This Week in Public Policy - December 17 - 21, 2018

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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Click here to read previous week's updates.

In Ohio

On Wednesday, December 19th, 2018, Governor John Kasich signed into law House Bill 271 (ADA Notification). The bill would create a process to notify a business of a potential ADA violation and provide the business an opportunity to correct the violation before an individual could file a lawsuit and recover attorney’s fees in state court. The law will go into effect in 90 days.

On Wednesday, December 19th, 2018, Governor John Kasich signed into law House Bill 119 (SNAP Program Verification). The bill would require reverification of eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and for Medicaid to occur four times per year if new information is presented that would call into question the eligibility of an individual for either program. The law will go into effect in 90 days.

On Wednesday, December 19th, 2018, Governor John Kasich signed into law Senate Bill 20 (Criminal Sentence for Causing Disability). The bill would add a six-year prison term to any sentence where the offender is convicted of a felony and the offense resulted in the permanent disability of an individual under the age of 10. The law will go into effect in 90 days.

On Sunday, December 23, 2018, the airing of grievances will commence with the annual yuletide celebration of Festivus.

In Washington

On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, the US Senate approved a continuing resolution to keep the federal government open through February 8, 2019. The resolution included language related to extending the Money Follows the Person Program, along with other appropriations. On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced he would not sign the continuing resolution to keep some federal government agencies running through February 8, 2019 without specific funding for a border wall. On Thursday, the US House adopted a new resolution that would include funding for the border wall and the Senate has through Friday to pass the resolution. If nothing is done, some federal agencies who have not had appropriations approved will be shuttered until the impasse is resolved. Health, Human Services, Labor and Education appropriations have already been passed and approved, so these programs are safe.

On Friday, December 21, 2018, the Government Accountability Office released a report on the impact of competitive bidding for Durable Medical Equipment (wheelchairs) on the number of available suppliers. The summary of the report notes that the number of vendors and suppliers continues to dwindle under the competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment. 

NEXT WEEK in Public Policy: December 24 - 28, 2018

In Ohio

The House and Senate have scheduled session for Thursday, December 27, 2018 in preparation to hold votes to override vetoes of the Governor. The House has also scheduled an “if needed” session for Friday, December 28, 2018, at the call of the Speaker.

Cabinet Watch

Governor-Elect Mike DeWine has begun to make appointments to key staff and cabinet agencies. 

No new updates from last week:

  • Adjutant General – John Harris
  • Administrative Services
  • Aging
  • Agriculture
  • Budget and Management – Kimberly Murnieks
  • Commerce – Sheryl Maxfield
  • Development Services Agency
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Health
  • Higher Education
  • Insurance
  • Job and Family Services
  • Medicaid
  • Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • Natural Resources – Mary Mertz
  • Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities
  • Public Safety – Thomas Stickrath
  • Public Utilities
  • Rehab and Corrections
  • Taxation
  • Transportation
  • Veterans Services
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Youth Services

In Washington

No pertinent committees identified at this time.