This morning, more than 400 professionals from Ohio's county board of DD system welcomed Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to kick off the OACB 36th Annual Convention, the largest professional development event for DD professionals in the state.
Today marks the first time Governor DeWine has directly addressed Ohio's county boards of DD since his inauguration in early 2019. In an interview-style conversation with Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities Director Jeff Davis, the governor talked about his administration's DD-related priorities and programs in his first year in office.
The governor covered topics ranging from the direct support professional wage increase that was passed with the most recent state budget to new supports for multi-system youth care and coordination.
In his first year as governor, DeWine has prioritized a number of programs designed to address the needs of families, children, and people with disabilities. Moments after his inauguration in early 2019, DeWine signed an executive order issuing several new directives for state agencies related to disability hiring practices and job development.
In his first as-introduced two-year state budget, Governor DeWine included proposals to increase wages for direct support professionals, revise non-medical transportation rates, create a provider suspension process to protect the well-being of people with developmental disabilities, and institute several measures to boost county boards' financial stability.
The governor's budget also included millions of dollars in new funding for Part C Early Intervention and multi-system youth initiatives. The governor has sought county board input on several ongoing statewide initiatives and has appointed county board leaders to positions on the Early Childhood Advisory Council and the Ohio Lead Advisory Committee.
OACB would like to thank Governor DeWine for joining county board of DD professionals at this year's Annual Convention and looks forward to working with his administration on behalf of Ohioans with developmental disabilities in the years ahead.
Photo by Cella Creative
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