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This Week in Public Policy: November 27 – December 1, 2017

In Ohio:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017, the House Health Committee held ALL Testimony on House Bill 332 (Anatomical Gifts – PWD). The bill would prohibit a person’s disability from being used to deny their ability to receive an anatomical gift/transplant. Rachel Rice, representing the University of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital LEND Program sent written testimony in support of the bill. The committee passed the bill by a unanimous vote.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017, the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee held PROPONENT Testimony on House Bill 115 (Communication Disability – Driver Registry). The bill would create a registry that individuals with communication disabilities could voluntarily place their name on to alert police officers of said disability when engaged in a traffic or other law enforcement encounters. Eight witness testified in support of the bill and five organizations provided written testimony in support of the bill. The testimony of witnesses are as follows:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017, the House State and Local Government Committee will held ALL Testimony on House Bill 300 (No Expiration on State ID for PWD). The bill would require all new ID cards that are not drivers licenses that are issued to individuals who are permanently disabled to be issued without an expiration date. Cassandra MacDonald, representing the Legal Advocacy and Writ Resources Services, testified in support of the bill. The committee passed the bill by a unanimous vote.

On Wednesday, Speaker Cliff Rosenberger announced the House schedule for the first half of 2018. In general, committees are scheduled to meet each week. Session days are as follows:

  • January 17, 2018; January 18, 2018 (if needed)
  • January 24, 2018; January 25, 2018 (if needed)
  • January 31, 2018; February 1, 2018 (if needed)
  • February 14, 2018; February 15, 2018 (if needed)
  • February 21, 2018; February 22, 2018 (if needed)
  • February 28, 2018; March 1, 2018 (if needed)
  • March 7, 2018; March 8, 2018 (if needed)
  • March 14, 2018; March 15, 2018 (if needed)
  • March 21, 2018; March 22, 2018 (if needed)
  • March 26, 2018 to April 6 – SPRING BREAK
  • April 11, 2018; April 12, 2018 (if needed)
  • May 16, 2018; May 17, 2018 (if needed)
  • May 23, 2018; May 24, 2018 (if needed)
  • May 30, 2018 (if needed); May 31, 2018 (if needed)
  • June 7, 2018 (if needed); June 8, 2018 (if needed)
  • June 13, 2018 (if needed); June 14, 2018 (if needed)

In Washington:

On Thursday, the GAO issued a report calling for the US Department of Education to take action to ensure that parents choosing a private school for their child/children with disabilities are informed they may be opting out of IDEA and FAPE. The investigation by the GAO was limited, based mostly on a review of private school websites, and had a small sample size (27 schools). It is not clear from the report whether any Ohio schools were evaluated or examined. Ohio law requires the Ohio Department of Education to prepare and provide a document that shows the differences between private and public special education requirements.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: December 4–8, 2017

In Ohio:

On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, the House State and Local Government Committee will hold ALL Testimony on Senate Bill 144 (State Rehabilitation Council – OOD). The bill proposes to merge the Consumer Advisory Council, the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities and the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Commission into a single Council comprised of 15 individuals, a majority of whom would be individuals with disabilities. The committee has scheduled possible amendments and a possible vote. The hearing will take place at 2:30 p.m. (or immediately following Session, if floor Session goes long) in Room 017 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Wednesday, December 6, 2017, the House Health Committee will hold SPONSOR Testimony on Senate Bill 164 (Abortion Ban – Down Syndrome). The bill would make it illegal to perform an abortion if the reason for the abortion is a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The bill has been scheduled for a possible vote. The House of Representatives has already heard and considered this legislation and appears to be moving forward with the Senate version of the bill without additional hearings. The hearing is scheduled to take place at 9:00 a.m. in Room 121 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Wednesday, December 6, 2017, the House Aging and Long Term Care Committee will hold SPONSOR Testimony on House Bill 413 (PERS for Developmental Disabilities Employees).  The bill would make changes to the cost of living adjustments for certain employees of county boards of developmental disabilities. The hearing will take place at 2:30 p.m. in Room 122 of the Ohio Statehouse.

In Washington:

On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold nomination hearings. Included in the nominations will be Johnny Collett, who has been nominated to be the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the US Department of Education. The hearing will take place in Dirksen Room 430 at 10:00 a.m.