House Approves Transportation Budget
The Ohio House has approved a two-year transportation budget that outlines 7.1 billion dollars for state agencies that build highways, fund infrastructure projects and protect public safety. Two-thirds of the funding would be for the Ohio Department of Transportation. The rest is for the Department of Public Safety, the Public Works Commission and the Development Services Agency. The measure would allow reimbursement to counties when utilities are relocated for state transportation projects. Under another provision, drivers with valid out-of-state licenses would no longer need to pass a written test to get an Ohio license. The House has also approved Governor John Kasich's plan to sell 1.5 billion dollars in Ohio Turnpike bonds to fund state highway projects. Democrats unsuccessfully offered a series of amendments putting in writing Kasich's pledges to freeze tolls for short-range trips and to spend 90 percent of the deal's proceeds in northern Ohio. The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate.