This Week in Public Policy: November 23 - 27, 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.

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, November 18, 2020, the Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee heard sponsor testimony on Senate Bill 331 (Sunset Review). The bill would make recommendations of the Sunset Review Committee and change the meeting schedule to require the Sunset Review Committee to meet every General Assembly but includes a schedule for when agencies must appear for review. Senator Kristina Roegner told the committee in her sponsor testimony that she would be recommending the elimination of four additional boards in an amendment to the committee. The boards and commissions identified her testimony included: Early Childhood Financing Workgroup, Oho Family Stability Commission, School and Ministerial Lands Divestiture Committee and the Voting Machine Acquisition Advisory Committee. 

On Thursday, November 19, 2020, the House Aging and Long-Term Care Committee passed out of the committee House Bill 498 (Tax Credit- Accessible Housing/Disability Related Expenses). The bill would set aside $10 million in tax credits for home modifications that made a house accessible. The bill also provides tax credits for other disability-related expenses. The committee approved the bill by a vote of 10-1, with Representative Stephanie Howse the lone dissenting vote. The bill awaits a vote by the full House of Representatives. 

On Thursday, November 19, 2020, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 464 (Guardian Authority – Trusts). The bill makes changes to guardianship law related to establishing estate plans and trusts.

In Washington

Nothing to report.


NEXT Week in Public Policy: November 30 - December 4, 2020

In Ohio

On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee will hold OPPONENT Testimony on House Bill 13 (Broadband Expansion). The bill would provide government grants to Internet providers to extend their service area into un/underserved areas of the state. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.

On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee will hold SPONSOR Testimony on House Bill 787 (Accessible Parking). The bill makes several changes to Ohio’s Accessible Parking law, including adding language that would require the removal of snow drifts from accessible parking spots and the access aisle (clear space marked with diagonal lines) within 24 hours. The bill also creates a Volunteer Accessible Parking Enforcement Training Program to teach volunteers how to assist local police in enforcement of accessible parking and also allows trained volunteers to issue civil parking tickets for violations. The bill makes many other changes and is the result of advocacy by disability-related organizations. The hearing will take place at 1:00 p.m. in Hearing Room 121 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, the Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee will hold ALL Testimony on Senate Bill 246 (Occupational Licensing from Other States). The bill would allow someone with a license or certification from another state to be issued the same or similar in Ohio if certain conditions are met. The committee has scheduled amendments and a possible vote. The hearing will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the South Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building.

On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, the Senate Government and Agency Review Committee will hold ALL Testimony on Senate Bill 331 (Sunset Review Recommendations). The bill would make recommendations to eliminate a handful of boards and commissions and require the Sunset Review Committee to meet every General Assembly and review ½ of the boards and commissions every two years. The committee has scheduled amendments and a possible vote. The hearing will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the South Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building.

In Washington

On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold hearings to examine the quarterly CARES ACT report to Congress. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Scheduled to testify will be Steven Mnuchin (Secretary, Dept. of Treasury) and Jerome Powell (Chairman, Federal Reserve). The hearing will also be streamed live here.


Facts That May Only Interest Me: The state of Vermont passed a law in 1999 on how to serve apple pie, requiring a good faith effort be made to serve with at least one of the following: a cold glass of milk, a slice of cheddar cheese weighing at least ½ ounce, and/or a “large” scoop of vanilla ice cream. The State of Oklahoma actually has an official state meal, comprised of a whopping 2,700 heart-clogging calories (Chicken-fried steak, barbecued pork, fried okra, squash, cornbread, grits, corn, sausage with biscuits and gravy, black-eyed peas, strawberries and pecan pie). Also, Oklahoma’s state “vegetable” is the watermelon.