House approves road improvement bill

COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives has passed legislation that will supply funds to local governments for road improvement projects.

Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) and Rep. Scott Ryan (R-Granville Township) announced this week the passage of Substitute House Bill 415. This legislation seeks to create the Local Government Road Improvement Fund, to which one half of state surplus revenue each fiscal year will be allocated.

“This bill will allocate necessary funds for road improvement across Ohio, and I am proud to have played a role in such an important piece of legislation,” Greenspan said. “Investing in our infrastructure is vital to improving Ohio for the citizens who live here. It was a pleasure to work with Representative Ryan on this issue, and I am pleased that we received such broad support from the rest of the House.”

Ryan added, “This bill will provide needed revenue to local government partners for road improvements. I am very pleased that the House, in a strong bipartisan fashion, passed this creative bill that can potentially lead to more efficiency in state spending.”

The bill prevents any General Assembly from passing legislation that decreases the amount allocated to the Local Government Improvement Fund, which must be least 1.66 percent of the General Revenue Fund. Sub. H.B. 415 also includes certain limitations in order to keep the Budget Stabilization Fund (BSF), otherwise known as the state’s Rainy Day Fund, at a sufficient balance.

Historically, surplus revenue from the General Revenue Fund has been deposited into the BSF. Beginning in fiscal year 2020, Sub. H.B. 415 provides that half of the surplus will be moved to the Local Government Road Improvement Fund, and the other 50 percent will be placed in the BSF to maintain its required level (which is 8.5 percent of the General Revenue Fund). The distribution of funds will be based on locally maintained center lane miles in each county.

Sub. H.B. 415 is a Buckeye Pathway bill, strengthening communities and towns by providing monetary resources for road improvement throughout the state. Something as simple as a safe road can supply an opportunity for Ohio residents.

Having passed the House, Substitute House Bill 415 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.