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Ohio Senate unveils $4.2B capital budget

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(The Center Square) – Ohio schools could get $600 million to build new facilities, and the state fairgrounds is in line for more than $200 million if the Senate’s plan for part of the state’s capital budget is approved.

Senate Bill 292 was introduced Monday ahead of hearings planned for Tuesday.

The legislation comes a week after the Senate unveiled its plan to spend $700 million in the One-Time Strategic Community Investment Fund for community projects across the state. Monday’s budget contains another $150 million for similar projects.

“We had a tremendous response for our communities with the millions of dollars budgeted from the strategic fund,” said Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima. “This phase includes an additional $150 million for neighborhood projects covering our parks, county fairgrounds and public pools that so many families buy passes to for the summertime.”

SB292 contains $572 million for the Public Works Commission and $310 million for the Department of Natural Resources.

It also appropriates $8.5 million for Millikin interchange improvements, $20 million for the Cuyahoga County Northcoast Connecter, $8 million for Bedrock Riverfront Development and $7 million to expand and renovate the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Other projects include $18.5 million for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, $10 million for the downtown Columbus Capital Line, $12 million for the Cedarville Opera House, and $16.3 million for the Ohio Library and Information Network.

Last week’s strategic fund plan included $46 million for the Hamilton County Convention Center District and $27.5 million is planned for the Cincinnati Open tennis tournament, which nearly left for North Carolina in the fall.

Also, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton is expected to receive $7 million for modernization, while the Hall of Fame Village is slated for another $9.75 million.

The Senate Finance Committee begins capital budget hearings Tuesday. The House and Senate must pass the bill before Gov. Mike DeWine can sign it. Huffman said the goal is to have the bill signed by the end of June.

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