RELEASE: Schaffer Cosponsors Legislation Providing $350 Million to Local Governments for COVID-19 Relief
COLUMBUS – State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) today announced the passage of Senate Bill 310, which he cosponsored, which allocates $350 million in federal CARES Act funding to Ohio’s local governments through the counties for relief in COVID-19 related expenses.
“This funding is being sent to Ohio’s counties, municipalities and townships for expenses associated with the current COVID-19 public health emergency,” Schaffer said, “and it will be distributed based on the proportion of Local Government Fund revenue allocated to them in 2019."
“Per the rigid U.S. Department of Treasury rules and guidelines, these dollars are specifically to cover COVID-19 related expenses,” Schaffer said. “We are hoping that the U.S. Treasury Department will change its rules soon to release the restrictions on this money that the states and local governments across the United States must comply with. Nearly all of the states are pressuring the Federal government to loosen the rules up.”
“Irresponsible counties, states and local governments that violate the federal rules with this money will likely fail U.S. government audits and will have to pay it back--with interest,” Schaffer said. “So the stakes are very high to get this right and disburse the money legally."
"I am also pleased that the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, Ohio Municipal League, Ohio Mayors Alliance and Ohio Township Association all supported the legislation, participated in its development and communicated frequently with their members,” Schaffer said. “The current COVID-19 crisis our state is enduring has affected all Ohioans, and local governments have surely felt the ramifications of this pandemic. “I understand and value the critical role local governments play in maintaining a strong, safe and resilient Ohio, and today, my Senate colleagues and I took action to distribute $350 million in federal funding to local governments that have to date not received any direct CARES Act payments.”
The legislation passed unanimously 33-0 with an emergency clause, making the bill effective immediately upon being signed by the governor. The bill now moves to the Ohio House for consideration. For more information on Senate Bill 310, click here
. Today’s session is archived on www.OhioChannel.org