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Senate Begins Working on Transportation Budget

a photo of the senate transportation committee
The Ohio Senate Transportation Committee is starting to work on the transportation budget.

Republican Senate leaders say it’s very likely they will make changes to the proposed gas tax increase. But that change was not included in the latest revision to the state’s transportation budget bill.

The House passed a 10.7-cent increase to the gas tax over the next two years. That means a driver would pay 38.7 cents a gallon in state tax when they fill up their tank.

Even though Senators accepted a new version of the bill that kept the House’s tax plan, transportation committee chair Rob McColley wanted to make it very clear they are likely to make changes to the tax proposal.

“The only issue is we have not had a chance in the limited time that we’ve had to really develop our final version of that tax package so the House version of the sub bill is left unchanged but nobody interpret that as the Senate accepting the House package. We are likely to change it," McColley said. 

Gov. Mike DeWine says the state needs an 18 cent per gallon gas tax hike.

The Senate also left unchanged $100 million for public transportation. However, there is talk that that is also likely to be reduced.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.