COLUMBUS – State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) announced that on Monday the State Controlling Board approved over $230 million to support education in Ohio. Over $123 million was approved through the American Rescue Plan to expand professional development trainings for school staff and bolster the operation of Afterschool Child Enrichment (ACE) educational programs, which provide relief for learning loss caused by the pandemic.
“As an environmental advocate, I am pleased to see the state extend $4.8 million in funding to the Orphan Well program, which is vital to the health and safety of Ohioans and conserves Ohio’s natural resources. It is crucial that the state continues to fund the important work of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in order to maintain a healthy environment for Ohioans to enjoy for years to come,” said Rep. Lightbody.
Over $14 million was also allocated to address environmental issues facing Ohio, including to improve water quality protection, increase recycling and litter control, and clean up Ohio’s trails. Additionally, $4 million was allocated to local law enforcement agencies to assist local communities in reducing and preventing crime.
Other approved items include:
· $10 million to the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services to purchase additional pharmaceutical and medical supplies, including naloxone and personal protective equipment related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
· $4.5 million to Ohio Department of Medicaid to assist with Multi-system Youth Custody Relinquishment;
· $7.4 million to the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio to support students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).