This Week in Public Policy: February 3 - 7, 2020

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.

To subscribe to these weekly updates, send an email to Paul Jarvis at paul.jarvis@dodd.ohio.gov.

Click here to read previous week's updates.


In Ohio

On Wednesday, February 5, 2020, the Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee held PROPONENT/INTERESTED PARTY Testimony on Senate Bill 246 (Occupational Licensing Reciprocity). The bill would require the occupational licensing authority to issue a license or government certification to an applicant who holds a license, government certification, private certification, or has satisfactory work experience in another state. Chris Ferusso, representing the National Federation of Independent Business in Ohio testified in support, stating that reciprocity would encourage professionals from other states to come to Ohio. Testifying as Interested Parties were Matt Mitchell (Mercatus Center at George Mason University), Shannon Sweeney (Ohio Dental Hygienists’ Association) and Jason Jones (Self – Accountant).

In Washington

On Wednesday, February 5, 2020, the House Financial Services Committee, Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance held a hearing entitled, “A Future Without Public Housing? Examining the Trump Administrations Efforts to Eliminate Public Housing.” Much of the testimony focused on 3 separate HUD programs (RAD, Section 18, and CNI). Witnesses testified that efforts by the current administration to promote the Section 18 program, which allowed for the demolition or disposition of public housing units by public housing authorities with no requirement to replace lost units, was a threat to strengthening public housing stock. Witnesses generally testified in support of the RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) and CNI (Choice Neighborhoods Initiative).  All the testimony can be found here.


NEXT Week in Public Policy: February 10 - 14, 2020

In Ohio

On Tuesday, February 11, 2020, the House Health Committee will hold SPONSOR Testimony on House Concurrent Resolution 20 (Standardization of Medicaid Waivers). The Resolution urges Congress to standardize Home and Community-Based Services Waivers under Medicaid to better accommodate military families who have children with special needs. The hearing will take place at 11:00 a.m. in Room 116 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee will hold ALL Testimony on House Bill 295 (Low-Speed Electric Scooters). The bill would regulate the use of electric scooters (defined as a device weighing less than 100 pounds with handlebars). The bill is slated for amendments and a POSSIBLE VOTE. The committee has also scheduled SPONSOR Testimony on Senate Bill 249 (Adult Changing Stations). The bill would enact Matthew’s Law, requiring all public buildings to have at least one rest room facility with an adult changing station. The bill also provides an income tax credit to defray the cost of installation. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in the South Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building.

On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the Senate General Government and Agency Review will hold ALL Testimony on Senate Bill 246 (Occupational Licensing Reciprocity). The bill would require the occupational licensing authority to issue a license or government certification to an applicant who holds a license, government certification, private certification, or has satisfactory work experience in another state. The hearing will take place at 3:15 p.m. in the North Hearing Room.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is accepting public comments on the Combined State Plan related to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs. Each state is required to submit a state plan that outlines a four-year workforce development strategy for the state’s workforce development system. Advocates for aging individuals and people with disabilities are recommending the Combined State Plan provide for investment in workforce development for direct support professionals, pointing to the continuing workforce crisis across the state for these jobs. To read the proposed Combined State Plan or to make a comment on the proposed plan for 2020-2023, you can visit the Department of Job and Family Services Webpage. The deadline to submit comments is Monday, February 17, 2020.

In Washington

On Monday, February 10, 2020, President Donald Trump is expected to introduce his Federal Fiscal Year 2021 Budget.

On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on the FFY 21 Budget. The Hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 210 of the Cannon House Office Building.


Facts That May Only Interest Me (Paul Jarvis):  According to historians, the origins of Valentine’s Day can be traced to the feast of Lupercalia, an occasion celebrated by ancient Romans from February 13-15 by sacrificing a goat and a dog and then whipping women with the hides of the slain animals. This Pagan ritual was believed to rid the city of evil spirits and women believed the ritual would increase their fertility.