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Local Lawmakers Say Relief Money Needed To Repair COVID-19 Damage

The Licking County Courthouse in Newark.
Wikimedia Commons
The Licking County Courthouse in Newark.

The new COVID relief package is bringing $2.2 billion to Ohio’s 88 counties, and another $2.2 billion will go to 930 Ohio cities and villages. Two local leaders say the money should be seen as long-term investments to repair pandemic related economic damage.

Counties will receive anywhere from $255 million to $2.5 million each.

Republican county commissioner Tim Bubb is in Licking County, which will get more than $34 million. Bubb knows his GOP colleagues in Congress voted against the package, but he says the money is needed to provide relief from COVID-19.

“And I understood that," Budd says of the Republican delegation's votes. "But overall the country needs an infrastructure program and it needs relief from the pandemic."

The range for cities and villages is $1,000 to over $500 million. Democrat David Berger is the mayor of Lima, which is getting more than $26 million, and says he doesn’t understand the partisan opposition.

“I don’t have the luxury of simply deciding things on whose team I’m on. I’m on the team of my community,” Berger says.

The "American Rescue Plan," which totaled $1.9 trillion in all, was signed into law by President Biden last Thursday after passing the House and Senate with no Republican votes.

What questions do you have about COVID-19 and Ohio's response? Ask below and WOSU may answer as part of our series A Year Of COVID.