WASHINGTON, D.C., – Seven county officials from Ohio traveled to the White House to participate in Communities in Action: Building A Better Ohio on September 7. Six commissioners and one county executive from across the state joined other local government officials and community leaders to meet with senior officials from the Biden-Harris Administration. The event highlighted how recently passed federal legislation is affecting the state and local communities.
The county officials who attended are:
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
The American Rescue Plan Act is part of an intentional strategy to not only help Ohioans recover economically, but to build equitable futures, explained Gene Sperling, Senior Advisor to the President and American Rescue Plan Coordinator, who moderated the discussion. $4.5 billion from ARPA was allocated for reopening school districts in Ohio, and to address learning loss and mental health support for students. Another $1.2 billion was used to help keep students enrolled in college, including approximately $305 million for community colleges and $34 million for two HBCUs.
Franklin County Commissioner Erica Crawley expanded on how ARPA funds have benefitted the county so far, with workforce and childcare challenges as key focuses. “Between August 2020 and August 2022, we have had 200 childcare centers closed,” said Crawley. One program which has helped families and teachers in central Ohio is Franklin County Rise, which “allows for 750 families who make between 143% and 300% of the federal poverty level to have access to $10,00 a year to help with childcare expenses,” said Crawley. The program also provides rental assistance to childcare workers and teachers to help workforce retention
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has already delivered results for the people of Ohio. To date, over $2.8 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has been announced and is heading to Ohio with over 125 special projects identified for funding,” said Keisha Lance Bottoms, Senior Advisor to the President for Public Engagement. Over $2.3 billion will be invested in transportation, and over $240 million for clean water. Additionally, over 670,000 households across the state are receiving affordable internet access thanks to the BIL.
CHIPS and Science Act
Another way recent legislation has benefitted Ohio is through The CHIPS and Science Act, which has already begun to yield manufacturing job growth. Intel has announced a $20 billion in Ohio in response to the CHIPS Act, providing high-paying manufacturing jobs for Ohioans.
CCAO supports effective county government through legislative advocacy, education and training, quality enterprise service programs and a greater understanding of county government. By partnering with county commissioners, executives and council members, CCAO and its members work toward a shared goal of improving and advancing Ohio’s 88 counties. Stronger counties build a stronger Ohio.