the aisle to protect many of our previous Democratic demands for the people of Ohio like safe roads and bridges, more money for local governments and a historic investment in public transit."
“We’re looking at the first major legislation passed under the new administration, and it was built on compromise and bipartisanship,” said Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Toledo). “These new investments in a safe, innovative state infrastructure mark a strong start for this General Assembly.”
“Through hard work and days of negotiations, we passed a transportation budget that will provide all Ohioans a safer way to travel to work, school and essential appointments,” said Rep. Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus). “In addition, increasing Ohio’s Earned Income Tax Credit from 10 percent to 30 percent and removing a 50 percent cap on income will benefit hardworking Ohio families. I am hopeful this will spark conversation to make the EITC fully refundable.”
“This budget will positively impact all Ohioans’ lives by increasing funding for local communities and improving the Earned Income Tax Credit, and I look forward to continuing these bipartisan discussions,” said Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton). “I am also proud that the Dallas Swogger Act prohibiting attaching skateboards to cars passed as part of the transportation budget and will now become law, helping to ensure no family will ever again have to face a tragedy like the one experienced by the Swogger family in my district.”
“The people of Ohio deserve well maintained roads, safe bridges and access to dependable public transportation. This budget moves our state in the right direction,” said Rep. Joe Miller (D-Amherst). “I am proud of our caucus’ work to push for these investments in our communities.”