Ohio House OKs $11M more for flood relief in area communities

Mill School Road

Click here to read original story in the Athens News.

The Ohio House has approved an additional $11 million in funding to help local communities hit by flooding over the last 18 months, state Rep. Jay Edwards announced earlier this week in a news release.

The funding is part of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation budget, House Bill 80, that was approved Wednesday, June 5.

Edwards, R-Nelsonville, authored the amendment to provide the additional funding to support 25 southeast Ohio counties that had received state and federal disaster declarations as a result of the flooding, the news release stated. Impacted counties include Athens, Meigs, Vinton and Washington.

“I appreciate all of the work our local officials have done in the aftermath of these storms and am committed to making sure the state is doing its part to support our communities,” Edwards said in the release.

Among the other highlights included in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation budget is a provision to support our first responders.

Currently, peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers can receive BWC benefits or compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder, the release said, but only if it’s accompanied by a physical injury. The measure approved June 5 allows these first responders to receive the support they need for PTSD, even if there is no physical injury.

“Our first responders work in dangerous, high-stress situations, and this legislation recognizes the important work they do for all of us,” Edwards said in the release.

The legislation is now being considered by the Ohio Senate.