COLUMBUS - State Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, introduced a bipartisan resolution Thursday urging Congress to maintain full funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Federal government sequestration cuts are expected to kick in today and would result in a 5.3 percent cut to the Commission's funding.
According to Gentile, the cuts would impact Ohio's share of funding they receive for infrastructure and work force programs.
"Congress should act immediately to protect this vital source of funding, which is critical to Appalachia Ohio's economic future," Gentile said.
The ARC is tasked with funding economic and community development projects in Ohio's distressed Appalachian counties.
"Congress should act immediately to protect this vital source of funding which is critical to Appalachia Ohio's economic future," Gentile said.
In addition to the Appalachian Regional Commission, the sequestration cuts also are expected to impact primary and secondary education funding, Head Start and early childcare, senior meal programs, job training initiatives and other essential public services.
"If Congress fails to act, these cuts will have real implications on our families and communities in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio," Gentile said.
"I am deeply concerned that the implementation of these cuts could jeopardize future growth in Appalachia Ohio's economy. We cannot afford to go backwards and that is why we are urging Congress to consider the ramifications of their inaction."
Democratic and Republican members of the Ohio Senate have signed up as co-sponsors for the resolution.