COLUMBUS – Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) announced House Bill (HB) 45, which will allocate $5.8 billion in mostly federal COVID relief funding to support education, improve mental healthcare infrastructure, and strengthen caregiving networks across Ohio, was signed into law.
HB 45 accomplishes House Democrats’ top legislative priority during the 134th General Assembly lame duck session, which was to make sure the almost $2 billion remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds was allocated to programs that would keep Ohio’s communities safe and healthy, support working families and caregivers and create good-paying jobs.
“This action is a long-overdue relief to the millions of Ohioan who are still struggling to fully recover from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Rep. Russo. “These federal dollars, passed by Democrats, will help to jumpstart Ohio’s economy and bolster critical care-giving sectors in our communities.”
HB 45 includes:
- $1.75 billion to schools for pandemic relief;
- $350 million to nursing facilities for workforce support;
- $168.5 million for healthcare provider relief payments for critical access and rural hospitals;
- $150 million for lead prevention and mitigation;
- $112 million for school building security and safety enhancements;
- $90 million to improve the mental healthcare infrastructure;
- $85 million to recruit and retain behavioral health workers;
- $50 million to expand the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
- $40 million to support the assisted living workforce;
- $30 million to support the hospice care workforce;
- $25 million to community food banks;
- $15 million to dialysis centers;
- $5 million to the Law Enforcement Reimbursement Training Pilot Program;
- Creates a temporary tax amnesty program that would forgive interest and penalties on delinquent taxes and fees for businesses and taxpayers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.