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Lawmakers Looking To Renew State Infrastructure Program

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In May, voters will be asked to support a nearly $2 billion dollar bond program to fund road, bridge, water and other infrastructure construction and repair projects around the state. And as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, lawmakers are wasting little time getting that campaign started.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Republicans leaders introduced the idea at a year-end presentation last month, and Democrats say they support it. But they say it's not enough. Senator Charleta Tavares is from Columbus.

"An additional 73 projects could be funded if we were to add the additional capacity here," he says. "It's about jobs, it's about rebuilding our infrastructure, which is critically important."

Republicans say they don't disagree, but they say they're worried about the cost associated with servicing the debt.

"And so while there is no doubt that there is no shortage of infrastructure to invest in," says Senator Shannon Jones is from southwest Ohio. "I think it's just wise to continue on a conservative pathway."

Approval of the infrastructure bond program would mean $175 million dollars in funding for the first five years and $200 million after that.

The resolution to put it before voters passed unanimously in the Senate. A companion bill is being heard in the House, but lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich will start promoting the issue this week.

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