COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Executive Directors of several Ohio local government associations: the Ohio Mayors Alliance, Keary McCarthy; the Ohio Municipal League, Kent Scarrett; the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, Cheryl Subler; and the Ohio Township Association, Heidi Fought released the following joint statement today after the Ohio House concurred on House Bill 481, which includes $350 million in federal aid to help local governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic:
“We would like to thank the members of the Ohio General Assembly for approving HB 481 and providing much needed federal aid to Ohio’s local governments as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.
“There is much work to do and many challenges still ahead, but passage of the first phase of this funding is a critical step forward that will help local communities in every corner of Ohio. We look forward to our continued partnership with the state legislative leaders and the Governor to ensure that we have a safe, strong and swift recovery.”
Earlier this year, Congress passed the CARES Act, which allocated some federal aid to states and local governments to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ohio received an estimated $4.5 billion dollars. A portion of that amount was allocated to political subdivisions with populations larger than 500,000, and the remainder was allocated to the state of Ohio. An estimated $1.2 billion is available to be distributed to local governments smaller than 500,000 in population. HB 481 allocates $350 million of the $1.2 billion for local governments as a first phase allocation.