This Week in Public Policy: October 2 - 6, 2017

In Ohio:

The House and Senate were not in Session this week.

In Washington:

On Tuesday, October 3, 2017, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing entitled, “The Every Student Succeeds Act: Unleashing State Innovation.” Dr. Candice McQueen, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education, Mr. John White, State Superintendent of Education in Louisiana, Mr. Christopher Ruszkowski, Secretary of Education in New Mexico, and Dr. David Steiner, Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy all testified.

Notable testimony was received from Dr. Steiner, who pointed out that while ESSA limits states ability exempt students with disabilities from the normal graduation rate (capped at 1%), Steiner pointed out that in fact, multiple states are using different standards for graduating all students with disabilities, stating, “four states had specific diploma pathways for students with disabilities, and fourteen states waived or modified graduation requirements for a regular high school diploma for students with disabilities.”

On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund issued an action alert urging advocates to contact their member of Congress to oppose HR 620. The bill would limit ADA lawsuits unless an aggrieved party gave a business the chance to come into compliance with the law. The Action Alert can be found here. U.S. Congressman Steve Stivers added his name as a co-sponsor to this bill on September 8, 2017.

NEXT 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 hearing will take place at 1:30 p.m. in Room 113 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Wednesday, October 11th, 2017, the House Health Committee will hold 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. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. in Room 121 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Wednesday, October 11th, 2017, the House Health Committee will hold 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. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. in Room 121 of the Statehouse.

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 will hold a hearing entitled, “The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” HUD Secretary Ben Carson is scheduled to testify. The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. in Room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

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