Controversy surrounding the Ohio Turnpike is just not going away.
House Democrats in the state want Gov. John Kasich to be a little more specific in the bill authorizing the sale of $1.5 billion in Ohio Turnpike bonds to fund state highway projects. They want a guarantee that 90% of the money produced by the bonds are dedicated to work in northern Ohio, and they want it in writing. Kasich’s promise not to raise tolls for a decade for motorists making trips of 30 miles or less also was excluded from the measure.
Earlier this year, Ohio opted not to privatize the Turnpike despite a hard push from Kasich, who later said northern Ohio would get priority treatment with the bond strategy. The governor, however, never talked about a specific percentage.
“You can’t tell the people of Ohio one thing and then do something else, and think members of the legislature are going to be supportive of deceiving the public,” state Rep. John Carney told the Associated Press.
Ohio DOT spokesman Steve Faulkner said Kasich will keep his promises, but adding the specific language to the bill would create inflexibility moving forward. Nonetheless, state Democrats on the House Finance Committee do plan on adding amendments to the measure, which could be voted on Feb. 27.