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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On Wednesday, June 5, 2019, the Senate Finance Committee held ALL testimony on House Bill 166 (State Budget). Written and oral testimony on disability related issues were:
Gary Tonks – Arc of Ohio
Tony Thomas & Meg Nachtwey – Welcome House
Trish Otter – United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland
Ginger Young – The Childhood League Center
Marla Root – Ohio Autism Insurance Coalition
Bernard Baker – Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)
Much of the testimony was in support of the proposed budget, specifically support for increased wages for Direct Support Professionals (the House-passed version of the budget proposes increase the average DSP wage to $13 per hour). There was also testimony in opposition to a House amendment that creates a joint legislative committee to make recommendations on redesignating the state protection and advocacy organization and testimony in support of informed choice language requiring education on all options, including Intermediate Care Facilities, when an individual seeks services from a county board of developmental disabilities.
A consortium of advocacy organizations issued a letter to US Representatives Mikie Sherrill and Fred Upton in support of their newly introduced legislation (HR2822) to extend the Family-To-Family Act. The reauthorization of the Family-to-Family Act would provide support for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, supporting the family of roughly 14 million children and youth with special health care needs.
The Office of Disability Employment Policy is seeking input from DD Stakeholders about subminimum wages for people with disabilities. If you have thoughts about subminimum wages and employment of people with disabilities, click this link to participate and provide input into this issue. The deadline to provide your thoughts on this topic is Friday, June 14, 2019.
NEXT Week in Public Policy: June 10 - 14, 2019
On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, the Senate Finance Committee is expected to release their version (substitute bill) of the state operating budget. Up until now, the Finance Subcommittees and the Full Finance Committee has held multiple hearings to allow all interested parties to weigh in on the House-passed version of the budget. The substitute bill will be introduced at a hearing scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and no testimony will be permitted on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, June 12, 2019, the Senate Finance Committee will hear testimony on all higher education issues contained in the budget bill (House Bill 166). The hearing is scheduled to take place at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.
On Thursday, June 13th, the Senate Finance Committee will allow ALL testimony on the substitute version of House Bill 166 (expected to be released on Tuesday, June 11). The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.
On Friday, June 14th, the Senate Finance Committee will allow ALL testimony on the substitute version of House Bill 166 (State Budget). The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.
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.
On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on HR 1309 (Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act). 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. Currently, Ohio Cosponsors include Representatives Marcia Fudge, Tim Ryan, Marcy Kaptur and Joyce Beatty. The hearing will take place at 10:15 a.m. in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.