Brown wants public works issue on ballot PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 13 January 2014 11:09
File. State Rep. Tim Brown. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
State Rep. Tim Brown has introduced legislation that would put the question of whether to continue funding for the Ohio Public Works Commission before voters this year.
The legislation, House Joint Resolution 9 - which Brown (R-Bowling Green) co-introduced with Rep. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) - would put on the ballot whether to re-authorize the issuance of state general obligation debt to continue funding the PWC. If approved, the matter would appear on this spring's primary ballot. The resolution was introduced last week.
"It's something that, actually, our former congressman and, at that time, State Senator Paul Gilmore conceptualized," said Brown in an interview this morning, as a way of coming up with methods of funding infrastructure "that allowed everyone in the state to fairly compete for."
"We always hear complaints that the 'Three Cs' (Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus) get all the attention," he said.
The PWC provides financing for local government infrastructure improvements like roads, bridges, solid waste disposal, water supply, storm water collection and wastewater treatment. It has provided more than $3 billion in assistance to local governments for those projects. The PWC has been in place since 1987, and funding was re-authorized by voters in 1995 and 2005.
The resolution would ask voters to approve an additional 10 years and $1.875 billion in financing for the program.
"I think it's important from the standpoint that our infrastructure is perhaps one of the most important things to public safety," said Brown. "It means a lot from an economic development standpoint. When the state can have good roads and bridges, it definitely keeps our state on the cutting edge of economic development as well. In this climate, having every tool in the toolbox is necessary."
Brown said he hopes the bill could be put to a vote in the House as soon as this week.

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