State lawmakers haven't missed the inescapable stories — and they don't want the datelines to originate in Ohio.

In the wake of deadly mass shootings, the state operating budget would offer nearly $5 million in annual grants to help improve security at synagogues, churches, nonprofit organizations, charter and private schools, and licensed day care centers.

A one-to-one dollar match generally would be required to obtain up to $100,000 each in competitive grants for security improvements and the cost of security or police officers to assist in preventing "acts of terrorism.”

Noting some prior threats in Ohio that did not escalate into attacks, Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, said, “We've been talking on and off for a couple of years with some of our friends, in the Jewish community in particular, about those types of risks ... we believe that additional hardening is a good idea.

“We think it is important to make sure that people are safe, that they don't have to worry whether they are in school or in houses of worship whether they might be targeted because of their race, their faith or any other factors.”

Following the fatal shootings of 11 people in an attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, JewishColumbus last month provided $500,000 to 16 local synagogues and Jewish agencies to cover the costs of armed security officers for six months.

State funding is welcome, said Justin Shaw, community relations director for JewishColumbus.

“We're utterly appreciative of the legislature for supporting not only our community, but all other faith communities and nonprofits that are risk,” he said. “It's not just the Jewish community that is feeling the pain of these attacks.”

The proposed grants started with a request for $470,000 a year in Gov. Mike DeWine's two-year operating budget recommendations to lawmakers.

The House-passed budget increased the amount to $2.75 million a year. Then, the pending Senate version of the state budget tacked on another $250,000 annually while also appropriating another $1.25 million a year for grants for security personnel.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency, which would administer the grant program, would consider prior threats or attacks, an applicant's “symbolic” value as a terrorism target and vulnerability assessments.

“Houses of worship, schools, and community centers should be safe spaces, but instead have become potential targets. We commend the leadership for acting now, before it is too late,” said Howie Beigelman, executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities.

The state set aside $12 million for school security and safety grants last year after spending $15.7 million on emergency communications systems and entrance security upgrades for schools between 2013 and 2017.

The Senate budget also incorporates part of a bill — unanimously passed by the Senate as a separate measure that is now pending before the House — to create an “Ohio Cyber Reserve” to help state and local governments and businesses deal with attacks on their computer networks.

Members with special expertise would become a civilian component of the adjutant general's office, and potentially part of the Ohio National Guard, and could be called to duty by the governor to help deal with cyberattacks or threats, including on elections systems. The budget would appropriate $100,000 for the unit in the first year and $550,000 in the second year.

Some local government computer systems and websites — including the city of Akron's — have been hacked in recent years, with some held hostage by ransomware attacks that seek untraceable payments in exchange for removing the malware and restoring the systems. The cyberattack this year on the city's computers forced the shutdown of much of Akron’s 311 system just as a severe snowstorm concluded.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose and some local officials had asked about potential state assistance to deal with attacks, Obhof said.