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Ohio House Speaker Says Maintaining Roads Comes Before Public Transit

photo of Larry Householder
Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder, who said maintaining roads takes priority over funding for public transit.

Advocates for public transportation say they’re concerned that there’s no one from that sector on Gov. Mike DeWine’s committee that will recommend how to find money for major road construction projects. That group meets this week. Public transit might not be top of mind for the Ohio House leader either.

DeWine has said public transit advocates will have opportunities to testify before the commission.  But Republican House Speaker Larry Householder says maintaining current roads and bridges is the top priority, and then the state could look at other infrastructure needs that might bring economic opportunities.

“After that, is when I think we have to look at sort of the icing on top of the cake – what else are we capable of doing, if anything, and that would include public transit and all the other technologies that are out there," Householder said.

Householder was speaker when the gas tax was last hiked in 2003, and he says all options are on the table, and that he views a gas tax as a user fee – suggesting he might not be opposed to an increase.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.