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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On Tuesday, February 19th, 2019, the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee held PROPONENT TESTIMONY on Senate Bill 29 (Dolan – Medicaid CoPayments). The bill would eliminate the requirement to pay a Medicaid co-payment for individuals with developmental disabilities and others whose sole source of income is SSI or SSDI or both. Two witnesses provided supporting testimony. Mark Wax testified that his son is on SSDI and that a minimum co-pay of several dollars can eat away at his son’s budget. Dustin McKee testified in support of the bill on behalf of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
The House Finance Committee held multiple hearings on the State Transportation Budget. Actual language for the proposal was released on Thursday, with the proposal seeking an increase in the gas tax from $0.28 to $0.46 over the biennium, and an automatic increase in the gas tax tied to the consumer price index in future years. For three days of hearings, multiple witnesses testified, mainly in support of the increase in the gas tax. There were a few witnesses who pointed to other needs in the system that would not be served solely by a gas tax increase. Those witnesses include the Ohio Public Transit Association and the Greater Ohio Policy Center.
NEXT Week in Public Policy - February 25 - March 1, 2019
On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee will meet in the South Hearing Room of the Ohio Statehouse. The committee has scheduled confirmation votes on several cabinet nominations, including Maureen Corcoran as the director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid, Lori Criss as the director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Jeff Davis as the director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. The committee is also scheduled to hear SPONSOR TESTIMONY on Senate Bill 25 (Medicaid Work/Education Requirements). The bill would implement work and education requirements for individuals who are eligible for Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act’s Expansion Group (known as Group 8 in Ohio). The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m.
On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, the House Ways and Means Committee will meet in Hearing Room 116 of the Ohio Statehouse. The committee has schedule PROPONENT TESTIMONY on House Bill 60 (Sales Tax Exemption on Diapers). The bill would exempt child and adult diapers from sales taxes. The hearing will take place at 3:00 p.m. Anyone wishing to testify, or to send supporting statements, should contact Chairman Tim Schaffer’s office at (614) 466-8100.
On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the Senate Ways and Means Committee will hold SPONSOR Testimony on Senate Bill 36 (Federally Subsidized Rental Property Valuation). The bill would require the amount of taxes collected on a rental property be based on the market value of the property and not on the value of the property that is calculated on the amount of actual rent that is collected. This means that properties that rent to individuals with federal subsidies such as a HUD Voucher will be required to pay higher taxes. The hearing will take place in the South Hearing Room of the Ohio Senate Building at 10:30 a.m.
On Thursday, February 28, 2019, the House Aging and Long-Term Care Committee will meet to adopt committee rules. The hearing will take place at 11:00 a.m. in Room 122 of the Ohio Statehouse.
On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the House Education and Labor Committee, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education will hold a hearing entitled, “Classrooms in Crisis: Examining the Inappropriate Uses of Seclusion and Restraint Practices.” The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building. There is not a Representative from Ohio on this subcommittee.
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