On Monday, February 26, 2018, state Representative Ryan Smith introduced House Bill 529 (Capital Appropriations Bill). Typically, the state passes a capital budget bill in even numbered years to pay for new facilities or to provide improvements to existing properties and buildings. Projects included in the bill for developmental disabilities include the following:
- $24,000,000: Community Assistance Projects (Purpose: Funding for day programs and residential programs)
- $4,500,000: Developmental Centers (Purpose: HVAC)
- $250,000: Villa San Bernardo (Purpose: Renovations)
- $350,000: Heinzerling Community Facilities (Purpose: Not stated)
- $150,000: Wauseon Triangular Processing Annex (Purpose: Not stated)
- $1,000,000: Children’s Home Autism Building (Purpose: Not stated)
- $300,000: LADD Forever Home (Purpose: Improvements)
- $150,000: Kamp Dovetail (Purpose: Improvements)
- $75,000: United Disability Services (Purpose: Improvements)
On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee held ALL Testimony on House Bill 195 (Transporting People with Disabilities). The bill would change the certification requirements of transportation agencies to transport individuals with mobility impairments in non-emergency situations. The committee adopted a substitute version of the bill that would require individuals with mobility impairments to utilize an ambulatory or other certified vehicle for all health care purposes. John Ballard, representing Tri-County Independent Living Center testified in support of the bill. Katie Hunt-Thomas, representing the Centers for Independent Living Legislative Committee provided written testimony in support of the bill. Following adoption of the substitute bill and the testimony, the committee voted to pass the bill 10-0. The bill now awaits a vote by the full Senate.
On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the Senate Health, Human Services, and Medicaid Committee heard SPONSOR Testimony on House Bill 332 (Transplant Discrimination). State Representative Niraj Antani provided testimony that stated that while the problem might not be widespread, there are cases where individuals with disabilities are rejected for organ transplant because they cannot proceed with post-operative treatment and recovery. He stated that at least one family has experienced this issue and will be invited to testify.
On Wednesday, February 28, 2018, the Ohio House of Representatives voted 96-0 to pass House Bill 271 (ADA Lawsuit – Notification). The bill provides for reimbursement of attorneys’ fees if an individual notifies a business of potential ADA violation and gives the business an opportunity to correct the violation. As introduced, the bill would have required notification before a lawsuit could be filed in state court. During committee deliberations, the bill was altered to make the notification process voluntary.
On Thursday, March 1, 2018, Governor John Kasich signed into law Senate Bill 144 (State Rehabilitation Council). The new law will go into effect in 90 days. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities will be seeking applications from individuals eligible to serve on the newly created Council. Information about who is eligible to serve along with a link to the application can be found here.
This Week in Public Policy has received a copy of draft language of legislation that would require a county board of developmental disabilities to provide a choice of the services available in an ICF before the individual could be placed on a waiting list for Home and Community Based Services waivers. Interested parties are beginning discussions about the draft. More to come.
NEXT Week in Public Policy: March 2 – 9, 2018
On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, the House Finance Committee has scheduled ALL Testimony on House Bill 529 (Capital Appropriations). The committee has scheduled a possible vote of the bill. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 313 of the Ohio Statehouse.
On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, the House Committee on Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice will hold a hearing entitled, “Examining Class Action Lawsuits Against Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID). Scheduled to testify are Alison Barkoff, representing the Center for Public Representation, Marth Bryant, a mother and Registered Nurse, Peter Kinzler, a father and attorney, and Caroline Lahrman, president of the Voice of the Retarded, from Columbus, OH. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building.