COLUMBUS – State Representative Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) and House Democrats Monday announced the approval of funds by the state Controlling Board to further aid Ohio’s response to the health and economic hardships caused by the pandemic, as well as programs addressing mental health and homeless crises.
“Legislators are working together with communities to respond to Ohioans’ needs in the time of crisis and these funds are critical as COVID-19 cases continue to rise,” said Rep. Lightbody. “As we navigate this public health crisis, this release of funds will provide immediate support in the ongoing struggle.”
Funding items approved by lawmakers Monday include:
- $150 million to the Ohio Dept. of Education to reimburse schools for meals provided to students over the summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic and an additional $8.6 million to support funding to Joint Vocational School Districts and $2.2 million to support students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs);
- $87.5 million to the Ohio. Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services to fund the Ohio State Opioid Response Project;
- $30 million for local health departments to address the rise in COVID-19 cases;
- $9.1 million for the Supportive Housing Program and $14.3 million for the Homelessness Crisis Response Program to help reduce homelessness in Ohio;
- $3 million to the Dept. of Medicaid to assist nursing homes in keeping their residents safe during the pandemic;
- $1.6 million to the Dept. of Youth Services to administer a Justice Assistance award sub-granted through the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services while following COVID-19 safety protocols.
Democratic lawmakers are anticipating the passage of a capital budget by the end of the year, which would provide further economic investment to Ohio’s local communities.