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Officials change, approve measure



Published: Wed, December 13, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Lawmakers are working to increase funding for the Trumbull County Bike Trail.

By JEFF ORTEGA

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

COLUMBUS -- State lawmakers redirected appropriations earmarked for Trumbull County in the 1.8 billion state capital bill the House approved 94-3 late Tuesday.

Changes inserted in the measure, which funds brick-and-mortar projects around the state, reduces the appropriation for the First Lunar Flight Display on Parkman Road in Warren from 150,000 to 25,000.

State Rep. Randy Law, a Warren Republican who was defeated in his 64th House District re-election bid last month, said the amount was supposed to be 25,000 -- and this corrects that.

Law said lawmakers are also working to increase funding for the Trumbull County Bike Trail from 100,000 to 210,000.

Education

Provisions in the measure, which now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration, also create the Northeast Ohio Universities Collaboration and Innovation study commission.

The proposal seeds the committee with 25,000 to study and recommend further collaboration among schools such as Cleveland State University, Kent State University, the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, the University of Akron and Youngstown State University.

State Rep. John A. Boccieri of New Middletown, D-61st, said lawmakers from Northeast Ohio will be watching the process if the provision remains in the bill to see if there's talk about consolidation.

The Youngstown area is the only metro area in the state without a community college, and Boccieri said he believes YSU is penalized under state funding because it has a number of undergraduate students versus graduate students.

Where the money goes

Most of the money in the capital bill goes for construction, renovation and maintenance projects at state colleges and universities, mental health and retardation facilities, state government buildings and state parklands.

A certain amount of money is usually reserved for community projects such as sports stadiums, arenas and theaters.

The projects are paid for mainly by the sale of bonds, some of which are retired with general state revenues.




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