State Rep. Mark Fraizer (R-Newark) announces that House Bill 168 has been signed into law by the governor. The legislation appropriates funding for water and sewer infrastructure improvements, unemployment insurance trust fund repayments, and for local community COVID-19 relief. Fraizer is a joint-sponsor of the bill.
“Due to Ohio’s strong economic outlook, we are able to use existing funds to adequately invest in several areas of our state, including remitting funds to repay unemployment debt. It is paramount to use our money to make an investment in Ohio, and help our people and communities with these one-time federal funds.”
The funding dollars within the bill derive from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The legislation includes the following allocations:
- Infrastructure Improvements: Invests $84 million in a pediatric behavioral health initiative to increase Ohio's capacity for youth behavioral health services, access, and quality of care across all regions of the state.
- Water and Sewer Quality: Invests $250 million to establish a water and sewer quality program. The program will provide grants in Ohio's most critical infrastructure needs.
- Local Governments: Invests $422 million in more than 2,000 local governments in Ohio that have yet to receive direct funding from the federal government to support recovery from the pandemic.
- Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund: Repays a loan of approximately $1.5 billion to the Fund needed during the pandemic to pay unemployment benefits. The efficient repayment of this loan will prevent Ohio businesses from experiencing large increases in their federal unemployment payroll taxes.
House Bill 168 passed within the General Assembly last week before being signed into law today.