A couple nights ago, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law the two-year state budget passed by the Ohio State Legislature. This budget — House Bill 64 — calls for a $71.2 billion spending plan over the next two years. This lengthy process involves immense debate in both houses of the Ohio Legislature with policymakers attempting to determine what direction our state will take in the next several years. Members sponsor and cosponsor bills and amendments ad nauseam, trying to promote or de-fund programs and initiatives. To oversimplify things and quote everybody’s favorite lovable loser cinematic congressional candidate, Marty Huggins, “it’s a mess…”
Here at Clean Fuels Ohio, we aim to encourage the use of cleaner domestic fuels and alternative energy sources for local governments, businesses, and consumers. In order to accomplish and fulfill our organizational missions, we must be actively involved in governmental policy particularly at the state level here in Columbus. Our most recent efforts have led to the introduction of House Bill 176 (HB 176) — a bipartisan effort to create financial incentives for the purchase or conversion of alternative fueled vehicles, among other beneficial policy measures ensuring Ohio keeps pace with our neighboring states when it comes to promoting clean domestic fuels. We have fallen behind in investment specifically because of a lack of financial incentives and this legislation addresses that concern.
Timing is everything in politics, and for Clean Fuels Ohio, the timing just wasn’t quite right for HB 176 this summer. With the legislature focusing nearly all of their efforts on passing a balanced budget before adjourning for the summer, our legislation was not passed through the House or Senate. There seems to be wide-ranging support from both sides of the aisle on this legislation, and members have expressed to us that they expect the bill to pass committee unanimously — which rarely happens. The new session begins in the fall, and all signs point to HB 176 being passed by the Ohio House and moving right on thru the legislative process (cc: Schoolhouse Rock “I’m Just a Bill”). For now, we wait and see, but Clean Fuels Ohio is optimistic that this legislation will move quickly and eventually provide Ohio with the right tools for promoting the use of cleaner alternative energy sources.