NOTE: Due to Ohio DD Council meeting on March 8th and 9th, there was no Public Policy Update last week.
On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, advocates from all over Ohio attended the annual DD Awareness and Advocacy Day. March is national Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The event at the Ohio Statehouse was very well attended, with 449 attendees for the main program, and 332 people meeting with legislators and staff. The event was streamed live on the Ohio Channel, and can be viewed here. The theme this year is to Celebrate CommUNITY!
On Tuesday, March 13, 2018, the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee held a second hearing on House Bill 332 (Transplant Discrimination). The bill would make it illegal to discriminate against an individual with a disability to receive an organ transplant. The committee heard testimony from three family members of individuals who have experienced challenges and discrimination related to receiving an organ transplant. Written testimony was also submitted. The testimony is available by clicking each link:
On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, the House Committee on Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a hearing entitled, “Examining Class Action Lawsuits Against Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID). The committee testimony can be watched at: https://judiciary.house.gov/hearing/examining-class-action-lawsuits-intermediate-care-facilities-individuals-intellectual-disabilities-icf-iid/. There was some discussion of Ohio’s lawsuit.
NEXT Week in Public Policy: March 19 - 23, 2018
On Wednesday, March 21, 2018, the House Health Committee will hold SPONSOR Testimony on House Bill 557 (Art Therapist Licensing Requirement). The bill would require the State Medical Board to regulate the licensing and practice of art therapists. The bill defines art therapy as the use of psychotherapeutic principles and methods with art media and the creative process to assist individuals to improve cognitive or sensory-motor functions, to increase self-awareness and self-esteem, to cope with grief or a traumatic experience, to enhance cognitive abilities, to resolve conflicts or distress, and to enhance social functioning. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. in Room 121 of the Ohio Statehouse.
On Tuesday, March 20, 2018, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing on the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s federal fiscal year 2019 budget request. Secretary of HUD Ben Carson is slated to testify. Funding for Section 811 Housing (tenant-based rental assistance for people with disabilities) is requested at $188 Million (+$3M over 2018 Request). Project-based assistance is slated for deep cuts in the Administration’s proposal. The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. in Room 2358-A of the Rayburn House Office Building.
On Tuesday, march 20,2018, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, will hold a hearing on the US Department of Education’s federal fiscal year 2019 budget request. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVoss is scheduled to testify. Funding for special education and vocational rehabilitation services are included in this budget, with some proposed increases. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2358-C of the Rayburn House Office Building.
On Wednesday, March 21, 2018, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittees on Government Operations and Intergovernmental Affairs will hold a join hearing entitled, “Improper Payments in State-Administered Programs: Medicaid”. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building.