Senate District 24
Matt Dolan
 
 
 
 
 
Dolan Champions Efforts to Support Local Communities as they Rebuild
June 16, 2020

COLUMBUS— During these challenging budget times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) took the lead as the Senate Finance Chair to protect schools from drastic cuts and sponsored the distribution of federal dollars for pandemic relief to counties and local governments.


Dolan also led the charge to save public infrastructure improvement projects for local communities and colleges and universities that were eliminated in the House version of the bill. 


The Ohio budget is facing a $2.4 billion shortfall for the next fiscal year starting July 1 because many Ohio employers had to close their doors during the height of the COVID-19 virus after Governor Mike DeWine’s administration issued orders to close most businesses, restaurants and entertainment venues. Tax receipts plummeted during this period leading to the state’s financial difficulties. 


“I fully recognize the economic pressures facing local governments and school districts during the mandatory closures of businesses during the pandemic. I realize the hard work facing city halls, county governments, school districts to maintain quality services with declining revenue. I worked with all parties from the Governor on down to fairly distribute Ohio’s resources and federal dollars,” said Senator Dolan.


Senator Dolan helped to reduce drastically the planned cuts to primary and secondary education in an amendment to House Bill 164 that capped the state funding reductions proposed by the Governor at six percent for the next school year when offset by federal CARES dollars allocated to K-12 schools.


Several local school districts expressed their support for this legislation, including:
 
Strongsville City Schools


“Strongsville City Schools appreciate Senator Dolan’s efforts to secure necessary state funding for our District,” said Superintendent Cameron Ryba of Strongsville School District. “Due to Senator Dolan’s efforts, our District will now only see a $544,022 reduction in state funding, compared to the Governor’s original proposal of $1.5 million in reductions. His efforts have significantly supported our District’s ability to meet the needs of all students during these unprecedented times, while at the same time protecting the investment of our local taxpayers.”

Chagrin Falls Schools
On behalf of Chagrin Falls, Superintendent Robert W. Hunt said: “The Chagrin Falls community and school district are extremely appreciative of Senator Dolan’s ongoing commitment to education. His most recent work to minimize the most recent state funding reduction on our school district significantly helps our ability to continue to offer a robust educational experience to our students.” 
 
Westlake City Schools
Superintendent Scott Goggin said he understands reductions are necessary but “the original reduction plan was disproportionate. Senator Dolan developed and advocated for a plan that limited the exposure for all school districts across Ohio to 6 percent or less."

“For Westlake, his (Dolan’s) plan reduced our State foundation reduction from 41% to 6%. Senator Dolan directly impacted our students through his creative thinking and advocacy for public education.”

Senator Dolan was the primary sponsor to distribute $350 million of Ohio’s share of the CARES pandemic federal relief dollars to counties, municipalities and townships to be used for “necessary expenses incurred during due to the public health emergency.” The money is to cover expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic incurred between March 1 and December 30, 2020. 

Local governments also issued their support for this legislation, including:


Cuyahoga County Mayors and Managers Association
“We are grateful for Senator Dolan’s leadership in ensuring that the federal CARES act money flowed back to our local communities,” said Strongsville Mayor Tom Perciak and President of the Cuyahoga County Mayors and Managers Association. “Given the financial pressure we are all under, that money is critical. He (Dolan) made it happen.”

Parma Mayor Tim Degeeter:
“As Mayor and Executive Board Member of the Ohio Mayors Alliance, we appreciate the hard work of Senator Dolan on behalf of all local governments.”

The Capital project re-appropriation funding was in jeopardy for community projects and college and university projects after the House proposed to eliminate the vast majority of them. Senator Dolan worked with Governor DeWine and the Office of Budget and Management to save the projects. These included $1.85 million for Playhouse Square, $2.5 million for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, $1.25 million for the Cleveland Museum of Art, $6.3 million for Cleveland State University, $2.5 million for Cuyahoga County Community College, and other statewide projects including Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“Every project funded in this bill equals jobs for Ohioans,” said Senator Dolan. “The ongoing support of our colleges, arts, and communities will attract students and residents to Ohio and Cuyahoga County. I am happy to have worked with the Governor to keep these projects on track and to benefit all of our citizens.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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