COLUMBUS, Ohio — A resolution to end E-Check passed in the Ohio House of Representatives on Thursday.
House Resolution 56, which calls for the elimination of the E-Check program under the Federal Clean Air Act, will move to the Senate.
“Our taxpayers have faced this burdensome process for far too long now, it’s time for a change and this resolution seeks to finally put an end to the E-Check program,” said State Rep. Diane Grendell. “This program does little if nothing to clean our air.”
Her cosponsor, state representative Gail Pavliga, (R-Atwater) of Portage County, says those dollars can be more useful elsewhere.
"And those would go into our general operating budget again, to I would love to see those be reinvested in roads and infrastructure and schools and medicine and many things that our communities need," she said.
The program requires Ohio residents living within Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit counties to get their vehicles tested every two years to pass regulatory emissions requirements.
Grendell cited the excessive costs due to the implementation of E-check outweighing the environmental benefits, especially for those who cannot afford it, such as middle and lower-income individuals that are more likely to own an older vehicle that fails emissions tests.
“The ends simply must not be permitted to justify the means,” Grendell said. “The poorest among us, elderly, students, and lower-class individuals, are consistently forced to take time off from work to make expensive repairs to their vehicles to meet these arbitrary standards.”
Rep. Casey Weinstein spoke out against the resolution and said it would hinder our ability to ensure all Ohioans have clean air in their communities.
.@RepWeinstein speaks out against HR 56, which would urge Congress to eliminate the e-check program and gut the Clean Air Act.— Ohio House Dems (@OHHouseDems) June 10, 2021
Says this resolution would hinder our ability to ensure all Ohioans have clean air in their communities. pic.twitter.com/7QlIUNIsXf
But Pavliga says the emissions have dropped 71% over the last 20 years and it has nothing to do with an e-check and more to do with newer cars designed to reduce emissions.
"We have a lot of industrial that comes across from Canada, over Lake Erie into Northeast Ohio," Pavliga said. " We've got things coming over from Pennsylvania. And then we do have our own emissions from this area. But if we really want to look at cleaning up the air, it's not the E-check. It's not our cars that are continuing to contribute to this."