House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today issued a statement as the Ohio House passed House Bill (HB) 481, which would distribute $350 million in federal CARES Act funds to aid coronavirus response in Ohio communities.
Funds will go toward reimbursement for personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line workers, testing and other costs as local communities continue to combat the global pandemic.
“Local communities are leading our response to this pandemic, working closely with frontline workers to get them the tools they need to keep Ohioans healthy and to save lives. Directing these funds to our local communities is critical, not only to stabilize their budgets during uncertain times, but to keep up the fight against this virus that remains as deadly and dangerous as ever especially as we continue to reopen the state,” said Leader Sykes.
The bill also re-appropriates $1.28 billion in capital funds over the next two years to fund various capital improvement projects across the state.
“HB 481 directs critical funding to our communities as they continue to lead our coronavirus response efforts,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the Ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee. “Additionally, we were able to re-appropriate funds to continue capital improvement projects at sites across the state, ensuring good-paying jobs to Ohio workers at a time when many are feeling the economic impact of this global crisis.”
In addition, HB 481 authorizes state employee pay freezes amid budget shortfalls as well as $3.2 million in state funding for nursing home facilities.
The bill now moves to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.