Republican leaders in the Ohio Senate have hinted at some possible changes to the transportation budget plan that could spark a debate among the Senate, House and governor's office.
Gov. Mike DeWine says an 18 cent gas tax increase will help Ohio keep up with major infrastructure costs. The House brought it down to a 10.7 cent increase over a two-year span.
But Republican Senate President Larry Obhof has said he’s not convinced yet that Ohio faces a dire construction budget shortfall. And Republican strategists have suggested the Senate might cut the gas tax increase again.
Meanwhile, there’s also a sense that the Senate might try to cut down the $100 million set aside for public transit, which was added by the House.
The Senate Finance Committee starts three days of hearings starting on Tuesday. A substitute bill is expected in committee with a full Senate vote possibly later this week, because the budget has to be signed by March 31.