COLUMBUS -- Ohio lawmakers approved on Wednesday a series of relief measures aimed helping the state cope with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Among other provisions, the legislation aims to provide relief to Ohio taxpayers, continue the essential operations of state government, and assists small businesses, according to state Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario).
Romanchuk co-sponsored the legislation, which passed unanimously in the Ohio House and Senate, and is expected to be signed by Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday.
“The health and well-being of every resident is of critical importance to me and I am proud that my colleagues in the Ohio House and Senate took swift action on a major relief package that will provide this emergency assistance,” Romanchuk said in a statement.
“We worked collaboratively and quickly to ensure that we could address our most pressing needs during these unprecedented times. My office remains open and my staff and I will assist you in any way that we can," said Romanchuk, whose district includes all of Richland County.
The bill passed by the Ohio House yesterday does the following:
-- moves the state tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15.
-- prohibits water shutoffs.
-- waives waiting period, changes eligibility for COVID-19 and waives work search requirements under the state’s unemployment law.
-- permits the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to continue making payments to publicly funded childcare providers during the emergency.
-- gives the Director of Medicaid additional flexibility to support the health care workforce and providers during crisis
-- allows recent nursing graduates to obtain a temporary license to practice prior to passing the licensure examination
-- grants certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), under certain conditions, the authority to perform additional duties or services related to anesthesia care.
-- waives state testing and report cards for the 2019-2020 school year and allows high school students to graduate who were already on track to do so.
-- ensures children continue to have access to meals even as their school is closed.
-- allows for EdChoice scholarships for school buildings in the 2020-2021 school year.
-- permits schools to use distance learning to make up for missed days or hours of instruction caused by statewide K-12 closures.
-- allows licensed special education providers to serve students through telehealth and other electronic communications methods.
-- wxtends validity of state licenses (such as a driver’s license) and provides a 90-day renewal period.
-- allows public bodies to meet electronically so long as the public has ability to participate.