Friday, March 11, 2011

Bubp Applauds Bipartisan Passage of Transportation Budget

St. Rep. Danny Bubp
COLUMBUS—State Representative Danny Bubp (R-West Union) has announced that after more than two weeks of committee hearings and deliberation, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 114—the state transportation budget—with bipartisan support.
The transportation budget outlines appropriations totaling $7 billion, including more than $2 billion allocated each year for the construction and maintenance of Ohio’s roadways. In total, the Ohio House reduced transportation spending by nearly $15 million compared with the executive proposal and reduces the total fee burden on Ohioans by more than $5 million annually.
“The transportation budget my colleagues and I passed supports our position that Ohioans’ should keep their hard earned dollars in their own pockets,” stated Bubp. “Included in this budget was a provision to remove the $20 late fee for driver license renewals and seasonal vehicle license plate renewals.”
Among other initiatives, House Bill 114 consolidates Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) services and reduces BMV spending by approximately $6.7 million in the first year and $7.7 million in the second year. It also specifies that the next-of-kin form provided at the BMV be extended to renewals of drivers’ licenses and applications, as well as renewals of motorcycle licenses.
The transportation budget also promotes efficiency and customer service in the governmental duties regarding licensing and operation of motor vehicles. For example, in counties with populations greater than 40,000 residents, county clerks of courts will have the authority to serve as deputy registrars. Local entities will have more flexibility to co-locate and provide better service, and in counties where the auditor serves as deputy registrar, county clerks of courts and county auditors may share an office space to more efficiently perform their public duties.
House Bill 114 aims to protect Ohio jobs by including appropriations for the Public Works Commission (PWC), specifically $150 million for the state capital improvement program and $49 million for the revolving loan fund while also increasing the amount for local governments. In total, the PWC appropriation is projected to retain as many as 30,000 Ohio jobs.
Additionally, the legislation improves Ohio’s business climate by creating an online titling program for commercial vehicles and easing restrictions on transportation of Ohio’s farm commodities and agricultural products.
House Bill 114 passed by a vote of 95-0 and now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.