FILE - OH Erica Crawley

Ohio state Rep. Erica Crawley speaks March 27, 2019, on the floor of the Ohio House of Representatives about her legislation to provide tax breaks to disabled veterans.

Bill would establish loans for federal employees

State Rep. Tavia Galonski, D-Akron, introduced a bill to require the state treasurer to create a “program to provide interest free loans” to federal employees whose “pay has ceased due to a lack of federal appropriations.”

Under House Bill 654, loans would be capped to how much employees would have received if the appropriations did not lapse. The proposal requires employees to repay the loan within 30 days of receiving their pay again.

The bill would pull the needed money for the program from the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund (BSF), commonly known as its rainy day fund.

Buckeye Institute: Target help for local governments on essential needs

Ohio policymakers should focus its help for local governments on essential public health and safety demands created by the pandemic, The Buckeye Institute said.

The “state should provide communities with targeted, financial aid to spend on essential public health and safety services,” Greg R. Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute, said in a news release.

“To ensure that state taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, local governments that use this targeted assistance for nonessential services should see a reduction in monies received from state taxpayers through the Local Government Fund," Lawson continued. "Doing so will promote good stewardship of scarce taxpayer resources.”

Bill would allow some construction projects to continue into new year

(The Center Square) – State Rep. Derek Merrin, R-Monclova, introduced House Bill 670, which would allow funding for previously approved construction projects focused on health, safety and jobs to continue into the new fiscal year.

“We need to invest in our future, but do so in a fiscally responsible way,” Merrin said in a news release. “That’s our goal with this plan.”

The proposal has support from House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford.

“The state is facing a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall,” Householder said in a news release. “With all of the unknowns we face, I believe this is a responsible path forward.”

Bill would guarantee water for Ohioans

(The Center Square) – State Rep. Erica C. Crawley, D-Columbus, introduced legislation, nicknamed “Water for all,” to regulate water utility providers’ capacity to disconnect customers’ water service.

“In the midst of COVID-19 the need for water access has become even more apparent,” Crawley said in a news release.

“Increased attention to hygiene is one of the main tools to fight the virus,” Crawley added. “However, those who are already at higher risk for contracting and developing complications to the virus are also those who may face water shutoffs. This legislation is needed to protect Ohioans access to safe, clean water.”