Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine (file photo)

COLUMBUS -- Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday signed House Bill 614 into law, legislation that includes distribution of $650 million in CARES Act relief funds to local governments around the state, including counties, municipalities and townships.

The bill also addresses Ohio's unemployment compensation program, Facilities Establishment Fund, community projects at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, workforce education partnership, land conveyance, and concealed handgun licenses.

House Bill 614 was supported by several associations, including the County Commissioners of Ohio, Ohio Municipal League, Ohio Township Association, and Ohio Mayors Alliance, issuing a joint statement of support.

"The County Commissioners Association of Ohio, Ohio Municipal League, Ohio Township Association and Ohio Mayors Alliance sincerely thank Governor Mike DeWine for signing House Bill 614 into law today, which will make available an additional $650 million in coronavirus relief funds to Ohio local governments.

"Following HB 614’s enactment, the state will have distributed nearly $1.2 billion in federal CARES Act funds to Ohio local governments. Other local governments with populations in excess of 500,000 received direct disbursements of CARES Act funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury earlier this year.

"CARES Act funds have made possible a wide array of local coronavirus relief efforts. Expanded testing, grants for small businesses, aid to local nonprofits, support for public health and safety efforts, PPE acquisition and more are all examples of how these funds have benefited and strengthened local communities.

"Local governments alone could not have shouldered the expense of these crucial response efforts. Weakened and fluctuating local revenue streams could not sustain these costs in addition to strong ongoing demand for local services. Local governments are thankful that the state has partnered with them in the distribution of these critical funds.

"Gov. DeWine remains steadfast in his support for Ohio local governments as they continue their frontline coronavirus response efforts and rebuild their local economies. Local governments are thankful for the strong partnership with Gov. DeWine and they look forward to future efforts that strengthen local communities and benefit all Ohioans."

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