This Week in Public Policy: September 2 - 6, 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

Changes to the makeup of the Ohio Senate continue to unfold, as the Senate Republicans have announced they will be recommending former Representative Terry Johnson to fill the seat recently vacated by Sen. Joe Uecker, who left to work for the Ohio Department of Transportation. Also, Senator Lou Terhar announced his resignation from the Senate at the end of September, due to health reasons. The Senate will convene a new panel to screen applicants and make a recommendation.

In Washington

The US Department of Energy announced a federal grant award to two Ohio entities to conduct advanced vehicle technologies research. One award to Rural Action in the amount of $900,524, is intended to improve mobility services in rural areas (Rural Open Access Development Mobility Action Plan). Rural Action is a non-profit organization located in The Plains, Ohio.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: September 9 - 13, 2019

In Ohio

On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, the House Health Committee will hold SPONSOR Testimony on House Bill 188 (Blindness – Adoption). The bill would prohibit a person’s blindness from being used to make determinations about custody, parenting time, visitation, adoption, guardianship or foster care. The hearing is scheduled to take place at 11:00 a.m. in Hearing Room 116 of the Ohio Statehouse.

On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, the House Health Committee will hold SPONSOR 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.

Saturday, September 14, 2019 is the deadline to submit public comments on proposed amendments to all three of Ohio’s DD Waivers (I/O, SELF, Level 1). The amendments proposed incorporate the DSP wage increase and increases for Non-Medical Transportation that were included as part of the state budget. The service definition for on-site/on-call is altered and the wage is increased to minimum wage. Information about each amendment, along with instructions on how to submit public input can be found on the Department of Developmental Disabilities webpage.

In Washington

On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing entitled, “The Administration’s Apparent Revocation of Medical Deferred Action for Critically Ill Children.” Medical Deferred Action is a process that delays deportation of an immigrant due to the immigrant or their family member seeking and receiving medical care. The hearing will take place at 12:00 p.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building. A letter sent to the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services outlines the concerns that members of Congress have with the program not continuing.

Fun Fact That May Only Interest Me: Enrollment figures for Medicaid in July were as follows: Covered Families and Children, 1.60 million; Aged, Blind and Disabled (ABD), 489,092; Group VIII Expansion, 609,966; and Other Full Benefits, 12,519 persons. (Source – Monthly Financial Report for July 2019, Ohio Office of Budget and Management)