Rescue plan

Ohio House passes bill to spend US bailout funds

The bill, which allocates $ 4.2 billion in funding for the U.S. Ohio bailout, was sponsored by Canfield State Representative Al Cutrona, R-59th, and passed with bipartisan support .

COLUMBUS – Surrogate Home Bill 169 passed the Ohio House by an 84-6 vote on Thursday. The legislation sponsored by State Representative Al Cutrona of Canfield, R-59th, will invest $ 4.2 billion in US federal bailout dollars in states, schools, healthcare, primary responders and law enforcement.

Among Democrats voting for the bill was State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, who said in a press release that the bill is funded by several federal COVID relief programs. -19, the majority of which comes from America’s Rescue Plan Act backed by Democrats and enacted by President Joe Biden earlier this year.

The invoice was sent to Governor Mike DeWine for signature.

Cutrona in a press release said that Ohio public schools would receive $ 2.3 billion in aid from these federal funds. About $ 2 billion would be prescribed by the federal government and allocated according to the school funding formula. In addition, $ 155.2 million will be allocated to non-public schools.

“It is important that we allocate this money to our children because they are the future of our state and we must always invest in this future to ensure that Ohio continues to be a great place to live and raise a family,” Cutrona said.

Lepore-Hagan said hundreds of millions of dollars allocated to Ohio under the US bailout were at risk of expiring if the general assembly did not take legislative action on the funds this month, as News 5 Cleveland reported last month.

“Of course, I am happy to vote for this common sense legislation,” said Lepore-Hagan. “But you have to admire the nerve of those Ohio Republicans.

“Not a single Republican voted for the US bailout in Congress, but that won’t stop them from taking credit at the state level,” Lepore-Hagan said. “I hope the public will see through this and remember[s] that when Democrats win, they fight for the people, not for themselves.

Cutrona said the surrogate bill also allocates $ 1.89 billion to funding health and social services, to help address key workforce issues that the healthcare industry has faced. faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cutrona said $ 175 million will support the work of state and local law enforcement agencies to prevent and solve crime across Ohio.

“Protecting and funding our law enforcement has always been a priority for me and I am delighted to see Bill 169 passed upstairs ensuring that those on the front line are funded and have the appropriate training and equipment. Cutrona mentioned.

Cutrona said law enforcement and first responders will have access to improved technology for crime labs.

He said $ 75 million will be allocated to help relieve entities that have faced new challenges and stress due to COVID-19. The funding will be used to address the stress and trauma that first responders have faced as a result of the pandemic and will help them cope with that stress by creating wellness programs, he said.

Lepore-Hagan provided his own breakdown of the Sub. HB 169 attributions:

  • $ 2.48 billion for K-12 schools;
  • $ 1.05 billion to help health care providers hire and retain employees;
  • $ 639 million in additional child care grants to improve hiring and retention of staff and improve access to child care;
  • $ 250 million in grants for law enforcement agencies;
  • $ 91.1 million for the Department of Health to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and address other public health priorities;
  • $ 7.3 million to prevent youth homelessness.

She said the US bailout is landmark legislation for the Biden administration and advances many long-standing Democratic priorities, including investments in workers, families and communities as Ohio and the nation continue to rebuild amid the COVID-19 pandemic after decades of failure to invest in families and communities.

She said the plan will reduce health insurance premiums, extend tax credits to families with children and invest in jobs.

Cutrona’s Bill 243 on Ohio House passes

COLUMBUS – Bill 243, another Cutrona-sponsored bill that is expected to streamline knife regulation in the state, also passed the House on Thursday by 57 to 36 votes.

The bill would prevent political subdivisions from enacting their own knife laws, contributing to a “confusing patchwork of knife regulations” for Ohioians, a press release from Cutrona’s office read.

Under current law, residents of Ohio who travel to other towns or villages carrying knives – which could be used as work tools – could face prosecution if they are not aware of the knife restrictions in this locality.

Cutrona said similar legislation has been enacted in 12 states in the United States and no issues have been raised regarding knife protection laws. In addition, no effort has been made to repeal these laws.

“House Bill 243 is a great opportunity to protect the unwary from overbearing and confusing knife regulations and an opportunity for Ohio to join with 12 other states in leading the way on knife prevention law,” said said Cutrona.