Representatives announce $11 Million in BWC Budget for those affected by flooding


COLUMBUS — State Representatives Don Jones (R-Freeport) and Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) announced the Ohio House has approved an additional $11 million in funding to help local communities hit by flooding over the last 18 months.

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

State Representatives Jones and Edwards represent many of the communities that were hit by the flooding, and helped secure House passage of the legislation. The measure will help 25 Southeast Ohio counties that had received state and federal disaster declarations as a result of the flooding. 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,” Rep. Edwards said.

Rep. Jones agreed, saying “Our communities don’t have large budgets, but even moderate flooding can cause major damage. We want to make sure our communities receive the support they need.”

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

Currently, peace officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical workers can receive BWC benefits or compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder, but only if it’s accompanied by a physical injury. The measure approved Wednesday 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.

Jones, a volunteer first responder, said first responders work in dangerous, high-stress situations and deserve the legislature’s support.

“This legislation,” Rep. Jones said, “recognizes the important work they do for all of us.”

The legislation now goes to the Ohio Senate for additional consideration.

Editor’s Note: The 25 counties that had received state and federal disaster declarations as a result of the flooding are: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Hamilton, Harrison, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton and Washington.)

State Representative Don Jones is serving his first term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He represents the 95th District, which includes Carroll, Harrison and Noble counties, as well as portions of Washington and Belmont counties.

State Representative Jay Edwards is serving his second term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He represents the 94th District, which includes Athens, Meigs, Washington, and Vinton Counties.