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Ohio House Dems announce $310 million in federal funds for pandemic response, childcare and elections

Say more needs to be done before state begins to reopen
April 27, 2020
Democratic Newsroom

House Democrats today announced $310 million in federal funds to support Ohio’s frontline workers, bolster the state’s publicly funded childcare programs, and help the state prepare for the November election, which will likely be held during the worst global pandemic in more than a century.

“Increasing our response capacity, from testing and PPE to available beds at our hospitals, is critical to getting our state to a place where we can safely begin to lift the restrictions and get Ohio moving again. While this is a step in the right direction, health experts agree that we’re not there yet,” said House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron).

Federal funds released by the State Controlling Board include:

  • $113.3 million in federal CARES Act funding to support hospital buildout, increased testing capacity, purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers, and other costs associated with the state’s ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response efforts.
  • $65 million in TANF Block Grants, as well as another $118 million in federal funding to bolster the state’s Publicly Funded Child Care Program. Funding will ensure children of front line workers have the care they need as well as position childcare centers to reopen at the order of the governor.
  • $13.8 million to the Ohio Secretary of State for security upgrades to the state’s aging elections infrastructure, including grants to local boards for both physical and cybersecurity improvements. The Secretary’s office will also create a county IT liaison and physical security liaison to aid counties in identifying and addressing security threats.

“Good government is government that works, and these funds will better allow our state to respond to this crisis while maintaining essential functions like childcare and election administration,” said Controlling Board member Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). “While I’m encouraged with this funding, we need to continue to work together to support working people, families and small businesses impacted by this crisis.”