Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted Unveil Plan of More than $1 Billion Targeted to Strengthen and Grow Ohio Communities and Businesses
COLUMBUS, OH (STL.News) Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted unveiled their Executive Budget for Fiscal Years 2022 to 2023, which includes an aggressive plan to spur Ohio’s continued recovery by investing in communities, people, and businesses. Through the Investing In Ohio Initiative, the Executive Budget launches a strategic effort to invest more than $1 billion toward accelerating economic growth and ensuring economic vitality.
“We have a unique opportunity to make significant investments that will spur growth and economic renewal across the state,” said Governor DeWine. “The Investing In Ohio Initiative supports both our people and our economy as we continue to prepare for the future and showcase Ohio as the premier place to live and work.”
The Investing In Ohio Initiative within the proposed Executive Budget includes $460 million to support Ohio’s small businesses that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal includes:
- Investing $200 million in grants for bars and restaurants;
- Investing $150 million in grants for Small Business Relief Grant applicants, who previously applied and are qualified;
- Investing $50 million in grants for lodging industry businesses;
- Investing $40 million in grants for indoor entertainment venues;
- And investing $20 million in grants for new businesses, many of whom were unqualified to receive previous funding.
“It is a responsible, balanced budget that invests in our health, educational and economic recovery from the pandemic,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “We are championing career training and in-demand industry credentials that will help tens of thousands more Ohioans a year earn the skills that will prepare them for quality, good paying jobs without the high cost of a college education.”
The Investing In Ohio Initiative also includes a $70 million investment to upskill Ohio’s workforce. This funding works to ensure that businesses have access to the talent needed to be successful, while upskilling Ohioans who are looking to acquire in-demand, tech-focused credentials. The workforce investments also includes targeted funding for economically distressed rural and urban parts of Ohio. The proposal includes:
- Investing an additional $5 million for 5,000 tech-focused credentials through the TechCred program in fiscal year 2021;
- Funding $50 million ($25 million in each fiscal year 2022 and 2023) for 40,000 tech-focused credentials through the TechCred program;
- And investing $15 million for workforce efforts in economically distressed rural and urban communities.
Ohio’s communities have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Investing In Ohio Initiative includes a targeted investment of $200 million to support infrastructure projects that will attract new jobs and investment opportunities. Additionally, the budget makes a landmark investment towards broadband expansion by providing $250 million to help bridge the digital divide.
At the onset of the pandemic, Governor DeWine took swift action to control state spending through targeted revenue reductions, which along with increased funding from the federal government, limited the economic impact of the pandemic on the state budget. The Investing In Ohio Initiative targets one-time investments to the most hard-hit industries in the pandemic.
“As we enter the year 2021 and emerge from winter, the path of economic recovery continues to be directly tied to beating this global COVID-19 pandemic. Ohioans, our families, friends and neighbors must remain vigilant,” said OBM Director Kimberly Murnieks. “Through these shared priorities and fiscal prudence, Governor DeWine charts a course of genuine stewardship with a balanced budget and expert and leading eyes on the changing marketplace.”
The Investing In Ohio Initiative also includes a $50 million investment toward elevating Ohio’s standing on a national scale through a marketing campaign to promote the state as a world-class place to live, work, and learn. The initiative aims to showcase all that Ohio, and its people, have to offer, including its wide array of career opportunities, top-tier colleges and universities, premier destinations, and vibrant communities.
“This is our opportunity to tell people what we already know: Ohio is the best place to find your future- a family, a career, an education, and a place to call home,” said Governor DeWine. “We want to position Ohio as the place to be. After the pandemic proved that people could work anywhere, we want to convince them to live and work here.”
Governor DeWine’s proposed Executive Budget also invests in key administration initiatives, such as RecoveryOhio, Children’s Initiative, H2Ohio, workforce development, TechCred, and broadband.
The proposed Executive Budget “blue book,” including Governor DeWine’s full budget recommendations, and budget highlights, can be found on budget.ohio.gov.