COLUMBUS – State Representative Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Twp.) today sent a letter to President Joe Biden regarding the American Rescue Plan Act and its effects on township governments. Schmidt’s letter included the following language:
While I have concerns about the level of spending contained in the American Rescue Plan Act, it has been approved by the Congress and signed by you, and is now law. While many aspects of the law will assist the American people, I have learned troubling news that township governments may be left out in receiving much needed funding.
Recently, it was reported that there are inconsistencies between the House and Senate versions of HR 1319 causing confusion to township governments. In Ohio alone, 1,308 townships are unsure if they are receiving direct funding from the American Rescue Plan.
The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program established in the legislation is set to begin disbursing funds no later than May 10, 2021. As the US Conference of Mayors and National Association of Counties await final numbers on how much direct relief will be provided, townships continue to be unsure if they even qualify for the funding. While city, village, and county governments are very important and are deserving of funding, so are township governments.
As the Ohio Township Association works with Ohio’s Congressional delegation to ensure that townships are eligible for this critical funding, I wanted to point out that nearly four million Ohioans reside in a township. These relief funds are crucial to helping our communities recover from the effects of the pandemic.
As a member of the Ohio General Assembly, I urge your consideration in this matter and sincerely hope that you will be responsive to Ohio’s Congressional delegation as they advocate for townships to receive this funding.