The Ohio General Assembly approved new infrastructure spending amounting to a total of $3.51 B with the passage of House Bill 687, the state’s two-year capital budget. Every two years Ohio appropriates funding for the state through the capital budget which supports the renovation and construction of the state’s buildings and assets including funding for state parks, dams, state prisons, local K-12 schools, higher education, community projects, and other state facilities.

During each state capital budget cycle, the Ohio General Assembly appropriates approximately $150 M in what is referred to as community projects. These projects make up a small portion of the multi-B-dollar legislation but are critical important to both large and small communities and organizations around the state. Like past capital budget cycles competition for these resources was high with the Ohio General Assembly receiving over $1 B in funding request. In the latest round of capital budget community projects, The Montrose Group successfully advocated on behalf of clients for over $3.6 M in community project funding, supporting the arts & culture industry, local government, healthcare, workforce, and economic development projects to help improve the quality of life and provide redevelopment throughout the state.

In addition to the $191 M in community project funding the legislation and Governor DeWine included an additional $100 M for school safety grants to help local schools and districts make improvements to secure buildings along with students and staff. The state is once again providing $50 M in funding support for the renovation and construction of local jail facilities. The previous FY 2021-2022 state capital budget provided $50 M to support six local jail projects including a Montrose Group client, Coshocton County, which received $10 M in funding support through a grant program administered by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. The continuation of this important program through the appropriation of an additional $50 M will be a valuable tool to help counties upgrade or replace aging jail infrastructure throughout the state.

A late addition to a separate bill was the inclusion of Governor Mike DeWine’s $500 M for the Ohio BUILDS program to encourage economic development in Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties. Ohio BUILDS includes a $50 M planning phase to allow Appalachian communities and regional partnerships to develop economic development plans. Following the planning, $450 M in implementation grants would be invested to help communities and regional groups carry out qualifying projects to rejuvenate the region and stimulate economic growth. If you would like to learn more about the state capital budget or other Ohio Statehouse issues contact Tim Biggam, Director of Government Relations, tbiggam@montrosegroupllc.com