COLUMBUS – House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and House Democrats Monday announced the approval of funds by the Controlling Board to further aid the state’s response to the health and economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding was also approved for voter education efforts and to support women-owned and veteran friendly businesses.


“We’ve heard from countless constituents in need of help with their unemployment claims since the pandemic began. Getting these funds to the Department of Jobs and Family Services is a critical step towards helping ease the economic burden felt by thousands of working Ohioans,” said Leader Sykes (D-Akron).


The Controlling Board on Monday voted to approve the following funding items:



  • $81.5 million of federal CARES Act funds to the Ohio Department of Health to expand the state’s COVID-19 testing capabilities;

  • $45 million to the Ohio Dept. of Job and Family Services for the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act to promote job creation and $141.6 million to supplement the state’s unemployment program;

  • $31 million to the Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Higher Education, and Education to address the behavioral health impacts of COCID-19;

  • $15.2 million in relief payments for Adult Day Care and Senior Centers;

  • $10 million direct loan to reopen the East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry, which will provide critical medical care and create an estimated 300 jobs;

  • $1.1 million to the Secretary of State for the Citizens Education Fund to promote election information to the public;

  • $120,000 to upgrade existing employment systems to accommodate women-owned and veteran-friendly businesses


“There continues to be a rural healthcare crisis in Ohio and around the nation.  The reopening of East Ohio Regional Hospital provides critical medical care and jobs to our part of the state” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), who is a member of the Controlling Board.


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