COLUMBUS- State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) Monday served as a substitute member of the Controlling Board. As a member of that authority, she and others approved a $100 million increase for the Department of Development to provide the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) Plus Program for utility assistance to low-income households. The PIPP Plus Program allows participants who must be at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Level, to pay 10% of their household income instead of their full utility bill.
“Funds approved today for PIPP Plus will support many Ohioans who need help paying for their utility bills given rising energy costs. We also approved funding to support infrastructure at our colleges and universities, provide healthcare, and facilitate environmental conservation and protection,” said Rep. Lightbody.
Additionally, the Controlling Board approved $6.5 million in federal dollars to allow the Department of Development to expand the Home Weatherization Assistance Program. This program is meant to increase the energy efficiency and safety of low-income households that are at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. This investment will allow the program to service more homes and install more energy conservation measures in homes.
Other approved Controlling Board items include:
- $1.7 million in federal grant funds to implement and manage the Ohio Coastal Management Program (OCMP). The program will increase urban coastal communities' ability to withstand climate change, protect critical habitats, and expand recreational opportunities.
- $443,000 for the Department of Education to contract with the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio to further support the needs of homeless youth by providing professional development. Additional funds will be used to help educators identify, understand, and support students and families experiencing homelessness.
- $21 million in federal funds to the Department of Job and Family Services. These funds will reimburse state and county expenditures for adoption assistance maintenance payments.