Ohio lawmakers haven’t been able to come to an agreement over how much to raise the state’s gas tax. The committee of House and Senate lawmakers will meet again Friday morning, trying to come up with a workable plan. And they need to do that soon.
Gov. Mike DeWine wanted an 18 cent a gallon tax hike but the House is only willing to increase it by just under 11 cents a gallon for passenger cars and 20 cents a gallon for diesel trucks. And those increases could go into effect immediately rather than being phased in over time.
Republican House Speaker Larry Householder says lawmakers don’t want to raise taxes but he adds it’s the responsible thing to do. And he chides the Senate for not doing the same.
“When you come here, you’ve got to put on your big boy pants. You’ve got to pull your binkie out of your mouth and you’ve got to make tough decisions," Householder said.
And DeWine said he and the House agreed on that plan. But Senate Communications Director John Fortney said the majority of the calls Senators are getting are gas tax opponents.
“Well the conference committee obviously is to work out differences between the House and the Senate, not the House and the Governor’s office," Fortney said.
The transportation budget must be signed before 11:59 Sunday night.