The American Rescue Plan (ARP) will provide critical relief to millions of Americans and critical funding to states, local governments, public schools and libraries, higher education, Head Start agencies and boards of developmental disabilities.
Of the $1.9 trillion in the ARP, Ohio is expected to receive $17 billion in ARP money. Of that, $5.7 billion will go to K-12 education and higher education, and about $12 billion will go to our libraries, Head Starts, boards of developmental disabilities and other state and local government programs.
This is important funding because tax revenues are down due to the high rate of unemployment during the pandemic and the loss of income taxes. In fact, at one point in 2020, more than 900,000 Ohioans were out of work. And Ohio still has more than 90,000 unemployed workers in the sectors represented by OAPSE and our sister unions, AFSCME Ohio Council 8 and OCSEA/AFSCME Local 11.
Of course, unemployed workers do not pay income taxes when they are not working, so public budgets took a real hit. The ARP funding is designed to fill the gaps between taxes collected and the money needed to operate.
Those still unemployed will continue to receive enhanced unemployment compensation through September 6 and will include an additional $300 per week. Those workers, and all Ohioans who qualify — will receive $1,400 checks (or direct deposits). If you are single and make $75,000 or under, or married with a combined income of $150,000 or less, you will receive the relief check.
Also in the massive relief bill is assistance to those who face eviction; pension security for private sector workers; money for COVID response and vaccinations; assistance to families with children; and aid to veterans and farmers.
Help is on the Way!