House Dems announce $873 million in COVID-19 relief funds
COLUMBUS – House Democrats announced Monday the state Controlling Board approved another round of funding to support efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak statewide and provide to relief for Ohio’s schools and small businesses.
“Ohio is still behind in testing, and while this funding doesn’t achieve what’s needed, it’s a step in the right direction,” said House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “Additionally, we’re able to direct more funds to strengthen our public schools and support small businesses, especially our minority-owned businesses who’ve been hit hardest amid the uncertainty of this pandemic.”
State funds approved by the Controlling Board Monday include:
- $238.4 million to the Ohio Dept. of Health to conduct lab testing to combat the COVID-19 outbreak;
- $3 million for the Ohio Dept. of Medicaid for emergency preparedness in nursing home facilities in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak;
- $3.9 million to the Ohio Dept. of Health for the purchase of reagents and lab supplies;
“The ongoing health and economic crisis has had a profound impact on our state’s bottom line, resulting in some hard but necessary cuts to spending. This influx of federal funds helps to stop the bleeding, but we will have more work to do to ensure fiscal stability while maintaining critical taxpayer services,” said Rep. Erica Crawley (D-Columbus).
The Controlling Board approved an additional$628 million in federal funds to address the fiscal impact of coronavirus on state and local governments and small businesses, including:
- $280 million from the federal CARES Act to support Ohio school districts;
- $162 million over the next two years for community development and services grants;
- $120 million for low-income housing and home energy assistance grants;
- $31 million to the Ohio Department of Aging for nutritional programs, caregiver support for seniors and other services.
- $10 million to establish a direct loan fund for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 in Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties;
- $20 million to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing grant program;
- $5 million to create the COVID-19 Economic Relief Grant Program for minority-owned businesses.