This Week in Public Policy - October 14 - 18, 2019

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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In Ohio

On Monday, October 14, 2019, State of Ohio Employees were able to take the new Disability Etiquette Training as part of Governor Mike DeWine’s Executive Order encouraging state agencies to employ more individuals with disabilities.

On Tuesday, October 15, 2019, the House Health Committee held ALL Testimony on House Bill 287 (HCBS Waivers for Military Families). The bill would require state agencies to hold in reserve a number of waiver slots specifically for military families who are transferred to Ohio for active duty military service and were receiving waiver services in another state. Director of DODD Jeff Davis testified in support of the bill, saying the state would plan to provide the necessary Medicaid match instead of asking the County Boards of DD to use their property tax levy dollars. Bridget Gargan testified in support of the bill on behalf of the Ohio Association of County Boards of DD and Steve Tugend provided written testimony on behalf of Central Ohio Defense Group.

In Washington

On Wednesday, October 16th, 2019, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing to examine the prevention of falls, focusing on national, state and local solutions. The Committee released a report entitled, “Falls Prevention: National, State, and Local Solutions to Better Support Seniors.” Included in the report are recommendations to increase support for federal and state programs that provide home modifications, such as the Money Follows the Person Program.

On Wednesday, October 16th, 2019, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit held a hearing entitled, “Examining the Future of Transportation Network Companies: Challenges and Opportunities.” Witnesses testified in support of HR 4686, legislation that would require safety features for all Transportation Network Companies (Uber, Lyft, etc.). Bill sponsors noted the bill included alternative safety notifications to accommodate requests by the National Federal of the Blind, which has endorsed the bill.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: October 21 - 25, 2019

In Ohio

Legislative Committees and Session are scheduled, but none dealing with DD topics.

In Washington

Congressional hearings are scheduled, but none dealing with DD Topics.

Facts That May Only Interest Me:  According to the Ohio Department of Development, Ohio has 5.1 million total housing units with a population of 11.6 million people. Roughly 10% of housing units (541,693) were vacant in 2018. Of the occupied housing units, 92,112 units were heated using coal, coke or wood.