Mark Romanchuk mug shot

State Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario)

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.

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 “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.