House Democratic lawmakers today announced the state Controlling Board met today to approve $90 million in federal funds to support the Ohio Department of Health’s ongoing pandemic response efforts as well as funds to aid rural transportation systems across the state.
“We need to ensure health care workers and officials on the ground have the tools they need to detect, track and contain this virus before we begin to reopen our state. This funding is a step in the right direction to get us where we need to be, but we’re not there yet,” said Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron).
The Ohio Department of Health will receive $8.5 million in funds as part of the federal Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. Funds will be used to increase testing capacity and carry out mitigation strategies, including surveillance, contact tracing and infection control measures.
In addition, the Board released $81.9 million in federal transportation funding to support capital, operating and other expenses for 37 of the state’s rural transportation service providers as they respond to COVID-19.
“Our rural transportation systems have been hit hard by this virus,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), who sits on the state Controlling Board. “Supporting rural transit supports those who rely on them every day, including those on the front lines—healthcare workers, grocery employees and other essential workers keeping our state moving in the face of this historic crisis.”