Ohio Republican Senator George Voinovich is pushing for quick reauthorization of the surface transportation bill that he says will create thousands of jobs for Ohioans. ideastream®'s Bill Rice reports, Voinovich hopes the bill can be passed before he leaves office in January.
Voinovich is the ranking member of Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, which is working on a new bill to replace the 6-year transportation measure that expired last September. Since then stop-gap measures and stimulus funding has kept transportation projects going.
Voinovich says transportation construction is one of the best job creators around, and new and upgraded roads improve the infrastructure and help the environment through energy savings.
His favored way to pay for it? Raise the gas tax.
Voinovich: "I believe Americans are willing to pay a higher gas tax to create jobs, improve our infrastructure and better our climate. And many of my conservative colleagues do not consider that gas tax as a tax, but as a user fee.
The Obama administration has come out against raising the gas or imposing a mileage fee on drivers.
Voinovich spoke at the annual conference of Build-Up Greater Cleveland - or BUGC, where he gave the keynote speech and was honored for his more than for decades in politics, including as Mayor of Cleveland and Governor of Ohio.