COLUMBUS – State Representative Al Cutrona (R-Canfield) Thursday announced that Substitute House Bill 169, which he sponsored, passed the Ohio House by a vote of 84-6. The legislation will invest $4.2 billion in federal American Rescue Plan dollars in our states, schools, healthcare industry, first responders and law enforcement.
Our state's public schools will see $2.3 billion in assistance from these federal funds with approximately $2 billion of this being federally prescribed and allocated per federal formula. Additionally, $155.2 million will be allocated to Non-Public Schools.
“It is important that we allocate this money to our children as they are the future of our state and we must always invest in that future to ensure Ohio continues to be a great place to live and raise a family,” said Cutrona.
Furthermore, $1.89 billion has been allocated for health and human services funding. These funds will help address the major workforce issues our healthcare industry has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A portion of the funding, $175 million to be exact, will be used to support the work of state and local law enforcement to prevent and solve crimes throughout Ohio. Some communities have seen an uptick in violent crime during the pandemic and this funding will be helpful to those communities.
“Protecting and funding our law enforcement has always been a top priority of mine and I am elated to see House Bill 169 pass on the house floor ensuring those on the front lines are funded and have the proper training and equipment available to them,” said Cutrona.
Additionally, the funding will give our law enforcement and first responder’s access to upgraded technology for their crime laboratories which will, in turn, increase their efficiency and effectiveness when investigating crime.
$75 million will be allocated to help provide relief for entities that have faced new challenges and stresses due to COVID-19. Specifically, the funding will be used to address the stress and trauma that our first responders have faced because of the pandemic and will help them cope with that stress by creating wellness programs.
“House Bill 169 is a very important piece of legislation to ensure that our first responders and law enforcement have the tools and programs necessary to perform their jobs with the utmost efficiency,” said Cutrona.