COLUMBUS - 

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.

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

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:

SENATE:
TUESDAYS at 1:30pm        WEDNESDAYS at 1:30pm        THURSDAYS at 11:00am

HOUSE:
TUESDAYS at 11:00am      WEDNESDAYS at 1:30pm        THURSDAYS at 1:00pm

 
 
  
 
September Designated As Safe Driving Month In Honor Of Maria Tiberi
Joe Vardon of the Columbus Dispatch wrote this article.
June 18, 2014
 
 
Governor Kasich shakes hands with 10tv sports anchor Dom Tiberi who lost his daughter Maria in a car accident due to distracted driving.
STATEHOUSE - 

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.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

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.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

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.

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

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.

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

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.  

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

The Senate today approved Senate Bill 207, jointly sponsored by State Senators Tom Patton (R–Strongsville) and Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville), which would modify Ohio law to allow victims of rape to terminate parental privileges of the person convicted of rape.
 
Current Ohio law does not prevent a convicted rapist from gaining custody of a child that was conceived by rape. The law also allows convicted rapists to be awarded parenting time with the child conceived by rape. This legislation would increase protections for victims of rape by ensuring that any woman who conceives a child due to rape will not be required to continue interaction with the person that raped them due to that person’s parental rights.
 
“Rape is a heinous act and every step should be taken to ensure that all victims of rape are provided with the resources and rights necessary to overcome that devastating occurrence. This bill is a timely and much-needed piece of legislation that will strengthen Ohio laws and provide additional protections to rape victims in our state,” said Patton. “We should not force victims of rape to continue facing their rapist for another eighteen years and this legislation will ensure that those victims won’t have to see their rapists ever again.”

This bill would amend current law to protect victims of rape by allowing them to terminate the parental rights of the person who committed the crime. Additionally, this bill ensures that victims do not need to have any additional interaction with their rapist by allowing a simultaneous request of a parental rights termination order at the time of a rape conviction or guilty plea.
 
“Current Ohio law is insufficient in safeguarding the physical and emotional well-being of women who have endured the horrific trauma of being raped and bearing a child as a result of it. I believe we can do much more as a state to protect these women and this legislation is one step toward that goal," said Manning. "It is crucial that the state of Ohio protect the best interests of both victims of rape and their children and this legislation will strengthen Ohio’s laws to do just that.”

The legislation will now proceed to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

 
 
  
 
 
 

The Senate will consider the following during today’s session (1:30p):

  • Raising Awareness for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernias: House Bill 105, sponsored by Representative Bill Hayes (R–Harrison Township), will name the calendar week that includes the seventeenth day of July as “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Week.” A congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) occurs when the diaphragm fails to fully form, which leads to abdominal organs moving into the chest cavity, preventing lung growth. Globally, CDH occurs in 1 of every 2500 births.
     
  • Updating Protection Orders: Jointly sponsored by Representatives Dorothy Pelanda (R–Marysville) and Nicki Antonio (D–Lakewood), House Bill 309 updates Ohio’s protection order laws in an effort to bring them into line with the 2013 reauthorization of the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The legislation is necessary in order for Ohio to continue receiving federal funding under VAWA.
     
  • Focusing on Workforce Development: House Bill 486, jointly sponsored by Representatives Nan Baker (R–Westlake) and Gerald Stebelton (R–Lancaster), acts as the mid-biennium review legislation for workforce and economic development. The legislation includes an initiative to streamline the state’s workforce plans for better collaboration and establishes additional metrics by which the programs can be assessed and improved.
     
  • Supporting Veterans’ Educational Goals: Jointly sponsored by Representatives Mike Dovilla (R–Berea) and Al Landis (R–Dover), House Bill 488 acts as the mid-biennium review legislation for veterans affairs. The bill establishes the Military Articulation and Transfer Assurance Guide to ensure veterans are given applicable credit at state institutions for education and learned skills from their military. The bill also requires state colleges and universities to adopt procedures for assisting veterans in their transition from military service to the higher education environment and workforce.
     
  • Brent Spence Bridge: House Bill 533, jointly sponsored by Representatives Ross McGregor (R–Springfield) and Dale Mallory (D–Cincinnati), would implement an All Electronic Tolling system on the Brent Spence Bridge in order to fund the bridge expansion and reconstruction project. The bill also establishes privacy controls to ensure travellers’ privacy in utilizing the new payment system. Brent Spence, which is a vital connector of 10 states, was constructed in the 1950s and currently carries more than twice its intended capacity of 80,000 vehicles per day. Approximately $417 billion in economic activity crosses the bridge annually, accounting for three percent of the United States Gross Domestic Product. This legislation is the House companion to Senate Bill 335, jointly sponsored by Senators Bill Seitz (R–Cincinnati) and Eric H. Kearney (D–Cincinnati)
     
  • Ohio Poet Laureate: Sponsored by Senator Eric H. Kearney (D–Cincinnati), Senate Bill 84 would establish the official position of Ohio Poet Laureate. The Ohio Poet Laureate would be required to complete a minimum of four annual public readings while providing public access to at least one reading during each term of office. They would also collaborate with the Ohio Arts Council to establish programs to promote awareness of the literary arts and encourage Ohioans to develop their own creative interests. Four states currently have poet laureates.
     
  • Rascal Flatts’ Day: Senate Bill 233, sponsored by Senator Jim Hughes (R–Columbus), would establish February 21st of each year as “Rascal Flatts’ Day” in Ohio to commemorate the group’s strong Ohio roots. February 21st was the date the band released their debut single Prayin’ for Daylight.
     
  • Coverage for Peace Officers & Firefighters: Jointly sponsored by Senators Tom Patton (R–Strongsville) and Edna Brown (D–Toledo), Senate Bill 252 would make Ohio peace officers and firefighters diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) eligible for benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation.
     
  • Modernizing Proof of Insurance: Senate Bill 255, sponsored by Senator Edna Brown (D–Toledo), would permit Ohioans to present proof of financial responsibility to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, a peace officer, a traffic violations bureau, or a court through use of an electronic wireless communications device. Currently, 31 other states have similar flexibility.
     
  • Improving DNA Collection in Rape Offenses: Sponsored by Senator Capri Cafaro (D–Hubbard), Senate Bill 316 would require all Ohio law enforcement agencies to eliminate any existing backlog of rap kits within one year and begin processing future kits within 20 days. In 2011, Attorney General Mike DeWine asked law enforcement offices to send all untested rape kits to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) for processing. Of the 3,807 kits tested as of June 1, 2014, 1,302 produced a DNA match or investigative lead.
     
  • Strengthening the Rights of Rape Victims: Senate Bill 207, jointly sponsored by Senators Tom Patton (R–Strongsville) and Gayle Manning (R–North Ridgeville), seeks to strengthen the rights of rape victims in Ohio. The bill will protect women and children by allowing the victim to request that a court terminate their attacker’s parental rights after the attacker has admitted to or been convicted of the crime.

 
The Senate will consider conference committee reports on the following:

  • Mid-Biennium Budget Review: House Bill 483, sponsored by Representative Ron Amstutz (R–Wooster) updates Ohio’s two-year operating budget and tax policies including the acceleration of the state’s planned 10% income tax cut and the temporary increase of the small business income tax deduction from 50% to 75% (for tax year 2014). This is expected to save Ohio employers $228 million.
     
  • Improving Education: Sponsored by Representative Andrew Brenner (R–Powell), House Bill 487 makes numerous updates to primary and secondary education opportunities in Ohio. Among those, the legislation expands high school students’ access to college courses and strengthens Ohio’s graduation requirements by replacing the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) with end course exams for the incoming freshman class.

 
The Senate will consider House amendments on the following:

  • Empowering Job Creation: Sponsored by State Senator Frank LaRose (R–Copley), Senate Bill 3 continues efforts to make Ohio a more attractive place to locate or expand jobs by ensuring that state regulations are regularly reviewed to eliminate unnecessary red tape.
     
  • Caring for Mental Illness: Senate Bill 43, jointly sponsored by Senators Dave Burke (R–Marysville) and Charleta Tavares (D–Columbus), seeks to provide clarity in the law as it relates to court ordered outpatient treatment for the mentally ill. 
     
  • Returning Overpaid Taxes: Jointly sponsored by Senators Bill Beagle (R–Tipp City) and Bob Peterson (R–Sabina), Senate Bill 263 would require the Ohio Department of Taxation to notify businesses when they overpay their taxes and provide automatic refunds in the form of credits toward future taxes. Current law does not require the department to reach out to a business that has overpaid, thus leaving the burden of locating and reporting errors on individual businesses. The lack of legislation on this matter has resulted in businesses losing tax dollars to the state under previous administrations.
     
  • Improving Cancer Treatment: Senate Bill 230, jointly sponsored by Senators Gayle Manning (R–North Ridgeville) and Scott Oelslager (R–North Canton), would establish standards for the delivery of non-self-injectable cancer medications. These drugs are fragile and complex and must be stored in the proper environment to work effectively.  The practice of “brownbagging” leads to higher patient safety risk and an increased waste of expensive drugs.  The legislation improves patient safety, promotes better health outcomes, and reduces unnecessary waste in the healthcare system.
 
 
  
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Senator LaRose Meets With Nigerian Delegation

 
COLUMBUS - 

State Senator Frank LaRose 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.



 
 

Faber, Batchelder Announce Legislative Calendar For Remainder Of 130th General Assembly

 
STATEHOUSE - 

Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder and Ohio Senate President Keith Faber today announced the session schedule for the remainder of 2014. To see the full calendar click here.



 
 

September Designated As Safe Driving Month In Honor Of Maria Tiberi

 
STATEHOUSE - 

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.