COLUMBUS – State Representative Joe Miller (D-Amherst) announced this week the passage of House Bill (H.B.) 614, legislation that allocates a total of $650 million in federal CARES Act relief funds for local governments in Ohio. The funds are to be used to offset costs faced by local governments directly caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Previously approved by the Ohio Senate, the bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The funds approved during Wednesday’s House session are set to be distributed to localities on a per capita basis. Local governments in House District 56 are estimated to collectively receive $4.1 million.
“The federal government constructed the CARES Act to provide support for ALL local governments, especially those who are most in need and were hit the hardest by this pandemic. The local government fund has been proven and is effective, as opposed to this per capita method, which was amended without an opportunity for the House to speak on it. In addition to the state sitting on this money for far too long, this formula also negatively impacts my district in that 11 of my municipalities and a township are set to lose $4.5M worth of access to CARES money that could be directed to them. Regardless of my disappointment in the Republicans’ lack of focused support of those most in need, I supported this bill due to its ability to get money to our communities in need. Sadly, the process taken was unacceptable and we need to do better for Ohioans.” said Rep. Miller.
State lawmakers previously approved $350 million in federal CARES Act funds for local governments in June, as well as $175 million approved by the state Controlling Board in August, making H.B. 614 the latest relief package for Ohio localities responding to unprecedented costs incurred throughout the pandemic.