State Advocacy

Ohio StatehouseUpdated August 18, 2017

On June 28, 2017, the Ohio General Assembly voted to approve its final version of Amended Substitute House Bill 49, the state’s two-year budget bill. The version approved by the legislature comes after a week’s worth of hearings by a conference committee formed to hash out differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation.

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has been allotted approximately $64 million to pursue priorities such as new DD waivers, a DSP wage increase, and other items. A comprehensive analysis of the department's budget will be included in OACB's detailed budget analysis in mid-July.

As of Friday, June 30, Governor Kasich has issued several dozen vetoes in response to the legislature's final version of the budget. We will update this section if the legislature reconvenes to override any of the governor's vetoes.


FY 2018-19 State Budget: OACB Priorities

Below is a brief overview of the current status of OACB’s budget priorities as reflected in the final version of Am. Sub. H.B. 49. These priorities were approved by the OACB Board of Trustees (in consultation with the Policy Committee) in March of this year. These priorities were updated as the budget process evolved in consultation with trustees and committee members.

Several of the DODD-related priorities below marked as “Work in Progress” are not directly specified in the state budget. However, OACB advocacy will continue in the coming weeks and months to ensure that the county boards objectives articulated below are met. The OACB Board of Trustees and Policy Committee will issue direction on further advocacy efforts as necessary.

  1. Reform Waiver Waiting List Statute (Achieved) - The Waiting List Workgroup will establish a new structure for managing the waiting list via administrative rule before the end of the year. For additional information about the status of this workgroup, contact Lori Stanfa (

  2. Address Help Me Grow Concerns and Central Intake Process RFP (Achieved) – OACB will send a separate communication to county boards outlining the implication of these changes for local programs at a later date and continue to monitor these changes to ensure they are implemented properly.

  3. Provider Quality Workgroup (Achieved) – A workgroup must be empaneled within 30 days of the bill’s passage and is required to report back to the legislature on how county boards and providers can work together to ensure greater collaboration and accountability at the local level within one year.

  4. Direct Support Professional (DSP) Wage Increase (Work in Progress) – Funds have been allocated to DODD in the state budget, however, they have not been explicitly reserved for a DSP wage increase.  OACB is regularly engaging with DODD leadership about this issue and will report to members when a final decision is reached.

  5. Complex Care Rate Add-On (Work in Progress) – Similar to the DSP wage increase, DODD has been allocated additional funding in the state budget that may be used for this purpose. OACB is regularly engaging with DODD leadership about this issue and will report to members when a final decision is reached.

  6. Codifying Non-Profit Housing Tax Exempt Status (Work in Progress) – OACB is meeting with housing stakeholders and will pursue a legislative fix through an amendment to a different bill or a stand-alone piece of legislation.

  7. Eliminate Senate Cuts to County Board Case Management Line Item for Transitions DD (TDD) Waiver (Did Not Achieve) – OACB continues to analyze the impact that these cuts will have to county boards. It is expected that these funding reductions will be taken into consideration as DODD determines how it will spend its discretionary dollars in the coming biennium.


OACB Budget Analysis Distributed

OACB released its full budget analysis, which contained a complete rundown of all DD-related appropriations and policy provisions, on July 24, 2017 to members via the OACB PolicyBrief. If you are an OACB member and did not receive a copy of this document, or if you would like to learn more about this document in general, please contact Bridget Gargan ( at (614) 431-0616 for information.


Additional State Legislation Under Review

OACB is actively monitoring several pieces of legislation that could affect county boards of developmental disabilities and the people with developmental disabilities they serve.  Where necessary, OACB is engaging directly with lawmakers and their legislative staff in order to ensure the voice of county boards is heard.  For a complete list of bills currently on OACB's radar, please contact Bridget Gargan ( for more information.


Administrative Rules

OACB staff members regularly participate in the creation and review of rules contained within the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) proposed by various state agencies, including: Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, Ohio Department of Medicaid, Ohio Department of Education, and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), among others.  In addition, OACB frequently empanels rule review workgroups so subject matter experts from county boards of DD have an opportunity to participate in the rule review process.  For a complete list of rules upon which OACB is actively engaged, please contact Lori Stanfa ( at (614) 563-7183.