This Week in Public Policy - May 24 - 28, 2021

This Week in Public Policy, written by DD Council staff person Paul Jarvis, 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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Click here to read updates from previous weeks.

In Ohio

On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, the House Health Committee heard SPONSOR and PROPONENT Testimony on House Bill 281 (Derogatory Language). The bill would remove terms considered derogatory to people with disabilities that appear in state statute. There were 13 witnesses who offered written or oral testimony in support of the bill following sponsor testimony.

On Thursday, May 27th, 2021, the House Families, Aging and Human Services Committee held ALL Testimony on House Bill 212 (Expand Eligibility BCMH Program). The bill would increase the age of eligibility in the BCMH program to children up to the age of 26. Following testimony by one mother who discussed how the bill would enable her to obtain coverage for her son, the committee voted to pass the bill and send it to the House Floor for consideration. The vote was unanimous.

In Washington

On Thursday, May 27th, 2021, the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress held a hearing entitled, “Making the House More Accessible to the Disability Community.” Testifying before the committee were Congressman James LangevinPhoebe Ball (Disability Counsel – House Education and Labor Committee)Heather Ansley (Paralyzed Veterans of America)Judy Brewer (Web Accessbility Initiative) and John Uelmen (Office of Congressional Workplace Rights). A recording of the meeting can be found here.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: May 31 - June 4

In Ohio

On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, the Senate Finance Committee is expected to adopt a substitute version of the state operating budget (House Bill 110). No testimony will be heard on Tuesday, but expect the committee to release an overview of all of the changes the Senate is planning to make to the state budget. The hearing on Tuesday is scheduled to take place at 11:45 a.m.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee will hear ALL testimony on the state operating budget. Senate President Matt Huffman has indicated he is hoping the committee can adopt an omnibus amendment by the end of the week. Expectations are that the Senate will vote on their version of the bill the week of June 7th. Wednesday’s Senate hearing is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. and at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday. An “if-needed” hearing is also scheduled for Friday morning.

At publication time, no House Committees have announced a hearing for next week.

In Washington

Congress is maintaining a light schedule next week. A few committees are scheduled to meet, however, no pertinent meetings on disability-related issues have been posted at this time.

Facts That May Only Interest Me:

The US Food and Drug Administration’s Food Defect Action Levels Guide spells out the maximum allowable amount of insects or insect parts that can make its way into food products before the food is considered “contaminated.” As we all prepare to enjoy a barbecue or two this summer, keep in mind the following foods might include up to a maximum of:

  • 136 insect parts in a 16 oz jar of peanut butter
  • 74 insect parts in a 4.4 ounce chocolate bar
  • 224 insect parts per 225 grams of pasta
  • 120 insect parts per brewed cup of coffee
  • 35 fruit fly eggs and 10 whole insects in 1 cup of raisins
  • 19 maggots and 74 mites in a 3.5 ounce can of mushrooms
  • 60 aphids per 100 grams of frozen broccoli
  • 8 fly eggs or one maggot in a 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes
  • 475 insect parts in ¼ cup of ground pepper
  • 400 insect parts in cinnamon
  • 50 thrips in sauerkraut
  • 4 larvae or 10 whole insects in 2.5 cups of berries