Today, Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) voted in favor of Substitute House Bill (HB) 169 to appropriate $4.18 billion to support education, expand access to childcare and improve public health, among other investments in Ohio’s working people, families and communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill is funded through several federal COVID-19 relief packages, the majority of which comes from the American Rescue Plan Act backed by Democrats and signed into law by President Biden earlier this year.
“President Biden and Democrats are investing in a recovery to benefit all Ohioans, including these critical funds to expand childcare access, grow good paying jobs and build an economy that works for everyone,” said Leader Sykes. “These funds will provide a necessary life line for Ohioans who are benefiting from the leadership of the Democrats who have taken the steps to ensure better lives, brighter futures, and an economy that works for everyone.”
Hundreds of millions of dollars allocated to Ohio under the American Rescue Plan were at risk of expiring had the General Assembly not taken legislative action on the funds this month.
Sub. HB 169 includes:
- $2.48 billion for K-12 schools;
- $1.05 billion to help health care providers hire and retain employees;
- $639 million in supplemental child care grants to enhance the hiring and retention of staff and improve access to child care;
- $250 million in grants for law enforcement agencies;
- $91.1 million for the Department of Health to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and address other public health priorities;
- $7.3 million to prevent youth homelessness.
The American Rescue Plan is landmark legislation for the Biden administration and advances many long-held Democratic priorities, including investments in working people, families and communities as Ohio and the nation continue to build back amid the COVID-19 pandemic after decades of disinvestment in families and communities.
The Plan will lower health insurance premiums, extend tax credits to families with children and invest in jobs. The American Rescue Plan is widely regarded as one of the most progressive pieces of legislation in history, with targeted aid to families making less than $90,000 annually. No Republican members of Congress voted in favor of the American Rescue Plan.
Sub. HB 169 now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.