In a marathon of legislative votes during the final week of 2018, the Ohio General Assembly took action on several bills with the potential to impact county boards of DD and/or the people they support.
Covering the final two months at the end of each two-year legislative session, the so-called “Lame Duck” period is lawmakers’ final chance to advance bills before a new two-year legislative session starts. Of the nine DD-related bills that were acted on in the 2018 Lame Duck period, two were newly amended in December to include language relevant to county boards. As such, they were not previously tracked in OACB’s Bill Tracker.
SB 21 was a bill concerning the minimum number of poll workers at Ohio polling places. It was amended in committee in mid-December, however, to include language from HB 342, a bill opposed by OACB. The language would have required all levy ballot language to express annual tax rates in dollars and cents per $100,000 of fair market value. After learning about the amendment, OACB drafted a letter to Senate Majority Caucus outlining the bill’s issues. The amended SB 21 subsequently failed to reach its final vote in the Senate and will not become law.
SB 265 was amended in mid-December to include language from HB 72, a bill requiring health plan issuers to implement a step therapy protocol with regard to prescription drugs and providing users with a process to request an exemption. Patients affects by the bill could include many people served by county boards. The amended version of SB 265 is awaiting a signature from the governor.
The other DD-related bills on which action was taken during Lame Duck are listed below. These bills have been covered at length in the OACB Bill Tracker, which is available for download in MemberConnect.
As of January, the 2019-20 legislative calendar has begun. OACB will provide details on the association's advocacy goals for the new legislative session in future editions of the PolicyBrief.
Members with questions about Lame Duck and the recently completed legislative biennium should contact Erich Bittner (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 614-431-0616.
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