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DeWine Drives Home Safety As Final Argument For Gas Tax Increase

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Karen Kasler
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Gov. Mike DeWine (center) holds up a report on dangerous intersections. Joining him are ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks, Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Col. Kevin Teaford and Lt. Col. Marla Gaskill and Department of Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath.

Governor Mike DeWine is trying a last ditch effort to push lawmakers back toward the gas tax increase that he originally proposed – which they slashed dramatically.

Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Flanked by officials from ODOT and public safety, and holding a report listing Ohio’s 150 most dangerous intersections, DeWine thanked lawmakers for passing their transportation budgets: the House’s with a 10.7 cent gas tax increase and the Senate’s with six cents.

“We are close. But what we do in the next few days, at what level we fund this bill – and I would again urge you to fully fund it – we will determine how safe our roads are," DeWine said.

DeWine said going back to his 18 cent hike, indexed to inflation, would ensure enough money to maintain and repair Ohio’s roads and bridges for the next decade. And he said putting money into ODOT from the separate operating budget or the rainy day fund is a one-time fix.

Lawmakers are going into conference committee to work out the final version of the transportation budget, which must be signed by March 31.

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