House members offer amendments to Turnpike plan

turnpikeToday, the Ohio House Finance Committee will vote on the Governor’s plan to borrow against future Turnpike revenue to fund construction projects around the state.

Before voting on the plan as a whole, the committee will consider a number of amendments, most of which are designed to address failings of the legislation to live up to promises made when the Kasich administration originally unveiled the plan in December.

Thirteen amendments are posted online on the committee’s website. When the committee returns from recess, many of these amendments will be offered to the full committee for a vote. Here’s a summary:

  • HC0010 Requires Controlling Board approval for Turnpike to fund any project that is located outside the counties through which the Turnpike travels
  • HC0011 Freezes Turnpike tolls at present levels until January, 2018
  • HC0013X1 Limits the expansion of electronic toll collection by requiring that Turnpike tolls may only be collected through manual means or using an existing multi-jurisdictional collection system (E-ZPass).
  • HC0014 Requires that no more than 60% of the cost of a non-Turnpike transportation project may be paid for using Turnpike funds
  • HC0016 Restores current law provisions regarding Turnpike commission membership and term length; unwinds administration attempt to add two new Gubernatorial appointees, shorten terms of service
  • HC0019 Limits bonding against future Turnpike tolls to the $1.5 billion that was announced in December
  • HC0020 Limits future toll increases to the rate of inflation and only when annual traffic grows by less than one percent . Freezes tolls for 10 years at current rates for trips under 30 miles using E-ZPass.
  • HC0024 Limits expansion of electronic toll collection by requiring manual collection or the use of E-ZPass (as in HC0013X1) and limits future toll increases to rate of inflation, when annual traffic grows by less than one percent and freezes tolls for 10 years on local trips using E-ZPass (as in HC0020).
  • HC0026 Requires proceeds of bonds against future Turnpike tools to be spent in Northern Ohio, the definition of which is to be established by the members of a newly-created study committee. Prohibits Turnpike funds from “supplanting” or shifting existing ODOT funds away from Northern Ohio.
  • HC0027 Same as HC0026, except requires 90% of proceeds to be spent in Northern Ohio, as defined by study committee, and similarly prohibits supplanting of other funds already designated for projects in northern Ohio
  • HC0032 Omnibus Amendment 1 – prohibits toll increases for 10 years on trips under 30 miles using E-ZPass, limits toll increases to rate of inflation when annual traffic growth is less than 1 percent. Requires 90% of proceeds of bonding against Turnpike tolls are used in northern Ohio, prohibits Turnpike funds from paying for more than 60% of the cost of non-Turnpike projects, limits aggregate bonding to $1.5 billion, limits expansion of electronic tolling and creates a study commission to define “northern Ohio.”
  • HC0034 Requires the Auditor to conduct a performance audit on the Turnpike Commission within 2 years.
  • HC0035 Requires 90% of proceeds of Turnpike bonds to be spent in Northern Ohio, the definition of which is established by a study committee, prohibits “supplanting” of existing ODOT funds away from northern Ohio, and requires that the Turnpike must first maintain its existing system before any funds are dedicated to non-Turnpike projects.
  • HC0036 Omnibus Amendment 2 – limits expansion of electronic tolling, prohibits toll increases for 10 years on trips under 30 miles using E-ZPass, limits toll increases to rate of inflation in years when traffic increases by less than one percent, limits aggregate bonding to $1.5 billion, requires 90% of funds to be spent in Northern Ohio as defined by a study committee and prohibits supplanting of existing ODOT funds.