This Week in Public Policy: September 24-28, 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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In Ohio:

On Tuesday, September 25, 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee held PROPONENT Testimony on House Bill 271 (ADA Notification Act). The bill would create a process by which an individual would notify a business of potential ADA violations and allow the business time to correct the violation before an individual would file a lawsuit alleging violation of the ADA. Two witnesses testified before the committee while a handful of others submitted written testimony only. The committee agenda had included possible amendments, but none were offered. Witnesses and testimony were as follows:

                Lori Bongiorno – M&A Arhitects

                Dimitri Hatzifotinos – Willis Law Firm

                Don Boyd – Ohio Chamber of Commerce (written only)

                Kelly Casto – Casto Asset Management (written only)

                Alex Boehnke – Ohio Council of Retail Merchants (written only)

                Kristin Mullins – Ohio Grocers Association (written only)

                Chris Ferrusso – NFIB (written only)

On Tuesday, September 25, 2018, the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee held ALL testimony on Senate Concurrent Resolution 18 (ADA Dynamic Access Symbol). The resolution urges congress to amend the ADA and adopt the international symbol of access that includes a dynamic character that leans forward. The committee received three letters of support and voted the resolution out unanimously.

In Washington:

On Tuesday, September 25, 2018, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing entitled, “The Every Student Succeeds Act: States Leading the Way.” The following individuals testified:

            Matthew Blomstedt – Commissioner – Nebraska Department of Education

            Susan Bunting – Secretary – Delaware Department of Education

            Shavar Jeffries – President – Education Reform Now

            Molly Spearman – Superintendent – South Carolina Department of Education

All of the testimony only referenced students with disabilities as an underserved population, with exception of Molly Spearman’s testimony. She said South Carolina has created transformation coaches, funded by the state, to work with underperforming school districts. She states this approach allows South Carolina to take a “braided” approach to serving students with disabilities under ESSA and IDEA. 

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed the Defense and Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations bill, ending speculation on whether he would should down the government over funding for a border wall.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: October 1 - 5, 2018

In Ohio:

The House and Senate are not in session.

In Washington:

The US Senate has scheduled committee hearings, but not relevant to specific disability issues.