IMPORTANT UPDATE from Ohio Public Transit Association (OPTA)
OHIO'S PUBLIC TRANSIT BUDGET FY 2022-2023
Dear OPTA Members and Friends,
The Ohio House of Representatives has concurred on the Senate’s changes to HB 74 (Transportation Budget). By concurring to all changes, a conference committee session is not required and the bill will be delivered directly to Governor DeWine.
This is a huge win for Ohio's public transit as the Senate made numerous changes including increasing public transit GRF by $13.85 million each fiscal year, bringing total GRF appropriations for transit to $37 million each fiscal year.
This funding is in addition to the guaranteed $33M in federal flex funds included in the bill. The total amount of discretionary spending in each fiscal year, including GRF and Federal Flex Dollars, is $70M.
HB 74 will be sent to Governor DeWine for his signature or possible vetoes. We do not expect any changes to our provisions during the veto process but will keep you informed if we hear differently.
Thank you to all for your outreach and steadfast support during this entire process. Without your efforts, we would not have been successful in protecting public transit funding for Ohio.
Ohio Public Transit Association
614-306-5353 | Matt@CHWadvisors.com
We encourage you to contact the Lorain County State Representatives by clicking below. Tell them to support HB 74!
This is summarized from the
Ohio Public Transit Association (OPTA) Communications
In February, Governor DeWine slashed the State of Ohio Transit discretionary funding from $70 million (budgeted 2 years ago) to $7.3 million. This 90% decrease in State funding will devastate many transit agencies, especially small urban and rural transit agencies like Lorain County Transit.
However, thanks to many advocates calling their State representatives, on Friday, February 26, the Ohio House Finance Committee accepted the Substitute House Bill 74. The revised Transportation Budget more than doubled the total investment in public transit. The total amount budgeted is $193.7 million, with $46.3 million from General Revenue Funds (still down from $70 million two years ago) and $66 million flex funds and $81.4 million in Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) funding over the next two years.
The following links provide summary details:
Cleveland.com February 25, 2021
This effort is very promising but it's not over yet. Changes still can be made before the Ohio House Finance Committee finalizes its recommendations. Then it will be moved to the Ohio Senate, which has already started to hold hearings on the bill.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You are encouraged to reach out to your state representatives and encourage them to support public transit because it is still possible that the House of Representatives could lower the budgeted amount. In addition, some of the state representatives do not receive calls that transit is an issue and therefore may not support this increase in funding. So it is important that they hear from you, especially stories from those who use the system or have a positive story about using transit.
Stay tuned to the Lorain County Mobility Management Facebook page as we update you on the latest developments regarding the State of Ohio Transit bill. If you would like to submit written testimony or know someone that is interested, please contact Sharon Pearson at email@example.com or by phone at 440-707-6477.
We may not have a robust transit system in Lorain County but what we do have, we want to make sure to keep. So contact your state representatives in Lorain County or all of the representatives to let them know how important transit is in Lorain County.
The State of Ohio Transit Budget Time Line - Click Here
Ohio Public Transit Association Talking Points - Click Here
The Ohio State Legislature Schedule (pay special attention to the Ohio House Finance and the Ohio Senate Transportation Committee schedule) - Click Here
House Bill 74 Status - Click Here