Democratic State Reps Matt Lundy and Ron Gerberry have introduced a bill (HB 602) to stop Republican Legislators and Kasich appointees from implementing the Governor’s plan to lease the Ohio Turnpike.
The bill would:
eliminate all authority granted to the Director of Budget and Management and the Director of Transportation … pertaining to a purchase and sale agreement, lease, service agreement, franchise agreement, concession agreement, or other written agreement with respect to the operation or maintenance of the Ohio Turnpike, and to restore to the Ohio Turnpike Commission the full exercise of all powers granted to the Commission in the Revised Code.
State reps Hagan, R., Ramos, Okey, Yuko, Murray, Letson, Phillips, Milkovich, Fende, O’Brien, Antonio, Foley, Clyde and Fedor co-sponsored the bill.
Kasich has made no secret about his plans for effectively selling off the turnpike for generations in exchange for a big chunk of one-time money he can use for his own pet projects. ODOT recently invited representatives from the privatized Indiana Turnpike to give a presentation “praising” their leasing efforts, likely failing to mention that tolls have doubled and the company running the Turnpike is nearly bankrupt.
Initial findings from the KPMG study on the Ohio Turnpike reveal that Kasich’s plan will likely see tolls will go up, at least two maintenance facilities close and the lease (likely to foreign investors like the ones who run the Indiana Turnpike) could last up to 55 years.