This Week in Public Policy: October 11 - 15, 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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In Ohio

On Monday, the Ohio Office of Budget and Management released their monthly report on the status of the state’s finances. Included in the report is how much the state collected in taxes and other revenues and how much the state has spent for the month and fiscal year-to-date. For September, the state collected more money than was estimated ($151M), and spent less than was budgeted ($145M). The report also breaks down spending and enrollment for Medicaid, indicating for the month of September:

  • GRF Spending was $73.5 Million below estimates
  • ALL Funds Spending was $144.9 Million below estimates
  • Total September enrollment was 3.28 Million which was 2,550 below estimates
    • Covered Families and Children = 1.81 Million
    • Group VIII Expansion = 829,000
    • Aged, Blind and Disabled = 498,570

On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, the House Civil Justice Committee held Proponent Testimony on House Bill 352 (Custody/Visitation – Can’t Use Disability to Deny/Reduce). Supporting testimony was offered by 16 individuals, and included representatives from the National Federal of the Blind of Ohio and the Southeaster Ohio Center for Independent Living. Several individuals testified how their blindness was used to deny them visitation or parental rights.

On Thursday, October 14, 2021, the House Families, Aging and Human Services Committee held All Testimony on Senate Bill 58 (Esther’s Law – Cameras in Long Term Care Facilities). The bill would allow individuals to install cameras to monitor a family member in a long-term-care facility. The committee adopted an amendment to the bill that would exempt law enforcement agencies from the requirements of the bill if electronic and monitoring equipment needed to be installed for a bona fide law enforcement purpose. Four witnesses testified in support of the bill, one witness testified as in interested party, and two additional witnesses testified in opposition to the bill. Opponents were mainly opposed to the bill because it does not include assisted living facilities and the bill is ambiguous on the forms needed to obtain approval. All witness testimony can be found here.

In Washington

No activities identified for this week.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: October 18 - 22, 2021

In Ohio

No pertinent hearings have been scheduled at the time of this publication. The House Health Committee was scheduled to meet on Tuesday to consider a bill dealing with vaccine mandates, but was cancelled at the request of the Speaker.

In Washington

On Wednesday, October 20th, 2021, the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, will hold a hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990: The Current State of Integration of People with Disabilities. Witnesses have not been identified as of this publication. The hearing is scheduled to take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building. It will also be streamed here.

Facts That May Only Interest Me

Reese’s holiday candies (Peanut Butter Egg, Pumpkin, Christmas Trees) contain double the amount of sugar than a normal peanut butter cup. The normal peanut butter cup contains 8 grams of sugar, whereas the pumpkin has 17 grams of sugar. The peanut butter egg was the first of the holiday versions of the cup, released in 1967. The, “You got chocolate in my peanut butter,” commercial first aired on TV in August of 1972. It was reported in 2020 that annual sales of Reese’s products surpassed $2 Billion, making it the number 1 confectionary in the US.