Senate Committee Moves Budget after Adopting Omnibus Amendment
The upper chamber’s
version of the budget is headed to the floor after the Senate Finance Committee
voted along party lines to report out HB110 (Oelslager).
The committee accepted
an omnibus amendment early on Tuesday afternoon, and returned later in the day
to consider Democratic amendments. Republicans tabled all eight of the minority
Committee Chair Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) said some of the Democratic
amendments might end up in the final version of the bill, but he and other
Senate GOP leaders needed to analyze them further. Ranking Member Vernon Sykes
(D-Akron) praised Dolan for his handling of the budget process, and said he
looked forward to continuing to work with him.
The omnibus amendment made
a number of changes, including the following:
- Provides $50 million
in federal grants in FY22 for reduced child care co-pays.
- Clarifies that hero
pay for child care workers previously appropriated in SB109 (Manning-Rulli) is
not affected by the bill’s restrictions on pandemic funding for child care
- Provides an
additional $10 million per fiscal year for public children services agencies in
- Appropriates $11
million in FY22 and $12 million in FY23 for the Ohio Maritime Assistance
Program to issue grants.
- Increases state
legal defense services by $600,000 in FY22 and $900,000 in FY23.
- Increases the
General Revenue Fund (GRF) appropriation to rape crisis centers by $2.7 million
in FY22, making it a total of $10 million for the fiscal year.
highlights and the full text of the amendment can be found at www.hannah.com>Breaking News.
The omnibus amendment also
included provisions making it more difficult for doctors to work with
ambulatory surgical facilities (ASFs), such as abortion clinics.
If the ASF has a
variance from a written transfer agreement, the consulting doctor’s hospital
must be within 25 miles of the ASF. Additionally, the consulting physician
cannot teach at or be compensated by a medical school, state hospital or other
public institution. An ASF with an existing variance must demonstrate
compliance with these new requirements within 90 days of the provisions’
effective date or its variance will be rescinded.
in the Ohio Senate have yet again hijacked the budget process to further their
anti-abortion agenda by adding an amendment that would add even more
medically-unnecessary licensing restrictions on abortion providers,” NARAL
Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said in a news release.
providers are a critical part of Ohio’s medical community. Across the state,
trusted medical providers work hand in hand with abortion clinics, medical
schools and hospitals to ensure patients get access to comprehensive
reproductive health care they deserve,” she continued. “This amendment is about
stigmatizing and isolating abortion providers. Let’s be clear about what this
amendment does -- closes the doors to doctors in an effort to close the door to
patients. No patient has even been helped by a closed door. A clear majority of
Ohioans support access to safe and legal abortion care, and do not support this
addition to the new abortion restriction, the budget also includes language prohibiting
a school district from teaching a student about venereal disease or other
sexual education topics not included in continuing law unless the district
receives written permission from a parent or guardian. Schools would be
required to notify all parents of the sex ed course, and the Ohio Department of
Education (ODE) would be required to conduct an annual audit of districts to
Parenthood Advocates of Ohio (PPAO) Vice President of Government Affairs and
Public Advocacy Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin criticized the proposed restrictions on
abortion and sex ed.
in and year out, the budget is used as a personal vehicle for legislators to
pack in their personal priorities, instead of facing an up-or-down vote,”
Blauvelt-Copelin said. “So much of this budget is out of step with everyday
Ohioans. Parents across the state want their kids to have the best possible
sexual health education, and this budget threatens that. The majority of
Ohioans support access to abortion, and the budget threatens that too. This is
all on top of millions of dollars of funding for fake abortion clinics that lie
to people about their options. We won’t let this happen without a fight.”
education-related changes include more funding for after school programs and
language helping school districts exit academic distress commissions. (See
separate story, this issue.)
omnibus amendment also included language creating legislative oversight of
Disability Rights Ohio (DRO), which provides the state’s protection and
advocacy (P&A) system for people with disabilities. Sen. Mark Romanchuk
(R-Mansfield) has been seeking the change.(See The Hannah Report, 5/17/21.)
amendment would require the Senate president and the House speaker to establish
a joint committee to examine the organization’s activities, and to submit a
report every two years.
a statement, DRO Executive Director Kerstin Sjoberg urged lawmakers to remove
Ohio Senate is voting on an amendment in the budget bill that will jeopardize
federal funding for Ohio agencies serving people with disabilities. This
amendment would require DRO, a nonprofit organization that receives no state
dollars, to be evaluated every two years by a joint legislative oversight
committee,” Sjoberg said. “This would not only take time and resources
away from DRO’s advocacy work for Ohioans with disabilities, but it violates
federal law by interfering with the independence of a federally-authorized
P&A program for people with disabilities. Every state and territory
has a P&A, but this would make Ohio the only state in the country with this
type of legislative oversight.”
Story originally published in The Hannah Report on June 8, 2021. Copyright 2021 Hannah News Service, Inc.