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Rep. West announces $103 million in funds to aid COVID-19 response efforts, environmental protection, and low-income housing

March 8, 2021
Thomas West News

Today, Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) announced the state Controlling Board approved several requests for funding, including the release of $43.7 million in federal CARES Act funding to help Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Controlling Board approved several other measures to ensure clean water, support residents in low-income housing, and reimburse partners for PPE.

“This funding is much needed to protect incarcerated Ohioans and corrections staff from COVID-19, among many other important efforts,” said Rep. West. “Even as distribution of the vaccine ramps up, we must keep our guard up and continue to do what is necessary to protect the health of all Ohioans.”

Following today’s vote by the Controlling Board, $30 million of CARES Act money for Ohio will go to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in state prisons. $8 million will go towards various agencies, including those ensuring safe transportation throughout Ohio by increasing sanitation at Turnpike rest centers and plazas. Some of the money will also go towards providing PPE and increased cleaning costs for agencies throughout Ohio. 

An additional $2.5 million of CARES Act funding will go towards supporting Ohioans struggling with mental health during the pandemic. Another $2.5 million will go towards supporting the Ohio National Guard’s efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, $700,000 of CARES Act funding will go to Ohio’s veterans’ homes.

Other items approved during Monday’s Controlling Board meeting include:

·         $45 million in federal funding from FEMA to reimburse state and local government, non-profits, including non-profit hospitals for PPE, personnel costs, Emergency Operation Centers, and other COVID-19 related manners.

·         $14 million for H2Ohio wetland restoration projects across Ohio that will improve water quality and mitigate damage caused by major weather events.

·         $262,500 to help elderly and disabled low-income residents in rental housing access benefits and services, while maintaining their independence.