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Hi Advocate,

The Ohio House of Representatives sent the health and human services piece of the Mid-Biennium Review (HB 487) to the Senate on Wednesday. Click here to hear a report from Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler, including reaction from both Republicans and Democrats.

What's In?
The House added a number of amendments and appropriations, including:

  • An additional $30 million for the nursing homes beginning in state fiscal year (SFY) 2013.
  • An amendment that requires General Assembly action before any surplus can be deposited into the rainy day fund.
  • $1.5 million to the Aging in Place Pilot Program to provide health services and home repairs to help elderly people stay in their homes in 180 southwest Ohio households.
  • Restoration of the Adult Protective Service line item.

The rainy day provision sets the stage for lawmakers to have the authority to appropriate surplus funds when the state closes the books at the end of June. The surplus could reach as high as $600 million to $800 million at that time, according to some budget experts. This could be a great opportunity to advocate for additional investments in health, human services, and early care & education programs to strengthen families and communities in Ohio.

What's Out?
A number of introduced amendments were tabled, including:

  • Restoration of $6.2 million in SFY 2013 for community addiction treatment.
  • An addition of $400 million (Kids and Communities First Fund) in funding to schools and local governments that would have been paid for by a hike in the state's drilling tax.

The House Finance Committee pulled out the Governor’s plan to reduce income taxes by increasing fees on oil and gas companies and, earlier this week, dropped a controversial proposal that placed Planned Parenthood at the back of the line for federal funding for health care and family planning services.

What can you do today?

As HB 487 moves to the Senate, meet and talk with your Senator about the importance of strengthening our communities through investments in health, human services, and early care & education.

Download AOF's Mid-Biennium Review Recommendations to share with lawmakers and help you have the conversation!

You can also participate in the Senate Finance Committee hearings next week. Click here for the schedule.

Will Petrik
Outreach Director