These Two Weeks in Public Policy: November 18 - 29, 2019

This Week in Public Policy provides a summary of policy and legislation in Ohio and at the federal level that is of interest to people with disabilities.

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In Ohio

On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, the House Health Committee held PROPONENT Testimony on House Bill 214 (Prescription Drug Readers). The bill would require pharmacies to provide prescription drug readers for visually impaired patients and requires health insurance plans, including Medicaid, to pay for the readers. Nineteen witnesses offered oral and written testimony in support of the bill, representing the National Federation of the Blind and the Ohio Pharmacists Association.

On Tuesday, November 26, 2019, Senators Kristina Roegner and Robert McColley introduced legislation that would allow professionals with a license or certification, or satisfactory work experience in another state, under certain circumstances, to be issued the same license or certification in Ohio. Senate Bill 246 (Occupational Licensure – Reciprocity) has not been referred to a committee.

In Washington

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, President Trump signed the continuing resolution to extend appropriations authority to December 20, 2019. Federal appropriators are working on finalizing the 2020 federal budget, but already, there are rumors of another continuing resolution to continue government operations past Christmas.

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, the US House of Representatives voted to pass HR 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. The bill would require all employers of health care and social service workers to develop, implement and maintain an effective workplace violence prevention plan. The bill passed 251-158 with Ohio’s Congressional delegation voting as follows:

  • Balderson - N
  • Beatty – Y
  • Chabot – N
  • Davidson - N
  • Fudge – Absent
  • Gibbs – N
  • Gonzalez - N
  • Johnson – N
  • Jordan – N
  • Joyce – Y
  • Kaptur – Y
  • Latta – N
  • Ryan - Y
  • Stivers – Absent
  • Turner – N
  • Wenstrup – N

Friday, November 29th, 2019 will be the 44th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Government Accountability Office’s Watch Blog has put together a page of information and data about the law, its impact and how children are served in states. Separately, The National Autism Committee issued a report this past July that provides a state-by-state comparison of restraint and seclusion laws or regulations.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: December 2 - 6, 2019

In Ohio

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, the Sunset Review Committee will hold a meeting. The Sunset Review Committee meets to evaluate the need to continue or to eliminate boards or commissions authorized in Ohio statute. Agencies or Boards that are scheduled for a hearing at this meeting include the Infant Hearing Screening Subcommittee, the Medically Handicapped Children’s Medical Advisory Council, and the Maternity and Newborn Advisory Council, among several other unrelated agencies. The hearing will take place at 1:30 p.m. in Room 115 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Thursday, the Commission on Infant Mortality will hold a meeting to receive presentations from the Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms organization, Global Health Metrics, Birthing Beautiful Communities, and the March of Dimes. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.

In Washington

The House and Senate will return from the Thanksgiving break. Several committees are scheduled, but none specific to disability-related policy.

Let’s Talk Turkey:  The companies that jointly own Butterball, LLC include Maxwell Farms, an affiliate of the Goldsboro Milling Company and the Seaboard Corporation, which bought 50% non-controlling interest in the company in 2010. The closing price on Seaboard’s stock on Tuesday was $4,080 per share. The term Butterball was trademarked in 1940 by a woman living in Wyoming, Ohio. Butterball’s annual revenue in 2008 was $1.5 billion and employs approximately 5,500 people. Butterball’s biggest competitor for the Thanksgiving table has got to be Honeysuckle White, which is owned by Cargill. According to a 1975 article in the New York Times, Cargill bought the turkey processing operations and other facilities from the Ralston Purina Company. Cargill was founded in 1865 and is considered to be the largest privately held corporation in the United States.