Proposal: $55 million annually for public transportation

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2018, file photo, gubernatorial candidate, Republican Mike DeWine, speaks during a debate with his opponent Democrat Richard Cordray at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Letters from the physicians of DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray were produced at the request of The Associated Press. The two are in a close, expensive race this fall to replace Republican Gov. John Kasich, who's term-limited. (Ty Greenless/Dayton Daily News via AP, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The latest version of Ohio’s transportation budget would provide $55 million annually for public transportation in the state.

The state Senate approved the amount this week as the GOP-controlled chamber passed the budget, which includes a 6-cent per gallon increase in the state gas tax.

The Senate public transportation proposal provides less than the $100 million proposed by the House, but more than the $40 million in Gov. Mike DeWine’s original proposal.

Republican state Sen. Matt Dolan pushed for the $55 million through a last-minute amendment, calling the amount a Senate statement that public transportation is a priority.

The bill is headed for a conference committee to iron out several differences, chief of which is the gap between DeWine’s proposed 18-cent gas tax increase and the Senate’s much lower proposal.