This Week in Public Policy: May 4 - 8, 2020

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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In Ohio

On Thursday, May 7, 2020, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities filed three separate Final Rules. Rule 5123-13-01 would extend the period of time that a county board of developmental disabilities has to spend funds in a supplemental services trust from 12 months to 24 months. Rule 5123:2-1-11 pertains to Service and Support Administration. The Department has stated they are continuing to work with a Workgroup to standardized SSA activities statewide, but the rule is expiring and needs to be updated before the expiration date. This final rule filing includes mainly technical changes related to cross-references to other rules or statutes. The third rule, 5123:2-1-13, is related to In-Service Training for Members of County Boards of DD. The Department indicates this filing is technical in nature also.

In Washington

On Friday, May 8, 2020, the Administration on Community Living announced a five year funding opportunity entitled, “Closing the Health Disparity Gap for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD): Strengthening the U.S. Health Care Workforce.” The 5-year funding opportunity, totaling $1,750,000 is intended to improve health outcomes for the ID/DD population by changing the training received by medical and other health-professions students. More information about this opportunity, and application instructions, can be found here.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: May 11 - 15, 2020

In Ohio

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the House Civil Justice Committee will hold PROPONENT Testimony on House Bill 500 (Visitation Rights – Ward of a Guardian). The bill would create a process to allow a parent or family member who has been denied access to a ward of guardian to petition the Probate Court to gain visitation rights. The hearing will take place at 3:00 p.m. (or immediately following Session) in Room 121 of the Ohio Statehouse. Room 122 will serve as the overflow room (due to space limitations resulting from social distancing policies).

In Washington

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing to examine COVID-19, focusing on safely getting back to work and back to school. Witness scheduled to testify include: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), Dr. Robert Redfield, Director, CDC, Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of the FDA, and Dr. Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for HHS. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The hearing will be live streamed here.

Facts That May Only Interest Me:  US alcohol sales during the current seven-week shutdown period has seen significant increases over the same time-period from 2019. Spirit sales were up 32.7%, Wine was up 29.4%, and Beer/Cider was up 18.9%. For spirits, the top 3 sellers have been ready-to-drink cocktails, tequila and gin. According to, gin is not a surprise because it mixes well with tonic water, which is, “flying off the shelf.” The spirit with the strongest growth from a year ago? Cognac.