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This Week in Public Policy: October 9 – 13, 2017

In Ohio:

On Tuesday, October 10th, 2017, the House Economic Development, Commerce and Labor Committee will hold SPONSOR Testimony on House Bill 303 (Service Animals). The bill clarifies in law that a service animal can only be a dog (emphasis added), and not any species of any other animal, trained or untrained. The bill also adds language that allows a business to order the removal of a service animal in certain circumstances, and requires a service animal to be on a leash or tether (unless it would interfere with the safe operation of the service animal). The sponsors (Representatives Brigid Kelley and Scott Lipps) testified (Kelley TestimonyLipps Testimony) the legislation would update Ohio law to match the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which clarifies that a service animal is defined as a dog.

On Wednesday, October 11th, 2017, the House Health Committee will held SPONSOR Testimony on House Bill 332 (Organ Transplant for People with Disabilities). The bill makes it illegal to discriminate against a person with a disability eligible to receive an organ donation. According to the bill analysis, medical entities are currently able to consider a person’s disability when determining whether the person should receive an organ donation. Representative Niraj Antani gave Sponsor Testimony, stating that he introduced the bill because of a study released by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and that five other states had passed similar legislation.

On Wednesday, October 11th, 2017, the House Health Committee held Opponent/Interested Party Testimony on House Bill 214 (Down Syndrome Abortion Ban). The bill would make it illegal for a doctor to perform, induce or attempt to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman who is seeking the abortion if the reason for the abortion is that the unborn baby has or may have Down Syndrome. Opposition testimony was offered by 15 individuals, representing a broad range of interests:

On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee will hold PROPONENT Testimony on House Bill 195 (Transporting PWD). The bill would change the certification requirements of transportation agencies to transport individuals with mobility impairments in non-emergency situations. The hearing will take place at 10:15 a.m. in the South Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building.

In Washington:

On Thursday, October 12, 2017, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing entitled, “The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” HUD Secretary Ben Carson testified, providing the committee with an update on HUD efforts to “Reimagine how HUD works, Restore the American Dream, and Rethink American Communities.” Carson’s testimony included updates on Hurricane recovery efforts that HUD is participating in.

On Thursday, October 12, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would implement changes to federal regulations affecting health care insurance. The EO proposes to allow the creation of Association Health Plans (plans that can be offered across state lines), to increase the period of time (currently 3 months) that gap insurance coverage can be offered through the Short Term, Limited Duration Insurance can be offered, and to expand the use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements.


NEXT Week in Public Policy: October 16 – 20, 2017

In Ohio:

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee will hold PROPONENT Testimony on House Bill 165 (May is Congenital Cytomegalovirus Awareness Month). The bill would designate the month of May as Congenital Cytomegalovirus Awareness (CMV) Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control, CMV can be passed to babies from their monthers, and some babies with signs of CMV infection at birth may have long-term health related problems, including hearing loss, vision loss, intellectual disabilities, seizures and other conditions. The hearing will take place at 3:15 p.m. in the South Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building. Witnesses interested in testifying should provide testimony to Chairman Burke’s office 24 hours in advance. Chairman David Burke’s phone number is 614-466-8048.

On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, the House Health Committee will hold PROPONENT Testimony on House Bill 332 (Organ Transplant for People with Disabilities). The bill makes it illegal to discriminate against a person with a disability eligible to receive an organ donation. According to the bill analysis, medical entities are currently able to consider a person’s disability when determining whether the person should receive an organ donation. The hearing is scheduled to take place at 9:00 a.m. in Hearing Room 121 of the Ohio Statehouse. Witnesses interested in testifying should provide testimony to Chairman Huffman’s office 24 hours in advance. Chairman Stephen Huffman’s phone number is 614-466-8114.

The Ohio House of Representatives has cancelled Session scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Thursday, October 19, 2017, the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee will hold a hearing to receive updates on the Behavioral Health Redesign. Ohio Department of Medicaid Director Barbara Sears and Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Tracy Plouck are scheduled to testify. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. in the House Finance Hearing Room (Room 313) of the Ohio Statehouse.

In Washington:

The US House of Representatives is not scheduled for next week. The US Senate has a few committees scheduled.


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