COLUMBUS: An Ohio House panel has signed off on Republican Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to raise around $1.5 billion for state highway projects through Ohio Turnpike bonds.
In an 18-13 vote Wednesday, the House Finance Committee approved the bill. A floor vote could come as soon as Thursday.
Democrats unsuccessfully offered a series of amendments. They wanted Kasich’s pledges in writing to freeze tolls for short-range trips and to spend 90 percent of the deal’s proceeds in northern Ohio.
The administration says it will deliver on Kasich’s promises, but placing precise spending targets in the law would limit flexibility.
Finance Chairman Ron Amstutz (AHM’-stuts) called the plan conservative. He said creative ideas naturally incite debate.
The Ohio Senate, led by Kasich’s fellow Republicans, has begun hearings on the bill.