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Rep. Brown announces over $547 million in federal funds for COVID-19 and economic relief

Says economic relief is long overdue
October 27, 2020
Richard D. Brown News

COLUMBUS – Assistant Minority Whip Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester) 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 COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am pleased to announce that much needed funding from the CARES Act has been allocated to aid working Ohioans who are facing difficult economic times as a result of this global pandemic. Small businesses, charitable organizations, and institutions of higher education, will be able to make excellent use of this funding and will help stabilize our economy,” said Rep. Brown. “Ohio House Democrats have been calling for summer recess to be cancelled since June so that we could distribute these funds earlier, but Ohio’s Republican leadership has been sitting on these funds all summer so that they could use the announcement as a political stunt the week before the election. Working Ohioans needed these funds months ago, not just when it was politically convenient for the Majority Caucus”

The Controlling Board Monday approved federal CARES Act funding for several items aimed at providing financial relief to Ohio’s citizens, small businesses, and non-profits that have been impacted by the pandemic:

·         $125 million to create the Small Business Relief Grant Program;

·         $55.2 million for rent, mortgage and utility assistance

·         $38.7 million to create the Ohio Bar and Restaurant Assistance Program;

·         $20 million to create the Ohio Arts and Cultural Organizations Grant Program ;

·         $25 million to the Ohio Dept. of Job and Family Services to support non-profit organizations

While this economic relief funding is critical for many Ohioans, House Democrats took issue with how long these funds were withheld. Since the start of the pandemic, Democrats have been calling for the legislature to return to session to pass several Democratic-sponsored bills that provide rental, mortgage and utility relief for residents, aid and assistance to small businesses, front-line workers, unemployed Ohioans, caregivers, schools and so many others who have been struggling.

The Controlling Board on Monday also voted to approve the following COVID-19 related and funding items using federal dollars:

·         $93.3 million to the Ohio Dept. of Health to expand statewide COVID-19 testing capabilities;

·         $62 million for Ohio’s rural hospitals;

·         $100 million to Ohio public higher education institutions;

·         $24.6 million to the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety to support the Ohio National Guard’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic;

·         $2.5 million to the Ohio Dept. of Veterans Services to reimburse costs related to addressing COVID-19 spread in Ohio Veterans Homes in Georgetown and Sandusky;

·         $1 million Ohio’s public libraries to continue operations