Rep. Smith Announces More Than $248 Million In Federal Funds To Support State's Pandemic Response Efforts
Urges continued action at state, federal level to respond to crisis
April 13, 2020
[ Kent Smith Home | Kent Smith Press ]

COLUMBUS— State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) announced the state Controlling Board on Monday approved more than $248 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to aid the state’s ongoing pandemic response efforts, including funds to bolster testing capacity, purchase needed personal protective equipment for frontline workers, expand hospital capacity, and provide resources for those most impacted by the coronavirus.

However, Smith urged continued action at the state and federal level to address the crisis, saying this is just the beginning of long-term response and recovery efforts.

“It will be critically important for the State of Ohio to take full advantage of all available federal government assistance during the COVID-19 public health crisis.  Hopefully this will be the first of many actions we will take to assist Ohioans during this emergency.  I remain ready to come to Columbus if a legislative session is required to further help the Ohioans that we should be fighting for - as they fight for all of us,” said Rep. Smith.

The approved federal funding package includes:

  • $8.8 million to construct temporary medical facilities to supplement hospital capacity;

  • $76.1 million for vientilators and face masks;

  • $39 million to expand statewide testing capacity;

  • $50 million to purchase additional personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers;

  • $20 million in each of the next two years to expand the state’s SNAP food assistance program;

  • $25 million to the Summer Food Service Program to provide meals for children and teens in low-income areas;

  • $9.5 million over the next two years to support emergency food distribution at foodbanks and pantries;

In addition to the federal funds, some $500,000 in state funds were released to improve services for state and county Jobs and Family Services offices, along with another $95,000 for medical treatment and services for inmates at various corrections facilities. 

In recent weeks, House Democrats have called on the Speaker and Senate President several times to reconvene the General Assembly to take up further emergency measures to address issues facing workers, families and businesses amid the global pandemic.


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