Ohio could tap voters to approve road money

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 12/30/2013

Ohio voters could decide next year whether to continue a public works program that would benefit local infrastructure.

A joint resolution introduced this month in the Ohio Senate would ask voters in May’s primary election to renew and expand a program used to finance road, bridge and sewer projects. The program funded from bonds backed by the state’s general revenues would pump about $1.87 billion during the next decade into local projects.

In 2005, voters approved a $1.35 billion program. Since then, the State Capital Improvement Program funds $150 million in projects annually.

Renewing the program would boost annual bonds to $175 million for the next five years and to $200 million for the five years after that.

Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, said it would allow the state to continue what it has been doing.

Senate Democrats say the proposal doesn’t do enough to address local infrastructure problems. They say they will continue to push for more money for village, township, city and county projects.

The resolution, SJR6, can be considered during the regular session that begins Jan. 7.

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