(Toledo) - Ohio's governor has unveiled his proposal to make new money from the Ohio Turnpike.
Republican John Kasich stopped in Cleveland Thursday to discuss the 241-mile road and how he'll close a $1.6 billion highway funding gap through cost cutting and the sale of bonds. He also released the video statement.
Kasich proposes raising $1.5 billion in bonds to fund local road projects. Up to an additional $1.5 billion could be generated by matching local and federal funds.
The plan caps any toll increases on trucks at inflation, freezing rates for 10 years on local trips paid for with an EZ Pass.
Ninety percent of the proceeds from bond sales, backed by future toll revenues, would go to northern Ohio projects, including the turnpike. Diverting toll revenue off the roadway will require lawmaker approval.
The plan retains the Ohio Turnpike Commission as a public entity and retains jobs.
The governor originally touted benefits of a lease. But many county leaders along the northern Ohio road didn't want a private company to take over, predicting higher tolls and lost jobs for turnpike workers.
The governor wants to see cash from the turnpike used to pay for construction projects around Ohio. Diverting toll revenue will require changes in state law.
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