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The Latest: Ohio governor to announce proposed gas tax hike

February 19, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the annual Ohio AP legislative preview forum (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Gov. Mike DeWine says he’ll announce Thursday his proposed recommendation for increasing the state’s gas tax to deal with a chronic shortfall in spending on road construction.

DeWine, a Republican, says there are no other solutions outside a gas tax increase, while warning that any increase simply keeps Ohio from falling behind.

He wouldn’t provide details or say what the proposed increase will be. He spoke at an annual forum sponsored by The Associated Press.

DeWine says the increase is “just to keep us where we are today.”

The head of the Ohio Department of Transportation director said earlier this month that Ohio’s road maintenance and infrastructure are facing an “impending crisis” unless more funding is provided.

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11:35 a.m.

Ohio’s four statewide elected officials, leaders of the House and Senate and Gov. Mike DeWine are among officials gathering at an annual legislative forum sponsored by The Associated Press.

Featured at Tuesday’s meeting are Attorney General David Yost, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Treasurer Robert Sprague and Auditor Keith Faber. All are Republicans.

House Speaker Larry Householder and Senate President Larry Obhof, both Republicans, and House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes and Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, both Democrats, discussed legislative priorities for the year.

In a morning session, Yost said Ohio was not approached to join a new lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a Mexico border wall.

The statewide elected officials all say they support Trump, but don’t agree with him on every issue.