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2 Ohio Democrats push public hearings on Turnpike's future

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two Democratic state lawmakers are pushing for the public to have a greater say about whether the Ohio Turnpike is privatized.

State Reps. Matt Lundy, of Elyria, and Ronald Gerberry, of Austintown, said Tuesday they’re preparing legislation requiring the state Turnpike Commission to hold four public hearings within three months of any proposed outsourcing of turnpike operations or maintenance.

Republican Gov. John Kasich is exploring options for getting more money out of the northern Ohio tollway, including possible lease. He said the turnpike could bring several billion dollars to the state for new road and bridge projects.

Lundy and Gerberry said it’s wrong to sell state assets for one-time money.

Their bill would also strip the state budget and transportation directors of authority over turnpike outsourcing contracts.