Ohio’s speed limit is going up to 70 on July 1 on some highways

Published: Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 10:40 AM
Updated: Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 5:17 PM

            Ohio’s speed limit is going up to 70 on July 1 on some highways

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The top speed limit in Ohio is officially going up this summer to 70 miles per hour.

Gov. John Kasich on Monday signed into law a two-year, $3.87 billion transportation budget. Among provisions of the law is the higher max speed limit, which will apply to interstates outside of urban areas starting on July 1.

That means Ohio’s top speed limit will match those of bordering states except for Pennsylvania, where the top speed limit is still 65 miles per hour, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Under the law, motorists will also be allowed to drive 65 mph on urban outer belts such as I-675, I-275, and I-270. Drivers can also go 60 mph on all two-lane state highways outside city limits and 55 on interstates in congested areas.

The Ohio Department of Transportation still needs to figure out which roads qualify as “outside of urban areas,” said agency spokesman Steve Faulkner. Until that vetting process is done, Faulkner said he couldn’t say where exactly the speed limit would go up to 70 miles per hour.

ODOT doesn’t know how much it will cost to change or replace speed limit signs, but the Ohio Legislative Service Commission last year estimated it would cost $80,000 to change the speed limit signs on all of Ohio’s interstates.

Legislators have floated increasing the speed limit in the past, including on a 2012 bill that resulted in the $80,000 estimate, but proposals were always scuttled over concerns from law enforcement. This year, although insurance and environmental groups expressed concerns, the Ohio State Highway Patrol chose not to oppose the measure.

Among other provisions of the transportation bill include authorizing the state to issue $1.5 billion in bonds backed by future Ohio Turnpike tolls. Ninety percent of the bond revenues would have to be spent in Northern Ohio.

The remaining 10 percent of the turnpike money could hypothetically be spent on road projects in southwestern Ohio. State Rep. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield, said any benefits to the Miami Valley are more likely to be indirect.

“What it’s going to do is take a lot of these (highest-priority) projects in northern Ohio off the (top of the state’s funding list), allowing other projects to move forward in the process.”

Kasich was more interested in talking about his turnpike bonding plan, which he said would help create 65,000 construction jobs and help improve Ohio’s infrastructure. But he offered faint support for the higher speed limits.

“I see the patrol said they were fine with it … so I’m fine with the speed limit going up. It pretty well matches everybody up in the surrounding area,” Kasich told reporters.

Mandel ran state-funded ads in months before launching Senate run

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

Mandel ran state-funded ads in months before launching Senate run

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has led the charge for publicizing a new investment program for families with special needs programs, and launched a $1.84 million TV ad campaign featuring himself and Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer to promote the program.

But a watchdog group says the ads, which have run statewide, may have a hidden motive: promoting Mandel’s political ambitions. He launched the ad campaign months before announcing his second run against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

To learn more about the ads and how Mandel used state money to pay for them, click here.

Sen Portman plans to back Gorsuch for Supreme Court

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 6:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 6:54 PM

By Jessica Wehrman

Washington Bureau

Sen. Rob Portman says he will back Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

The two met Wednesday in Portman’s office in what the Ohio Republican called “an engaging and productive meeting.”

“I expressed my belief that the job of a Supreme Court justice is to fairly and impartially apply the law, and to protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not to legislate from the bench,” he said. “I believe that is exactly what he will do should he be confirmed to this important position. Judge Gorsuch has an outstanding record as a fair-minded, independent, and universally-respected judge, and, after today’s meeting, I join others in offering him my support.”

Portman previously met with then-President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court – Merrick Garland – but joined other Republicans in blocking that nomination. Portman argued at the time it would be better to wait until after the presidential election to pick a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died more than a year ago in Texas.

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New executive director of the Ohio Republicans a former Turner aide

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 8:56 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 8:58 AM

New executive director of the Ohio Republicans a former Turner aide

A former aide to U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, has been named executive director of the Ohio Republican Party.

Party Chairman Jane Timken named Rob Secaur of Columbus to the post.

“Ohio Republicans will be well served by Rob’s invaluable campaign and political experience,” Timken said. “With critical election cycles ahead of us, I am confident that our new executive director will play a key role in maintaining record Republican majorities in the Buckeye State.”

In January Timken won the party chairmanship after a battle with then-chairman Matt Borges.

After two rounds of secret voting resulted in a deadlock, Timken emerged as the winner after a deal was struck in a backroom to make Timken chairman and name Borges chairman emeritus, which is a new post.

Trump backed Timken while Ohio Gov. John Kasich supported Borges for re-election.

Related: Donald Trump defeats John Kasich in fight for Ohio Republican Party leadership

Related: Trump/Kasich sides in showdown over Ohio GOP chairman

Secaur oversaw the Republican National Committee’s grassroots campaign efforts for the presidential campaign as state director in Ohio. In 2011 he was Turner’s campaign manager and served as a state party field director in 2010. He was Warren County Victory director for the state party in 2010-2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Secaur previously worked in Michigan and Kentucky on political campaigns and in the office of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY.

Secaur has a master’s degree in Professional Studies in Political Management from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Louisville.

Secaur replaces Katie Eagan as state party executive director.



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Ohio lawmakers react to resignation of Michael Flynn

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 6:58 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 6:58 PM

            Ohio lawmakers react to resignation of Michael Flynn

Sen. Sherrod Brown said former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn made the right decision to resign his post, saying his apparent discussions with a Russian official about U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia “were wrong.”

RELATED: Michael Flynn resigns: 5 things to know

In a statement today, Brown, D-Ohio, said Flynn was “unqualified from day one” because of his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia Today, a TV network controlled by the Russian government. In 2015, Flynn was paid to attend a Russia Today gala in Moscow.

Before Donald Trump was sworn in as president last month, Flynn spoke to Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. Flynn originally said he did not discuss the U.S. sanctions with Kislyak, but acknowledged Monday he provided Vice President Mike Pence and other Trump officials with “incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador.”

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a conference call with Ohio reporters today that “it was appropriate for” Flynn “to step down.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said he is concerned about what he sees are continuing attacks on the new administration.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton reacts to Flynn resignation

“I’m very concerned. Obviously, this is an issue where unnamed sources continue to attack people in the administration. Their names are never known, there positions are never known, and we never get to bottom of what the information is and where it’s coming from,” Turner said.

“In this, I think Gen. Flynn has made his own personal decision. He certainly has a very strong and illustrious career. I think the administration is now going to have to undertake a search for someone who has both national stature and an ability to advise the president.”


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