Officials from the Ohio Senate joined officials from the Ohio House of Representatives today to host a joint agriculture committee meeting at the Ohio State Fair. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) was joined by Senators Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville), Bob Peterson (R-Sabina), Frank LaRose (R-Copley), and Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville).
“Events like this are a great opportunity for the people of Ohio to experience how their state government functions,” said Hite, “and the Ohio State Fair is the perfect place to showcase our commitment to the state’s number one industry. I am very glad for this opportunity to hear directly from so many of Ohio’s agricultural leaders.”
The meeting featured expert testimony by many, including the General Manager of the Ohio State Fair, Virgil Strickler, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dave Daniels, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer, President Jack Fisher of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and Dr. Bruce McPheron, Dean of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.
The committee also heard from Ohio State Fair Junior Fair Board members, Future Farmers of America (FFA) students and others. The testimony given related to the importance of agriculture in Ohio and efforts that have been taken to ensure its continued prosperity.
Senate President Keith Faber (R–Celina) announced a grant program through the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to aid local fire departments with the costs associated with connecting to the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS).
MARCS is dedicated to providing Ohio’s first responders and public safety providers with state-of-the-art wireless digital communications, and to promote interoperability, in order to save lives and maximize effectiveness in both normal operation and emergency situations. Local law enforcement and emergency response agencies pay subscription fees to access and fund the system.
“I knew from discussions I’ve had with our local first responders that the user fees for the MARCS program are sometimes cost-prohibitive for some smaller emergency response organizations,” said President Faber. “The last thing we want standing in the way of public safety is money, so through the budget, we’ve created a grant program to help our locals get access to this life-saving system.”
House Bill 483 provides an additional $3 million to the MARCS program to provide grant dollars to purchase equipment and waive user fees for smaller fire departments. The bill also requires the program to develop a plan for the General Assembly by January 2015 that would allow for user fees to be phased out in the future.
House Bill 483 was passed by the Senate on June 4th and signed by the Governor on June 16th. The appropriation became immediately effective.
State Senator Frank LaRose (R–Copley) met with the Chairman, Commissioners, and several other members of the Legislative Service Commission from Lagos, Nigeria on Monday. These individuals visited Ohio through the sponsorship of the Columbus International Program.
Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) and Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (R–Celina) today announced the session schedule for the remainder of 2014. To see the full calendar click here.
All dates are subject to change. Unless otherwise noted, session times are as follows:
TUESDAYS at 1:30pm WEDNESDAYS at 1:30pm THURSDAYS at 11:00am
TUESDAYS at 11:00am WEDNESDAYS at 1:30pm THURSDAYS at 1:00pm
Nine months to the day that Maria Tiberi died in a car crash, Gov. John Kasich signed a bill yesterday designating September as Safe Driving Awareness Month in her honor.
WBNS-10TV sports anchor Dom Tiberi has made it his mission to promote awareness of distracted driving since he lost his 21-year-old daughter on the evening of Sept. 17. Maria Tiberi was killed when her car, moving at 53 mph, struck the back of a stopped tractor-trailer on I-270.
Crash investigators said an “ unknown distraction was the probable cause of the accident." Dom Tiberi and his wife, Terri, founded Maria’s Message, a campaign to create awareness that has taken him to 16 schools in which about 8,000 students have taken a defensive-driving pledge.
“Because you have taken something that is so horrific and are turning it into something that is so good and positive, you will be honored for this,” Kasich said in an emotional signing at the Statehouse with Tiberi’s family, former Ohio State football coach John Cooper and many others on hand. Kasich hugged Dom and Terri Tiberi and their other two children after the signing.
Kasich lost his parents in a 1987 car accident.
“Your lives have been changed,” he said. “But you’re changing other people’s lives and giving them strength.”
In his remarks, Dom Tiberi said, “It’s not just about Maria.
“My pledge is to all those parents that are out there that have lost kids, that I am your advocate, that I want to be your advocate, my family wants to be your advocate.”
Kasich said he has directed Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born to examine other possible actions to take to promote driver safety.
“To all the moms and dads and boys and girls, just drive the car,” Kasich said. “The phone can wait. Text can wait. Just pay attention. That’s the message, and it’s a simple one.”
Kasich signed 18 bills yesterday, including Senate Bill 43, which allows judges to sentence people to receive mental-health treatment on an outpatient basis. More than a year in the making, it can be used when those struggling with mental illness pose a danger to themselves or others, but refuse treatment.
Read the article at the Dispatch website by clicking here.
Surrounded by cancer survivors, advocates, and health professionals, today Governor Kasich signed two Oelslager bills designed to improve care for cancer patients in Ohio.
“Today, with the Governor’s seal of approval, we have helped Ohioans take a stand against this horrific disease. Cancer cannot be underestimated and we need to use all the tools necessary to help our friends and neighbors. As technology and medicine evolve, we need to update our policies to make sure Ohio patients are receiving the best possible care and treatment for their disease,” said Oelslager.
Senate Bill 99 creates equity in patients’ out of pocket costs for oral anti-cancer therapy by prohibiting insurers from providing less favorable coverage for orally administered cancer medications than what is offered for intravenously or injected medications. This change attempts to safeguard patients’ access to medication deemed most appropriate by their physician. Similar legislation has been enacted in 30 other states and the District of Columbia.
Also, signed by Governor Kasich today was Senate Bill 230. This legislation was jointly sponsored with Senator Gayle Manning (R–North Ridgeville) and establishes standards for the delivery of non-self-injectable cancer medications. The drugs are fragile and complex and must be stored in the proper environment to work effectively. “Brown bagging” of chemotherapy drugs, is a process in which an insurance company uses a wholesale supplier to ship oncology drugs directly to a patient’s pharmacy or home. The patient would then have to transport the medication from their home to their physician on their own. The practice is dangerous because the components of these cancer drugs are volatile should only be handled by a healthcare professional.
Senate Bill 278, sponsored by State Senators Shannon Jones (R-Springboro), was signed into law by Governor Kasich. The legislation will require the completion of a Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation (SUIDI) Reporting Form for any unexplained death of an infant under one year of age.
Jones jointly sponsored the measure with Senator Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus).
“This initiative will standardize and streamline the reporting of this valuable data,” added Jones. “The more we can learn about SIDS and why it occurs, the more we can do to prevent these heartbreaking deaths.”
Senators Jones and Tavares were joined by the Hurd family who testified on behalf of Senate Bill 278 during committee hearings in the legislature.
Senator Bill Beagle (R–Tipp City) today announced he has introduced Senate Bill 346, which will establish a penalty for failing to yield to pedestrians in school zone crosswalks.
“I learned from our local prosecutors that Ohio doesn’t currently have laws to specifically address pedestrians, including school children, who are hit by cars in school zones,” said Beagle. “This leaves prosecutors with few options in these cases and often the available punishments don’t properly fit the crime.”
The legislation will create a third degree misdemeanor for striking a child within a school zone. Additionally, if a driver hits a child within a school zone while on a suspended license, the driver will receive an additional six-month suspension.
“Keeping our children safe is a top priority for me, and this bill is a great opportunity for us to place another level of accountability for drivers and an additional layer of safety for our children as they walk to school,” added Beagle.
The bill will now be referred to a Senate committee for additional consideration.
The Ohio Senate today passed Senate Bill 252, jointly sponsored by Senators Tom Patton (R–Strongsville) and Edna Brown (D–Toledo), which would make peace officers and firefighters diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from an on-the-job incident eligible for workers’ compensation.
"Our public safety personnel not only put themselves in harm's way each day on our behalf, they also expose themselves to an incredible number of tragic and very hostile situations that can be extremely harmful," said Patton. "We owe it to these men and women to make sure they can receive the care they need so they can continue providing for their families and fulfilling their calling to serve others."
This bipartisan initiative comes in response to an Ohio Supreme Court decision stating that Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation Law does not allow an individual to receive workers’ compensation unless they suffered a compensable physical injury. Many firefighters and other peace officers suffer from PTSD as a result of the scenes they’ve witnessed while on the job, however, very often no physical injuries are associated with the onset of the disorder.
“The issue of post-traumatic stress disorder has rightfully received increasing amounts of attention in the realm of military service,” said Senator Brown. “I believe it is time we turn our attention to our peace officers and firefighters, who often experience life altering traumatic events right here in our own communities. I am happy that the Ohio Senate has taken this step to allow these brave men and women suffering from PTSD to receive the treatment they need.”
The legislation will now proceed to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.
Officials from the Ohio Senate joined officials from the Ohio House of Representatives today to host a joint agriculture committee meeting at the Ohio State Fair. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Cliff Hite was joined by Senators Troy Balderson, Bob Peterson, Frank LaRose, and Lou Gentile.
Senate President Keith Faber announced a grant program through the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to aid local fire departments with the costs associated with connecting to the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS).