This Week in Public Policy: June 10 - 14, 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 Friday, June 14th, the Senate Finance Committee heard ALL testimony on the substitute version of House Bill 166 (State Budget). Multiple witnesses were present to testify on items contained in the budget relating to people with developmental disabilities. At issue for the witnesses on Friday was the inclusion of new language in the Senate version of the budget that would require education about Intermediate Care Facilities at every point of contact with a County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Witnesses testified that the repeated nature of the required education would cause confusion for families and requiring education on ICFs for individuals seeking unrelated services from a board is inappropriate. Witnesses pointed out during questioning from members on the panel that education about ICFs and residential options are already required in federal code and state rule. The witnesses and their testimony:

Marie Wilbanks – Ohio Association of County Boards of DD

Michael Kirkman – Disability Rights Ohio

Renee Wood – Ohio Olmstead Task Force

Christine Brown – Self Advocate (written only)

In Washington

On Friday, June 7th, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities issued a letter to Administrator Lance Robertson, Administration for Community Living, outlining their concerns over the proposed reorganization of programs and offices within ACL. The letter states that disability-related programs are being reorganized into downgraded offices and that aging programs contained under the ACL’s authority are experiencing no such downgrade. Coupled with ACLs repeated attempts to reduce funding for DD Act Programs, the letter states that the reorganization, “virtually ensures the intent of the law cannot be met.”

On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, the House Education and Labor Committee voted to pass HR 1309 (Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act) by a vote of 26-18. According to the bill, “health care and social service industries experience the highest rates of injuries caused by workplace violence. Nurses, social workers, psychiatric, home health, and personal care aides are all at increased risk for injury caused by workplace violence. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2017, the rates of violence and injury caused by persons in these workplaces ranged from 3 times to as high at 61.9 times the average American workplace.” The bill would require the Secretary of the US Department of Labor to develop a workplace violence prevention program for this industry.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: June 17 - 21, 2019

In Ohio

On Monday, June 17th, the Senate Finance Committee will allow ALL testimony on the substitute version of House Bill 166 (State Budget). The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.

In Washington

No identified committee meetings.