If we want our state to develop and prosper—a goal I think all Ohioans can agree upon—we must invest in the fundamentals to provide a strong foundation upon which to grow. That’s why the legislature passes a state capital budget every other year, a bill that provides funding for roads, bridges, schools, parks, and other necessary public services.
This year, House Bill 529 invests $2.62 billion statewide, with millions going to Franklin County for local projects. Of the statewide funds, $600 million will go to school construction and renovation, $483 million to Ohio’s public universities and $514 million to roadways, bridges, and sewer systems.
Across the United States, drug abuse and addiction are costing many their lives. In Ohio, our workforce is being affected, and there’s an increase in children needing homes. House Bill 529 allocates $222 million to health and human services, including funds to combat the opioid epidemic. This funding is an investment in our economy and our families.
In our area, I advocated for funding for a number of community projects that need help to complete their work. I’m happy to announce some of the projects that will receive funds through the capital budget now that the Governor has signed the legislation into law. Gantz Park in Grove City is getting $300,000 to replace playground equipment and make other improvements.
The Prairie Township community sports complex will receive $500,000 to add a turf field, giving children with disabilities greater access to the programs the center offers. These projects are just a sampling of the many local initiatives that I, along with my House colleagues, have been able to champion in the capital budget. The completion of these plans, among others, will improve the quality of life for many families living in central Ohio.
These community projects are important to fund and represent a crucial partnership between local leaders and the state. These funds are intended to generate a strong return on investment, spurring economic growth in the region and across the state. Not only that, but individuals and families will reap the benefit of these projects for years to come.