For informational/historical purposes only.

NEWS RELEASE

Ohio Department of Transportation Internet News Release
September 19, 2002

Ohio DOT Director Testifies before U.S. House Subcommittee

Proctor delivers AASHTO priorities for Federal Highway Funding Legislation

Washington- Ohio Department of Transportation Director Gordon Proctor today testified on behalf of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) before the U.S. Houses Subcommittee on Highway and Transit. The testimony outlined AASHTOs priorities for the reauthorization of the federal transportation funding legislation.

"Federal transportation funding is an important issue and my top federal priority," said Governor Bob Taft. "Its a tribute to Ohio and ODOT that Director Proctor was selected to deliver this message to our federal legislators."

Key components of AASHTOs proposal regarding the federal reauthorization includes:

  • Grow highway funding to improve security and safety, relieve congestion, and meet infrastructure preservation and rural system needs;
  • Find a way to finance the program at the funding levels needed; and
  • Improve environmental stewardship and streamlining.

Proctor told sub-committee members that funding must be increased over six years from $34 billion to at least $41 billion and transit funding from $7.5 billion to at least $10 billion. The reauthorization of the federal transportation funding bill is expected to be finalized in October 2003.

In early spring Governor Taft unveiled Ohios federal transportation agenda which included:

Full funding of transportation receipts The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) established a "firewall" which protected the integrity of the transportation user fees collected into the Highway Trust Fund and prevented the diversion of these funds for non-transportation purposes. Ohio supports continuing this protection.

Fixing the ethanol penalty Redirect the diversion of the motor fuel tax on ethanol to the highway trust fund. The restoration of these funds will generate an additional $160 million in transportation revenues for Ohio.

Supporting a more equitable return to Ohios contribution to the Highway Trust Fund Since 1956, Ohio has been a donor state and currently receives an 88 percent return on its contributions to the highway trust fund. The state of Ohio is seeking to increase this level to a more equitable 95 percent rate of return. This increase would generate an additional $140 million in revenues Ohio.

AASHTO represents the departments of transportation from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as well as many other state, local and affiliate/associate members engaged in providing transportation services.