COLUMBUS– State Representative D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron) Thursday announced the passing of Substitute House Bill 169, which will provide a $4.2 billion federal grant to our, healthcare workers, education system, law enforcement, and first responders to ensure they can serve our communities effectively and efficiently. This federal money that has been allocated to Ohio must be distributed by the end of 2021. This bill passed by a vote of 84-6.
Our states public schools will see $2.3 billion in assistance from these federal funds with approximately $2 billion of this is federally prescribed and allocated per federal formula. Additionally, $155.2 million will be allocated to Non-Public Schools.
Furthermore, $1.89 billion has been allocated for frontline healthcare worker. These funds will help address the major workforce issues our healthcare industry has faced do to the COVID-19 pandemic.
$75 million for grants to law enforcement agencies and first responders for strategies to attract new recruits that also include creative methods to strengthen the public safety workforce. It also provides wellness initiatives for law enforcement and first responders to mitigate the significant mental and physical impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It further allocates for investments in technology to increase cybersecurity to protect critical infrastructure.
“Substitute House Bill 169 provides necessary funding for our brave men and women who protect our communities. It will also help with future Ohio budgets” said Swearingen.
The additional $175 million in funding will be allocated to support collaborative responses to violent crime and violence related to drug trafficking, investments in technology and equipment to allow law enforcement to respond to the rise in violent crime and grants to state and local crime laboratories to reduce backlogs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must fund our law enforcement and first responders, this is a statement I firmly believe in and I am proud to have sponsored this legislation that will ensure those on the front lines are protected and properly funded,” added Swearingen.