Ohio Senate Passes Budget with Strong Bipartisan Vote

COLUMBUS—Today the Ohio Senate approved the state’s new two-year Transportation Budget which funds transportation and highway projects around the state.

The Senate worked diligently to pass new rail safety guidance following the toxic derailment in East Palestine, as the Senate’s Select Committee on Rail Safety continues its series of meetings.

“While regulating the railroad is mostly a function of the federal government, I’m confident these are strong steps to reinforce safety for trains that travel through our Ohio neighborhoods,” said Senate President Matt Huffman.

Among the changes: Requires the BMV to accept county-issued veteran identification cards for military license plate applications.
Requiring Wayside Detection Systems to be installed in basic ten-mile increments and at a distance of no more than fifteen miles based on terrain.
“As many residents of Ashtabula, Geauga, and Trumbull counties know, transportation is vital to our everyday lives,” State Senator Sandra O’Brien (R-Ashtabula). “I am confident this budget will only serve to improve the lives of all Ohioans.”

The nearly $13.5 billion, two-year Transportation Budget is funded with MTF, Motor Fuel Taxes, more commonly called Ohio’s gas tax revenue. It funds road, highway and bridge projects around the state.

The bill also allows local governments to create a “Force Account” and establish a spending limit for projects that can be done with municipal, county, or township employees. “This saves taxpayer money and simply helps get things done,” said Senate President Matt Huffman. “Sometimes smaller projects can be completed in-house and this saves additional costs that would be charged by a contractor.”

“Of all the bills we pass in the Ohio General Assembly, this is the one that Ohioans see every day,” said Transportation Committee Chair, Senator Stephanie Kunze, (R-Dublin). “They pump their gas, they watch for potholes, and slow down for the orange signs of road construction every spring. It’s so very important we get it right.”

The bill passed with a vote of 30-0.