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Rep. Hicks-Hudson announces over $209 million to improve Ohio infrastructure and increase COVID-19 aid

Includes $9 million for infrastructure to prevent algae blooms in Lake Erie
April 5, 2022
Paula Hicks-Hudson News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) announced that the State Controlling Board approved over $96 million in additional funding for the Bridge Formula Program from the recently passed federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding will be used to support bridge replacement, rehabilitation, preservation, protection, and construction projects on bridges throughout the state. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $13.2 billion to rebuild Ohio’s roads and bridges, clean up Lake Erie, modernize our electric grid, ensure clean drinking water, and expand broadband access to every Ohioan.

Locally, the Board approved $2.7 million dollars for the purchase of Information Technology equipment and classroom renovations at the University of Toledo. The Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital will receive $107,000 for security improvements. 

“These funds will help provide resources so that these two state institutions can provide crucial services to local Ohioans,” said Rep. Hicks-Hudson. 

Additionally, $113 million was allocated to various projects supported by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects include $50 million to continue buying and building reserves of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and $18 million to supplement the Meat Processing Investment Program affected by COVID-19. $45 million will go to maintaining crucial Ohio dredge ports along Lake Erie, of which Toledo will receive $9 million. The sediment processing facility will accept and process dredged material, preventing nutrients that would cause algal blooms from entering Lake Erie and significantly improve water quality in Lake Erie. The American Rescue Plan, passed by Democrats, continues to help combat the coronavirus and push Ohio’s economy back into action.

“These funds will continue the work that the city has done to improve the water quality of Lake Erie. The City of Toledo continues to use its resources to improve the Lake,” said Rep. Hicks-Hudson.

Other approved items include:

·         Over $42 million for the Choose Ohio First Higher Education Scholarship program to recruit students and provide learning opportunities in science-related fields;

·         $23 million to the Office of Criminal Justice Services to support family violence prevention programs;

·         $14.6 million to the Homeless Crisis Response Program to help prevent Ohioans from entering homelessness;

·          $1.5 million towards the cost of implementing Ohio's Safe Drinking Water Act;

·         $8 million to Ohio Department of Jobs and Family (ODJFS) to support adoption programs;

·          $2.4 million for employment and income verification service improvements; 

·         $144,000 for professional Ohio roadway engineer training through the National Highway Institute to improve the transportation industry by developing new core competencies and skills.