House Bill 1 - HB 1 grants several new protections to victims of domestic violence in Ohio. Namely, the Court of Common pleas would be authorized to issue a civil domestic violence protection order for a dating partner of a person who commits domestic violence. Law enforcement agencies would be required to maintain an index of dating partner protection orders and consent agreements provided by the courts, which is crucial to enforcement of the protection orders. Under the bill, the Attorney General would be required to include in the crime victims' bill or rights pamphlet notice of the right of a dating partner who is a victim of domestic violence to a protection order. Dating partners who are victims of domestic violence would be provided access to domestic violence shelters. The legislation was introduced in the previous General Assembly and passed in the Ohio House, however the bill was not passed in the Senate during lame duck. HB 1 passed unanimously in the House this year and is currently under consideration in the Senate. It is expected to pass the Senate in the near future.
House Bill 27 - Governor Kasich also signed the biennial Workers' Comp budget into law. The original version of the budget included a provision that prohibited BWC from covering undocumented immigrants who are hurt on the job, however the controversial language was removed in the Senate. Several organizations including Policy Matters Ohio, Ohio Association of Justice, Ohio Catholic Conference, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Ohio ACLU, Ohio AFL-CIO, and Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center all testified against the language arguing that the provisions would harm injured workers, as well as taxpayers who would be forced to foot the bill for emergency medical care. Another significant provision that remained in the bill reduces the time to file injury claims from two years to one.
Senate Bill 99 - SB 99 would prohibit the Medicaid program from adding new enrollees to the Medicaid expansion group. The bill does not preclude an individual who meets the requirements for the expansion eligibility group from enrolling, or continuing to be enrolled, in the Medicaid program if the individual is eligible for Medicaid on the basis of being included in another eligibility group. The Senate Health, Human Services, and Medicaid committee has held one hearing on the legislation. It awaits further consideration.