The Ohio Senate voted 33-0 Tuesday to designate part of state Route 44 in Marlboro Township as the “First Lt. Ashley White Stumpf Memorial Highway.”
The bill now goes to the Ohio House.
If the bill becomes law, the memorial highway would include the section of Route 44 between state Route 619 and the Portage County line.
State Sen. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton, introduced Senate Bill 303 in February.
“This legislation is dedicated to an American heroine,” Oelslager said in remarks on the Senate floor. “She was devoted in her service to the United States of America with a pride that will never be forgotten.”
White Stumpf, 24, a 2005 Marlington High School graduate and member of the North Carolina National Guard, was killed in Afghanistan last October by an explosive device.
Oelslager said White Stumpf’s family and friends requested the designation for the stretch of Route 44 that goes by her family’s home.
Last month, State Rep. Christina Hagan, R-Marlboro Township, introduced a bill that declares that all of Route 44 in Marlboro, going as far south as Route 173, would be a memorial highway honoring White Stumpf.
Hagan said White Stump’s family requested that the memorial highway be all of Route 44 in Marlboro. It’s not clear why the requests to Oelslager and Hagan differed.
House and Senate leaders would have to reconcile the differences. The memorial highway bills of Hagan and State Rep. Kirk Schuring, R-Jackson Township, have been consolidated into a larger memorial highway bill known as House Bill 325.
The House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee submitted the bill to the full House on March 14, but it’s not clear when the House will vote on sending it to the Senate.
Besides White Stumpf, House Bill 325 also designates memorial highways for Stark County residents killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2004. They include U.S. Marine Sgt. Daniel J. Patron of Perry Township, Army Sgt. Michael Barkey of Lawrence Township, Army Cpl. Zachary Grass of Sugar Creek Township and Army Staff Sgt. Kevin Kessler of Canton.
It’s not clear why the bill designates part of Route 30 again as a highway for Kessler when the legislature approved that in June.
The bill also establishes memorial highways for Navy Lt. Jason S. Manse, formerly of Jackson Township, who was killed in a training accident in Georgia in 2006, and Uniontown Police Capt. Daniel Stiles, who was killed in a collision while directing traffic in February 2011.