Proposed State Fund Would Help Counties Pay Bills, Fight Opioids

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A veteran Ohio politician is calling for a special state fund to help counties boost employment, fight opioid abuse and cover basic expenses.

Any of the state’s 88 counties, large or small, would be eligible to draw from the equalization fund proposed Wednesday by Republican Gene Krebs. The former state representative is a farmer and public policy expert from Preble County who’s running for state Senate.

Krebs cited a Center for Community Solutions study that found Ohio’s small rural towns are disproportionately poor and undereducated and pay high relative costs for crime and disability.

His proposed fund could be tapped only to: combat the opioid/heroin epidemic; develop economic programs that increase sales-tax revenue; or to cover general county expenses.

It would be assessed regularly and expire after 10 years.