Rep. Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester) applauded the House passage of a $2 billion package of coronavirus relief bills yesterday to deliver direct aid for rent and utility assistance, childcare providers, bars, restaurants, lodging and schools, among other industries facing economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic. Democratic lawmakers also expressed concern over the months-long delay in the release of the funding, which they say slowed the state’s recovery.
“While it is my belief that these funds to assist working Ohioans’ should have been distributed far earlier in this crisis, I was proud to vote for these pieces of legislation yesterday,” said Rep. Brown. “Millions of dollars will now be heading to local governments, school districts, small businesses, and everyday Ohioans’ so that they can better weather this storm”.
Funding for the package, House Bills 167-170, was included in the federal CARES Act which passed in March 2020, as well as the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, which passed in Dec. 2020.
During the committee process, Democrats fought to expand stipend eligibility to allow more child care providers to qualify, helping smaller, family-run child care providers access critical funding during the pandemic.
Funding in the bills include:
- $465 million for emergency rental and utility assistance.
- $100 million for federal disaster assistance
- $299.9 million for grants to businesses and child care providers impacted by COVID-19, and for local fairs and Ohio Veterans Homes.
- $135 million to provide grants to bars, restaurants, and lodging businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- $683.1 million for Federal Coronavirus School Relief
- $154.9 million emergency assistance funds to non-public schools.
- $173 million to the Department of Health for Public Health Emergency Response.
- $19 million of federal funds to county boards of developmental disabilities serving school-age students, educational service centers, and joint vocational school districts.
- $8 million to the Adjutant General for coronavirus relief.