COLUMBUS—State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) today announced the state Controlling Board approved more than $132 million in funding to bolster unemployment benefits, provide assistance for small businesses and manufacturers, and support state and local COVID-19 response efforts amid the worst global pandemic in more than a century.
The action comes as Ohio enters the next phase of the governor’s “restart,” which will see retail, personal services and outdoor dining begin to reopen this week.
“While I know that the idea of resuming life as we knew it at the start of 2020 is beguiling, the reality is the COVID-19 virus is still with us and continues to challenge our ability to remain virus-free,” said Rep. Lightbody. “Following the suggestions of the CDC for physical distancing has not, however, prevented Ohio legislators from looking out for the Ohioans who have been hit hard by the closures. These funds will provide necessary support across the state as we continue to work and address the essential needs of our communities.”
The Controlling Board approved more than $112 million in federal funds Monday, including:
- $52.5 million to support Ohio’s unemployment insurance program;
- $20.9 million to the Ohio Department of Health to aid the state’s COVID-19 response, combat substance abuse and overdoses, and support other federally funded programs;
- $15.9 million for state and local law enforcement’s coronavirus response, including the purchase of PPE and medical assistance to inmates in state and local facilities;
- Nearly $13 million to expand the state’s contact tracing program to detect, isolate and contain the spread of COVID-19;
- $3.8 million in federal CARES Act funding to assist Ohio manufacturers amid the global pandemic;
- $6.7 million for small business assistance;
- $116,227 to help local businesses seeking federal, state and local government contracts.
Additionally, the Controlling Board approved $20 million in state funds to support the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Service’s coronavirus response, including funding for pharmaceutical and medical supplies, PPE and other costs associated to the response.