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Government/Politics

DeWine signs big spending bill to send federal money around the state

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Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
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Gov. Mike DeWine signs HB169.

The money is intended to help different companies and organizations continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) signed a bill into law just before Christmas that doles out $4 billion in federal funds to a variety of industries in Ohio.

The legislation appropriates the billions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Those funds will go to many different sectors of Ohio including K-12 schools, hospitals, community groups, child care facilities and other sources.

DeWine vetoed a line of the bill that suspended the Step Up To Quality program through 2022. Step Up To Quality is the accountability program used to determine which child care facilities get state assistance.

Republican leaders in the Ohio Senate, include Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima), have been targeting Step Up To Quality as a program to eliminate.

"Reliable, affordable, accessible childcare remains a priority for moms and dads heading back to work during the pandemic. Limiting their options based on the unintended consequences of the Step Up to Quality program only affects the quality of choices and options parents have," John Fortney, director of communications for the Ohio Senate Republican Caucus, wrote in a statement.

DeWine said the program is important but that he was instructing his administration to take a closer look at Step Up To Quality and remove any bureaucratic barriers within the program.

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