Today, state Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) gave sponsor testimony on Senate Bill 124, which will provide a $10 million appropriation each year to the Ohio Maritime Assistance Program. Maritime ports are a crucial point of contact between land and sea, and function as a place where goods are imported or exported to destinations within Ohio and across the country.
“Additional funding will allow ports to expand and improve their operations,” said Senator Williams. “With this appropriation, major improvements can increase the operational capacity of Ohio’s ports which directly impacts the expansion of employment and business opportunities.”
The bill will do the following:
- Establish the Ohio Maritime Assistance Program through the Department of Transportation
- Appropriate $10 million each year to the Ohio Maritime Assistance Program
- Enables existing ports, and those seeking to build additional ports, to apply for grants through the program
- Mandate that ports receiving grants must match each dollar received
“Many people are unaware of the importance of maritime ports in Ohio and the economic benefits they provide,” said Senator Williams. “Ports have continually demonstrated their impacts on the economy, specifically in our great state of Ohio. Cleveland and Toledo encompass two of Ohio’s largest port locations and have both collectively contributed to the creation of more than 27,273 jobs across the state of Ohio. Workforce expansion leads to an increase in employment opportunities for all Ohioans.”