Schaffer Announces Passage of $650M in Pandemic Relief for Ohio's Communities
September 2, 2020
COLUMBUS—State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) today announced the Senate's unanimous passage of Senate Bill 357, providing an additional $650 million of federal CARES Act funding to local communities across Ohio for COVID-19 pandemic-related expenses.
The funding in Senate Bill 357 brings the total CARES Act disbursement by the Ohio General Assembly to $1.2 billion to Ohio’s local governments. The funds will be made available to counties, municipalities and townships for necessary expenses associated with the current public health emergency and will be distributed on a per capita basis. Of the $650 million, nearly $29 million will be sent to counties, townships, villages, and cities across the 20th Senate District.
"I’m proud of the Ohio Senate’s commitment to getting CARES Act funding out to our local governments," Schaffer said. "These vital funds will help our local leaders navigate this pandemic and get the resources they need to serve our local citizens."
Senate Bill 357 will be the third round of coronavirus relief funding for counties, municipalities and townships following the state Controlling Board’s recent authorization of $175 million and the General Assembly’s approval in June of $350 million through House Bill 481.
The legislation includes an emergency clause, making the bill effective immediately upon being signed by the governor. The bill will now be sent to the Ohio House for consideration.
The Senate also voted 22-8 in favor of the conference report on House Bill 606, sending the bill to the Governor for his consideration. House Bill 606 provides liability protections to businesses, schools and healthcare providers during declared disasters or emergencies.
"Our businesses and organizations throughout Ohio deserve this relief and peace of mind. This bill removes an additional burden from the shoulders of business owners," Schaffer said. “After many months and deliberation we have passed House Bill 606 and this much needed legislation is on its way to the Governor.”
The legislation aims to protect against frivolous lawsuits that allege exposure to COVID-19 on the entity's premises, unless it is found that the business owner, school or provider acted with reckless or intentional misconduct to spread the virus.
The protections in House Bill 606 are temporary and would continue through September 30, 2021.