Wed., 9:15am: House panel plans vote on Ohio Turnpike bond deal

COLUMBUS — An Ohio House panel is nearing a vote on Republican Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to raise around $1.5 billion for state highway projects through Ohio Turnpike bonds.

Democrats on the House Finance Committee planned to offer amendments Wednesday ahead of a possible vote. They want to see in writing Kasich’s pledges to freeze tolls for trips of 30 miles or less and to spend 90 percent of deal proceeds in northern Ohio.

Northern Ohio leaders, including U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, echo those concerns. The administration says it will deliver on Kasich’s promises, but placing precise spending targets in the law would limit flexibility.

Responding to Ryan – a potential Kasich challenger next year – the governor’s spokesman said no one from Washington should advise Ohio on debt and budget issues.