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Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes announces over $209 million to improve Ohio infrastructure and increase COVID-19 aid

April 5, 2022
Emilia Strong Sykes News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) announced that the State Controlling Board approved over $96 million in additional funding for the Bridge Formula Program from the recently passed federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding will be used to support bridge replacement, rehabilitation, preservation, protection, and construction projects on bridges throughout the state. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $13.2 billion to rebuild Ohio’s roads and bridges, clean up Lake Erie, modernize our electric grid, ensure clean drinking water, and expand broadband access to every Ohioan.

“I am thrilled to announce over $200 million that will help increase our collective quality of life,” said Rep. Sykes. “With these funds, we will see necessary improvements in water quality, infrastructure and safety, while also easing access to educational opportunities, housing and affordable health care. This investment is vital to building a stronger economy.”

Additionally, $113 million was allocated to various projects supported by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects include $45 million to maintain crucial Ohio dredge ports along Lake Erie, $50 million to continue buying and building reserves of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and $18 million to supplement the Meat Processing Investment Program affected by COVID-19. The American Rescue Plan, passed by Democrats, continues to help combat the coronavirus and push Ohio’s economy back into action.

Other approved items include:

· Over $42 million for the Choose Ohio First Higher Education Scholarship program to recruit students and provide learning opportunities in science-related fields;

· $23 million to the Office of Criminal Justice Services to support family violence prevention programs;

·$14.6 million to the Homeless Crisis Response Program to help prevent Ohioans from entering homelessness;

· $1.5 million towards the cost of implementing Ohio's Safe Drinking Water Act;

·   $8 million to Ohio Department of Jobs and Family (ODJFS) to support adoption programs;

· $2.4 million for employment and income verification service improvements; 

· $144,000 for professional Ohio roadway engineer training through the National Highway Institute to improve the transportation industry by developing new core competencies and skills.