COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 168 Tuesday morning, which allocates American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
According to a release, the bill invests $2.2 billion in federal ARPA funding into local economic recovery, improvements to Ohio’s pediatric health care facilities, and improvements to water and sewer infrastructure in Ohio.
“This bill addresses some of the most fundamental responsibilities that we share as public servants,” said DeWine.
The Act provided approximately $2.7 billion to Ohio, according to Gov. DeWine. The ARPA funding is given out in two separate payments. Another $2.7 billion will be given to the state in a year.
DeWine said at the bill signing that $84 million will go towards pediatric behavioral health and $250 million will be invested in Ohio’s water/sewer infrastructure.
“One of the things that we have seen during this pandemic is an increase in children’s mental health challenges,” said DeWine. “This is something that we have seen for some time and it’s something that the state simply has to address.”
The bill also allots funding to repay Ohio’s loan to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund which was “necessary to pay unemployment benefits during the pandemic.”