This Week in Public Policy: October 16-20, 2017

In Ohio:

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee held 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. Two individuals testified, sharing their own stories about how CMV has impacted their children, causing multiple disabilities and health complications. Testimony was offered by Heather Innis and Amanda Fontana.

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, state Senator Cliff Hite resigned his seat in the Ohio Senate. Hite cited health reasons for his resignation, but later issued a public apology for inappropriate behavior with a female state worker.

On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, the House Health Committee held 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. Ten witnesses provided testimony in support of passing the bill, representing the Autism Society, Down Syndrome Associations and University Centers of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities. The testimony of each witness can be found here:

In Washington:

On Tuesday, news surfaced that US Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray had reached agreement on a bipartisan Healthcare Reform Package. The proposal, sponsored by 24 senators, would provide states with options to apply for waivers of certain ACA requirements, and allow individuals of all ages to purchase “Copper” plans. A run-down of the proposal can be found here. President Donald Trump has indicated that he does not support the plan.

On Thursday, October 19, 2017, U.S. Congressman Pat Tiberi announced his decision to resign his seat in the US House of Representatives. Tiberi issued a statement saying that he planned to work for the Ohio Business Roundtable. A bevy of state level officials are mulling a run for Tiberi’s seat, which will occur during a special election early next year.

On Thursday, The US Senate passed the FY2018 Federal Budget Resolution. The bill includes some language that would allow tax reforms proposed by the current Administration to move forward with a simple majority vote.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: October 23-27, 2017

In Ohio:

On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, the House Civil Justice Committee will hold OPPONENT/INTERESTED PARTY Testimony on House Bill 271 (Accessibility Law Violations). The bill would create a system of advanced notification to businesses for an alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The committee is expected to adopt amendments to the bill. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. in Room 116 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold SPONSOR Testimony on House Bill 304 (Disabled Adult Adoption Tax Credit). Under current law, the adoption of a minor child makes a taxpayer eligible for a tax credit. The bill would extend this credit to a “step-parent” who adopts an adult with a permanent or total disability or an adult with an intellectual disability. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. in Room 121 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, the House Health Committee will hold ALL Testimony on House Bill 214 (Down Syndrome Abortion Ban). The bill would make it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion if the mother is seeking the abortion because the unborn child has or may have Down Syndrome. The bill is slated for a possible vote by the committee. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. in Room 121 of the Ohio Statehouse.

In Washington:

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies will hold a hearing entitled, “Down Syndrome: Update on the State of the Science and Potential for Discoveries Across Other Major Diseases.” Scheduled to testify are Congresswomen Cheri Bustos and Cathy McMorris Rogers and Congressman Pete Sessions, along with Dr. Joaquin M. Espinosa, executive director of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome; Dr. William Mobley, executive director of the Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment at UC San Diego; Frank Stephens, Quincy Jones Advocate, Global Down Syndrome Foundation; and Michelle Sie Whitten, Founder, CEO and President of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2358-C of the Rayburn House Office Building.

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, the Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing entitled, “Working and Aging with Disabilities: From School to Retirement.” Witnesses scheduled to testify include: David Michael Mank, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Indiana University; Tamar Heller, Ph.D. Professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago; Jeff Smith (unknown); and Eric Meyer, President and CEO of Spurwink. The hearing will take place at 2:30 p.m. in Room 562 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

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