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State Lawmakers Approve CARES Act Funding Distribution

Andy Chow
Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) talks with reporters following an Ohio Senate session through a teleconference from his office.

State lawmakers approved hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to help local governments recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The vast majority of Ohio House and Senate members approved a bill, HB481, that includes $350 million from the federal CARES Act.

The money will go to local townships and municipalities.

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) says the appropriation was separated from other policy issues, including a change to prevailing wage, so the CARES Act money could move forward.

"Those are emergencies that need to be done now so we created a second vehicle to make sure those can be done now as emergency measures," says Obhof.

Several local government associations such as the Ohio Mayors Alliance, Ohio Municipal League, County Commissioners Association of Ohio, and the Ohio Township Association put out a written statement after the bill passed.

"Local governments face a perfect storm of increasing costs and decreasing revenue as a result of this health and economic crisis, and these initial funds will help provide immediate relief for our front-line workers," the group said in the statement.

About $4.5 billion is coming to Ohio from the CARES Act. The state is in charge of distributing a portion of that money to communities with fewer than half a million people.

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