Political briefs – Aug. 19


BROWN STATEMENT ON PASSING OF CONGRESSMAN LOU STOKES – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown today issued the following statement on the passing of Congressman Lou Stokes.

“Lou Stokes always did the right thing and spent his life fighting for Ohioans. I’ve been proud to call him a friend and a mentor, whose counsel I relied on for 30 years. Lou Stokes continued to stand up for northeast Ohioans ‎long after he left Congress.‎ He’ll be remembered in the communities he strengthened, the veterans he served, and the many lives he touched. Connie and I send our thoughts and prayers to his family.”

BROWN ANNOUNCES $265,000 WHITE HOUSE AWARD TO HELP OHIO COUNTIES COMBAT OPIOID ABUSE – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy has awarded grants totaling $265,000 to combat heroin and prescription opioid abuse in Ohio’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). Counties with HIDTA designations in Ohio include Adams, Cuyahoga, Fairfield, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery, Scioto, Stark, Summit, and Warren. The Ohio HIDTA program will use these federal resources to implement prevention initiatives and improve the daily operations of Ohio HIDTA.

“Ohio is on the front lines of the opioid epidemic and too many communities have been devastated by drug abuse,” Brown said. “This investment in preventing opioid abuse and addiction will give local, state, and federal law enforcement officers the resources they need to save lives and keep the public safe.”

Ohio HIDTA will receive a $70,000 award for prevention efforts, a $125,000 award to strengthen HIDTA infrastructure and operations, and a $70,000 award for Operation Street Smart. Operation Street Smart is a national program designed to provide current drug prevention education to community groups focused on the health and safety of youth and young adults. This $70,000 will allow the Franklin County Sherriff’s Office to work with the South Central HIDTA Drug Task Force to link community groups with law enforcement to prevent drug abuse.

BROWN AND PORTMAN URGE ADMINISTRATION TO DIRECT FEDERAL DISASTER RELIEF RESOURCES TO BUCKEYE LAKE REGION BUSINESSES – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) urged the Administration to direct federal disaster relief resources to the Buckeye Lake region. In a [brown.senate.gov/download/sba-letter-of-support]letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Brown and Portman – along with U.S. Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) and Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) – called on the SBA Administrator to designate Fairfield, Licking, and Perry Counties as federal disaster areas.

“While plans are in place to construct a new dam, the lower lake level has dramatically decreased tourism activity in the area, costing small businesses throughout the Buckeye Lake region,” the lawmakers wrote. “SBA disaster resources would provide much-needed relief in the form of low-interest loans that can be used to pay fixed debts, make payroll, and take care of other bills during the dam construction process. We fully support Governor Kasich’s request for a federal disaster declaration, and urge your office to provide full and fair consideration to this disaster declaration request.”

A federal disaster designation, which the Governor formally requested yesterday, would provide funding to businesses impacted by the lower water levels – which has caused decreased tourism revenue – at Buckeye Lake while construction of a new dam is underway. SBA provides low-interest loans up to $2 million for businesses in counties that are designated as federal disaster areas.

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