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Lawmakers Approve Rental Stimulus Checks From Ohio, But Many Say It Won’t Help

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Ohio lawmakers recently approved a plan that could help prevent evictions. The lawmakers specifically approved a $161 million rental assistance program. Many, however, believe that the rental stimulus checks from Ohio won’t be of much help unless Gov. Mike DeWine line-item vetoes a part of the bill that includes this rental assistance program.

Rental Stimulus Checks From Ohio: Are They Going To Help?

Last week, the Ohio General Assembly approved a massive spending bill amounting to $6 billion. Most of the funding for this bill comes from the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Ohio’s spending bill includes $161 million to prevent evictions. However, as per the bill, these rental stimulus checks from Ohio can only be applied for late payments incurred through the end of 2021.

Many lawmakers believe that this deadline of 2021 could make this rental assistance program useless. These lawmakers argue that there aren’t many families who would need this rental assistance if the 2021 deadline stays. This is because most residents with outstanding rent before Dec. 31, 2021 would have already moved out or been evicted.

Rather, the need is desperate for people who are late with their rent from sometime in 2022. Thus, many organizations across the state are requesting Gov. DeWine to line-item veto the deadline part of the bill to make the rental assistance program more effective. 

If no such changes are made, it could prevent the state from meeting federal spending deadlines. This, in turn, could result in the U.S. Treasury Department redistributing the federal money to other states.

Gov. DeWine has to sign or veto bills within 10 days of receiving them (excluding Sundays or holidays).

Ohio’s Spending Bill: What Else Does It Include?

Apart from the rent and utility assistance, the $6 billion spending bill also allocates money for many other segments. For instance, the bill sets asides $1.75 billion for Ohio’s schools.

The schools need to use at least 20% of the money they get to address pandemic-related learning loss, while the rest of the money can be used for a wide variety of activities allowable under existing federal education funds. The legislation also offers $112 million to schools toward school security.

The Ohio bill also directs the Department of Jobs and Family Services to use about $500 million toward childcare. Moreover, the bill allocates $350 million to nursing homes toward “workforce relief payments,” as well as about $170 million for Ohio hospitals.

Funds have also been set aside for many home and community-based care programs, including $85 million for behavioral health programs and $50 million to expand the PACE program.

The legislation also allots $150 million to support lead poisoning prevention projects, as well as $25 million for food banks and another $5 million to the Children’s Hunger Alliance for providing meals to food-insecure children.

The spending bill also creates a new grant program that offers adoption perks between $10,000 and $20,000. The bill sets aside $15 million to administer the program for the fiscal year 2023.