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Ohio lawmakers work to clear $2B in federal COVID relief

April 16, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — More than $2 billion in federal aid to Ohio schools, businesses and renters is nearing final approval at the Ohio Statehouse, where both legislative chambers have now cleared the spending in some form.

The Ohio House approved its final piece of the legislation Thursday. Multiple bills in both chambers must next be reconciled and sent to Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine for his signature.

The pools of funding come from the federal CARES Act, passed last year, and the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill signed in March.

Ohio’s distributions include $857 million for public and private schools and other educational services; $465 million in emergency rental assistance,and $240 million for child care services and providers, veterans’ homes and fairs.

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Business relief includes $150 million for a small business grant relief program; $100 million for bars and restaurants; $25 million for the lodging industry; $20 million for indoor entertainment venues to recoup lost revenue; and $10 million for grants to new businesses opened after January 1, 2020.

Also included is $173 million for COVID testing and vaccine distribution by the Ohio Department of Health and $8 million for the Adjutant General to support the Ohio National Guard response to the pandemic.