Major disaster declaration critical to Ohio governments

CLEVELAND – President Donald Trump’s approval of a major disaster declaration for Ohio on Tuesday, March 31, will provide crucial funds for state and local governments in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

How will the declaration impact state and local municipalities? Why did Ohio governments still find themselves in need of help after the CARES Act was signed into law last week? What are the next steps for state and local governments to access newly available funds?

McDonald Hopkins attorneys considered these and other questions:

Shawn Riley
President, McDonald Hopkins

“Several McDonald Hopkins attorneys also serve local municipalities as law directors, and I know President Trump’s announcement was important to them and essential to the cities for which they work.  Our firm’s Public Law Practice Group is already at work determining what our clients in state and local government need to do to access the funds they need to battle this pandemic.”

Teresa Metcalf Beasley
Chair, McDonald Hopkins Public Law Practice Group
Law Director, The City of Warrensville Heights, Ohio

“It is critical that there will now be funds available because state, county and local governments have been trying to determine how they will continue to survive knowing revenues will be decreasing, taxes will be delayed, and yet communities still need to provide basic functions to and for the benefit of its residents. Where would the money come from? The CARES Act addressed some of the needs of state and local governments, but there is so much more. This declaration will open opportunities for assistance that is desperately needed for governmental entities in the state.”

Michael Wise
Chair, McDonald Hopkins Energy Practice Group

“What is most important about this is that this action opens the door for local governments to also get relief. The CARES Act was a historic and unprecedented relief act for business, but there isn’t much in it for state and local governments to access. They are out there on the front lines and now this declaration will open opportunities for them to get financial support for their efforts.”

Dean DePiero
Of Counsel, McDonald Hopkins 
Law Director, The City of Aurora, Ohio

“This is a modern day armageddon. Local governmental entities are going to be hit hard since they and hospitals are on the front lines of this epic battle. The ability of local government to provide basic safety and social services to its citizens is in severe jeopardy.”

Kevin Butler
Of Counsel, McDonald Hopkins 
Law Director, The City of Brooklyn, Ohio

"From police and fire service to trash pickup to the support of our neediest citizens, cities and villages are among the entities still working hard to provide a level of safety, service and as much normalcy as possible in people's everyday lives. Federal disaster status will bring welcome additional support to these critical resources."

For helpful information on common questions related to the impact the coronavirus outbreak can and will have on businesses, please visit “Coronavirus: Legal and business insights” at

For 90 years, McDonald Hopkins has guided clients through the most difficult times and circumstances with proactive, responsive legal counseling and business advice. Given the all-encompassing nature of the current global COVID-19 crisis and the challenges we see our clients facing, we have formulated an interdisciplinary team - the McDonald Hopkins Rapid Response Team - that is ready and able to support you and your business.

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