ACT Ohio Executive Director Matthew Szollosi was asked to participate in a press conference with the governor and top leaders from the state legislature.

Standing next to Governor Kasich, Senate President Keith Faber, Speaker Bill Batchelder and others on Jan. 15, the group voiced strong support for an upcoming a campaign to convince Ohio voters to approve $1.875 billion in new borrowing for water, sewer, road, and other local public works projects.

The formal process to put the question to voters during the May 6 primary election to renew and expand the existing bond issue has already started in the state legislature.

The proposed constitutional amendment would increase state funding for local projects from $120 million to $175 million annually for the five years beginning July 1, 2016 and then hike aid to $200 million a year for the next five years.

Here are the talking points Matt used when speaking to the media:

Public Works Commission – Renewal of Bonding Authority

–          ACT Ohio was created by the State Building Trades to encourage economic and industrial development and promote industry best practices for Ohio’s public and private construction

–          Our affiliates represent close to 90,000 of the most highly skilled, highly trained construction workers across Ohio. What our members want more than anything is work!

–          Renewal of the bonding authority of the Ohio Public Works Commission is critically important to the construction industry – with this scale of investment, $1.875 billion dollars over 10 years, local governmental authorities will provide our employers projects to compete for, and our members thousands of job opportunities.

–          From our point of view, this effort will complement the Kasich Administration’s turnpike initiative passed into law last year which will result in $3 billion dollars in construction work.

–          Doing the math, just these two initiatives alone could result in almost $5 billion in infrastructure improvements over the next ten years. In our industry, we view these initiatives coupled with the state’s annual budgetary allocations, as a commitment to Rebuild Ohio.

–          Working with local governmental authorities, the Governor’s commitment to Rebuilding Ohio will pay great dividends that go well beyond the work directly attributable to these projects. We’re also very optimistic that the economic and industrial development projects these investments trigger will compound the benefits for years to come.

–          This level of investment allows our industry – our skilled workforce and our employers working in partnership – to continue to: (1) invest in our state of the art training facilities, (2) incorporate top of the line instruction with the most challenging curriculum for our apprentices, (3) utilize cutting-edge technologies in the field to promote safety and efficiency, and (4) deliver world-class results for our customers.

–          ACT Ohio strongly supports Governor Kasich’s Ohio Public Works Commission Initiative, and we appreciate the leadership exhibited by Senate President Keith Faber and Speaker Bill Batchelder

For more on this event, follow this link to a story published by The Toledo Blade following the press conference: