Lawmakers introduced the $2.6 billion capital budget for FY19-20 Monday, highlighting a $222 million portion dedicated to addiction and other health and human services purposes.
Both chambers plan hearings this week on their respective measures — SB266 (Oelslager) and HB529 (Ryan) — as the General Assembly looks to make quick work of the bill. Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) told reporters Monday he hopes to finish work on the bill in the third week of March. The House version is expected to be the final vehicle.
Obhof said the $222 million for health and human services projects is more than double what the previous capital budget allocated. Within that is a $20 million pool of money to be made available through competitive grants for “opioid community resiliency projects” that focus on youth. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (Ohio MHAS) will set rules for distributing that money.
Other major funding allocations in the bills are as follows:
- $600 million for school construction through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission,
- $483 million for universities and community colleges
- $514 million for local infrastructure projects through the Ohio Public Works commission, including $100 million for the Clean Ohio program.
- $234 million for parks, dams, trails, waterways and wildlife.
- About $147 million for community projects.
Obhof said school security upgrades are likely to be discussed as part of separate safety legislation.
The House Finance Committee is scheduled to consider HB529 at hearings Tuesday and Wednesday, while the Senate Finance Committee has hearings on SB266 scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday.