COLUMBUS – Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) announced the State Controlling Board approved over $3.8 million to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to continue supporting operations for unemployment benefits. Over $800,000 will be used to help combat unemployment fraud while over $2.9 million will be used to support UFacts unemployment application process. This process was initially established to implement the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
“These funds will support essential government services that help the many Ohioans who are still struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Leader Russo. “I am encouraged to see the additional $3.4 million approved for mental health and HIV/AIDS support programs, as mental health and healthcare accessibility also play key roles in Ohio’s recovery from the pandemic.”
Additionally, the Controlling Board appropriated over $1.7 million to the Department of Development to continue the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Funding will be used to assist with processing online tenant and landlord applications as well as remitting payments to approved landlords, utilities, and tenants.
Other approved items include:
· $9 million to Department of Natural Resources for the inspection and plugging of orphaned oil and gas wells;
· $3 million to the Department of Health for the Ryan White Part B HIV/ AIDS program that supports numerous related services for uninsured or under-insured patients living with HIV/AIDS;
· Over $1.8 million to the department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the support of expanding capacity and quality of call centers for 988, the National Suicide Prevention hotline;
· Over $1.6 million to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for enhancements and annual maintenance and support for the statewide Ohio Community Supervision System (OCSS);
· Over $400,000 to Department of Transportation to contract with the Country Engineers Association of Ohio (CEAO) in order to provide program administration services for the County Local Bridge, Surface Transportations, and Safety Improvement programs.