DeWine highlights investments in capital budget bill

For the Miami Valley Today

COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced investments contained in House Bill 687, the capital budget bill.

“This budget is about creating jobs, and growing the economy for Ohioans,” said DeWine. “I greatly appreciate the members of the General Assembly for their partnership on this budget, which makes important investments in many state and local infrastructure projects that will benefit Ohioans for years to come.”

“The Capital Budget invests in the infrastructure that will advance the Intel project and fund educational infrastructure that will help build the workforce we need to compete and win a brighter economic future for Ohio,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Our state’s best days are ahead of us, and we are grateful to the legislature for their collaboration to make Ohio the go-to state in the Midwest.”

Capital budget highlights include:

• Pay for improvements in mental health care.

• Infrastructure projects to prepare for the construction of the Intel facilities.

• Bringing greater security to schools.

• Supporting construction and renovation at schools, colleges, and universities.

• Improving beautiful state parks.

• Protecting livestock industry.

• Enhancing security in prisons.

• Providing more independent living options for Ohioans with developmental disabilities.

• Building new facilities for firefighter training.

MENTAL HEALTH

House Bill 687 provides more than $92 million for mental health and addiction services across the state and in local communities. It includes support for renovations and improvements at state behavioral health hospitals, and funding for local supportive and recovery housing, mental health treatment facilities, and community program spaces.

The funding will also support community resiliency projects for middle and high school youth. The projects that will benefit from this funding focus on treatment and recovery, risk reduction, improved quality of care, and enhancing partnerships in communities.

INTEL

As part of its commitment to its Ohio semiconductor manufacturing project, Intel is investing $20 billion, creating 3,000 jobs, and growing a vast supply chain that will benefit companies throughout Ohio. To support the Intel project, HB 687 made the following investments:

• $600 million for an onshoring incentive grant, which is performance-based, to help offset costs compared with factories built in Asian markets.

• $101 million for local water and wastewater capacity upgrades.

• $95 million for local roads.

• $110 million for state roads.

• $300 million for a state-of-the art water reclamation facility.

SCHOOL SECURITY

$100 million from House Bill 687 will cover a new round of school safety grants for public, private, and parochial schools. The grants will be used to pay for baseline security in school buildings, classrooms, parking lots, and elsewhere on school property. The grants will also cover security features such as visitor badging systems, facility mapping, school radio systems, GPS tracking on student transport vehicles, exterior lights, notification systems, security training, and door locking systems.

STATE PARKS

House Bill 687 allocates $515 million, the largest such investment in Ohio history, to help provide significant improvements in lodges, campgrounds, cabins, dams, trails, and natural areas, in addition to continuing the historic preservation of the Muskingum River Lock and Dam. These funds will also be used for safety-related projects, such as the repair of dams and bridges, and to fix some historic sites in Ohio’s parks. House Bill 687 also invests in wildlife research, conservation, and helps protect and improve some of our most important forests and natural areas, including Blackhand Gorge in Licking County, which has trails in need of repair.

ANIMAL DISEASE DIAGNOSTIC LAB

To protect public health, assure animal health and welfare, and maintain food safety and security, House Bill 687 includes about $72 million for the Ohio Department of Agriculture to build a new Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. The current lab supports a $6 billion industry that includes livestock, equine, companion and wild animals, zoos, and fisheries.

PRISONS

House Bill 687 allocates $403 million to projects for Ohio’s jails and prisons:

• $50 million in grants to Ohio’s jails to address the most pressing safety and security needs. This money is in addition to the $50 million in grant money awarded to six jails last year for much needed construction and renovation projects.

• $20 million for the construction of a new school building for the Ohio Reformatory for Women, replacing two older buildings, including a 92-year-old structure.

• $54 million to replace two 102-year-old housing units at the Pickaway Correctional Institution.

• $35 million to complete the replacement of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s current “man down” system – the communications system that notifies staff when there are employees in need of assistance.

• $222 million for ongoing projects to maintain prison infrastructure.

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY ASSISTANCE

To foster more independence and community engagement for Ohioans with developmental disabilities, House Bill 687 includes $25 million to fund the Community Capital Assistance program, which builds, buys, and renovates homes to create independent living options across the state.

FIREFIGHTER TRAINING

House Bill 687 includes $22 million in Division of State Fire Marshal improvement projects, including investments in modern training facilities for firefighters, such as:

• $12.8 million to build a new, high-rise training structure that simulates firefighting in various environments, including houses, apartments, offices, and light industrial facilities.

• $6.1 million for a search-and-rescue training center that presents a variety of real-world environments for fire, EMS, and law enforcement training.