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DeWine Signs Big Spending Bill To Send Federal Money Around Ohio

 Gov. Mike DeWine signs HB169.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine signs HB169.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill into law just before Christmas that doles out $4 billion in federal funds to a variety of industries in Ohio.

The legislation appropriates billions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Those funds will go to many different sectors of Ohio including K-12 schools, hospitals, community groups, child care facilities and other sources.

DeWine vetoed a line of the bill that suspended the Step Up To Quality program through 2022. Step Up To Quality is the accountability program used to determine which child care facilities get state assistance.

Republican leaders in the Ohio Senate, including Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima), have been targeting Step Up To Quality as a program to eliminate.

"Reliable, affordable, accessible childcare remains a priority for moms and dads heading back to work during the pandemic. Limiting their options based on the unintended consequences of the Step Up to Quality program only affects the quality of choices and options parents have," John Fortney, director of communications for the Ohio Senate Republican Caucus, wrote in a statement.

DeWine said the program is important but that he was instructing his administration to take a closer look at Step Up To Quality and remove any bureaucratic barriers within the program.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.