COLUMBUS – State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) served Monday as a substitute member of the State Controlling board, and in that role voted to approve over $96 million to the Department of Transportation in order to begin infrastructure improvements throughout the state. These funds will provide contract plans, environmental investigations, planning services, construction inspections, bridge inspections, and right of way acquisition serves for various projects.
“We made investments in Ohio’s future by approving infrastructure projects across the state. These will put Ohioans to work in ensuring the safety of our roads and bridges,” said Rep. Lightbody.
Additionally, $33 million was approved to the Department of Health (ODH) to continue supporting Ohio’s COVID-19 response to reduce health disparities and support local vaccine administration efforts. This approved funding will allow ODH to use the remainder of the federal funds made available through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan to continue work that will reduce health disparities in Ohio’s vulnerable communities as well as support vaccine administration efforts.
“We also approved over $1.3 million in funding for threat assessment training for school districts to learn how to better respond to students who may feel isolated, in need of help, or at risk of harming themselves or others,” said Rep. Lightbody. “This evidence-based approach will empower educators to create a safer school environment. Training will be offered through school districts, to be completed by June 2023. Threat assessment training was mandated in House Bill 123 which was passed in the 133rd General Assembly.”
Other approved items include:
· Over $20 million to the Department of Disabilities for increased community social service program regarding early intervention;
· Over $2 million to the Department of Mental Health for public health campaigns targeting young adults regarding drug and alcohol misuse;
· Over $1.9 million to the Commission on Minority Health in support of the State’s Opioid Response;
· Over $1.3 million to the Department of Education to support school safety and threat assessment training;
· Over $600,000 to the Department of Jobs and Family Services to continue program operations;
· $250,000 to the Department of Development for state trade and export production.