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State Controlling Board could be utilized for relief

Though the federal government does not seem anywhere near a second round of coronavirus aid, Ohio lawmakers and Gov. Mike DeWine — perhaps because they are closer and paying more attention to the situation — are working on an aid package that should soon deliver some relief to Ohio residents.

Fortunately, it appears they may be able to use federal funding to do that. As DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney pointed out, the measure is big enough that officials could move funding to help small businesses and those struggling to pay rent or mortgage payments through the state Controlling Board, which approves large expenditures.

DeWine also announced last week the possibility of lifting the ban on alcohol sales after 10 p.m., as a way to help struggling restaurants and bars. These announcements come as Ohioans are again filing an increased number of unemployment claims –two weeks in a row of claims moving upward after weeks of declines.

“With the unfortunate unemployment numbers still too high, there are people struggling to pay their rent and there are landlords struggling to pay their mortgage,” said state Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls.

Lawmakers should find a way to provide the state aid as quickly as possible. The folks in Washington may not understand how much their constituents are still struggling but those in Columbus know full well what is happening –and should do what they can to help.

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