Legislative Towner Report January 2012 by xuyuzhu


									                                             Ohio Counseling Association
                                                  Legislative Report

Anti-Bullying Legislation Passes Ohio Senate, Waiting for House Concurrence

House Bill 116, sponsored by State Representative John Barnes (D – Cleveland), passed the Ohio House of
Representatives on June 21, 2011 by a vote of 84 – 12. After passing the House, the bill was considered by the Senate
Education Committee. At the third hearing on January 10, 2012 the bill was substituted and amended before the
committee unanimously reported the bill out of committee. HB 116 will now be known as the “Jessica Logan Act” and
now incorporates some of the provisions of Senate Bill 127, which OSCA testified on in May of 2011. HB 116 went on
to pass the Ohio Senate by a vote of 31-1 on January 18, 2012. Once the House of Representative concurs with the
changes made in the Senate, the bill will go to Governor Kasich for signature.

This bill will require age-appropriate instruction on and parental notification of public schools' policies prohibiting
harassment, intimidation, or bullying, to the extent that state or federal funds are appropriated for this purpose. Each
board will be required to provide that once each school year a written statement describing the policy and the
consequences for violations of the policy be sent to each student's custodial parent or guardian. The statement could be
sent with regular student report cards.

Senator Joe Schiavoni, the sponsor of SB 127, offered the substitute bill, explaining that it would do the following:

- Require schools to communicate their bullying policy to students in addition to the yearly reports sent to parents.
- Include cyber bullying in the definition of bullying.
- Allow for the anonymous reporting of bullying.
- Prohibit students from making false reports of harassment, intimidation or bullying.
- Add school buses to the places where the policies should cover.

Schiavoni also introduced an amendment which removed from the definition of bullying that it be “based on any actual or
perceived trait or characteristic of the student.”

Senator William Coley (R-West Chest) introduced an amendment that clarifies that the yearly statements describing the
school’s bullying policy may be delivered electronically.

OSCA has a position of support with technical Assistance on House Bill 116. A copy of the legislation may be found at:
www.legislature.state.oh.us and search for House Bill 116.

CSWMFT Board Bill

The Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board plans to introduce legislation this session that
will make numerous changes to the laws affecting counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists. The
Ohio Counseling Association is waiting for the latest draft of the bill by the Legislative Service Commission (LSC).

Behavioral Healthcare Rules Go Before JCARR

In early November, Governor Kasich issued Executive Order 2011-26K enacting emergency rules implementing a number
of Medicaid cost containment strategies including benefit limitations and prior authorization requirements for behavioral
health services provided through the Departments of Mental Health (ODMH) and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services

1 – Towner Policy Group                                                                                      January, 2012
                                             Ohio Counseling Association
                                                  Legislative Report

Authorized in HB 153, the state’s budget bill, the service changes were originally to have been effective July 1, 2011 but
were delayed due to a number of factors including a lawsuit.

According to the Administration, Medicaid cost containment efforts were necessary but that the approach taken by the
two departments is targeted as opposed to an "across-the-board" reduction. Reportedly, most Medicaid consumers will see
no effect in that the limits set for services such as counseling, case management, pharmacy management and diagnostic
assessment will affect a very small percentage of the departments' Medicaid recipients. Limitations on partial
hospitalization, however, will affect the most with an estimated 35 percent of the Medicaid behavior health clients using
that service reaching the limit of 60 days, but even then there are processes put into place in the rules that provide for
services to exceed the limits with prior authorization for medical necessity.

The emergency rules were only effective through Jan. 30, 2012, giving the departments through the Department of Job
and Family Services, which is the state agency responsible for the Medicaid program, the opportunity to pursue the
regular rulemaking process including a hearing before the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) in the

Those rules went before JCARR on Monday, January 9, 2011.

The rules include:
    Revisions to implement annual service limits on all Medicaid community mental health services, with the
        exception of crisis intervention. In addition, prior authorization (PA) will apply to two services, community
        psychiatric supportive treatment (CPST) and partial hospitalization. Currently, there are no limits or PA
        requirements on the services.
    Reimbursement for community Medicaid alcohol and other drug treatment services to implement weekly services
        limits on four Medicaid covered services and to implement a new reimbursement methodology for one service,
        case management. Case management services provided to a client in excess of 1.5 units (90 minutes) per day by
        the same provider will be reimbursed at 50 percent of the standard rate or the billed amount whichever is less.
        Currently, there are no limits or reduced reimbursement methodologies on the services.

The aggregate decrease in expenditures for Ohio's Medicaid program to implement this reimbursement rate methodology
is estimated to be approximately $44 million (state and federal funds) in state FY12. They are being implemented as a
component of a strategy to balance the state of Ohio's Medicaid budget, according to the ODJFS filing.

House Bill 259 Alternative Medicine

House Bill 259 has been introduced by State Representatives John Adams (R – Sidney) and Kenny Yuko (D – Richmond
Heights). This legislation would permit complementary or alternative health care practitioners to provide certain services
without being in violation of healthcare professional licensing laws if the alternative health care practitioner does not
engage in certain prohibited activities. House Bill 259 has been referred to the House Health and Aging Committee. A
sponsor hearing was held on September 14, 2011, a proponent hearing was held on September 21, 2011, and a third
hearing was held on December 7, 2011. At the December hearing, representatives from the Board of Dietetics, the Ohio
Dietetic Association and the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) expressed opposition to the legislation.

The legislation defines "complementary or alternative health care practitioner" as an individual who provides
complementary or alternative health care services to a client and who is either of the following: an individual who is not a
licensed health care professional; or an individual who is a licensed health care professional but does not hold the
individual's self out as a licensed health care professional when providing the services.

2 – Towner Policy Group                                                                                     January, 2012
                                              Ohio Counseling Association
                                                   Legislative Report

House Bill 259 does include a list of prohibited activities by an alternative healthcare practitioner that includes:

       Performing surgery;
       Providing a medical diagnosis of a disease;
       Providing diagnosis or treatment of a physical or mental health condition of an individual if the diagnosis or
        treatment poses to that individual a recognizable and imminent risk of significant and discernible direct physical
        or mental harm
       Recommending an individual discontinue medical care, medical treatments, or use of medications;
       Providing services to a minor without parent or guardian consent;

The provider of complementary services must provide the recipient of their services with a disclaimer stating that they are
not licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by the state to practice as a healthcare professional or if they do hold other
licenses they must disclose which licenses they hold and state in a disclaimer that they are not acting in their capacity as a
licensed healthcare professional when providing alternative healthcare services. Chapter 4757, the Ohio Counselor,
Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board, is not included in the definition of “licensed healthcare
professional” and this Chapter needs to be amended into the legislation if it were to move forward.

Counselors’ Specialties

Senate Bill 123, has been introduced by Senator Kevin Bacon (R – Westerville) on behalf of the Ohio Chapter of the
American Academy of Pediatrics, to require physicians, counselors, clinical counselors and other licensees, when
applying for a new or renewed license, to specify information about their practices, including unique characteristics such
as specialty areas of practice, age-specific areas of practice, and excluded areas of practice.
The bill requires the Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board and other licensure boards to
collect uniform information, and establish categories of unique practice characteristics relevant to the professionals they
regulate, and to submit the information to the Department of Administrative Services for posting on the State’s Internet
through the Ohio eLicense Center web site.

The bill provides that the information is to be used solely to assist the public in locating appropriate health care services
and assisting health professionals in making patient referrals to other health care professionals; the information does not
bar the health professional from engaging in activities within the professional's scope of practice that are not specified in
the information or do not conform to the information; the information does not create more or less liability for the health
professional in the provision of health care services; and the information does not alter the standard of care that applies to
the health professional in the provision of health care services.

The bill has had two hearings in the Senate Health, Human Services and Aging Committee. The sponsor hearing was held
on September 21, 2011 and a proponent hearing was held on September 28, 2011. The Ohio Counseling Association is
supportive of SB 123, however the licensure Boards are not as enthusiastic.

Caylee Anthony’s Law

Three bills have been introduced to address the issue of missing or deceased children. House Bill 299, sponsored by State
Representative Michael Stinziano (D – Columbus) and State Representative Marlene Anielski (R – Walton Hills); Senate
Bill 203, sponsored by State Senator Capri Cafaro (D – Hubbard) and Senator Frank LaRosa (R – Akron), and House Bill
301, sponsored by State Representative Jay Hottinger (R – Newark) and State Representative Peter Beck (R – Cincinnati).

3 – Towner Policy Group                                                                                        January, 2012
                                              Ohio Counseling Association
                                                   Legislative Report

The bills would require a parent, legal guardian, custodian, or caretaker of a child to report to a law enforcement agency
after a child is missing or deceased. Senate Bill 203 and House Bill 299 would require a parent, legal guardian, custodian,
or caretaker of a child under the age of thirteen (Senate Bill 203) or under the age of 16 (House Bill 299) to report to a law
enforcement agency within twenty-four hours after the child is missing. Both bills would require reporting within one
hour after discovery a child is deceased.

House Bill 301 was substituted at the September 21, 2011 sponsor hearing to provide “it is a violation of a duty of care,
protection, or support when the parent, guardian, custodian, or person having custody or control of a child fails to report to
law enforcement authorities that the child is missing promptly after acquiring knowledge that the child is missing.
Whoever violates this provision is guilty of endangering children, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If offender
previously has been convicted of endangering children, or any offense involving neglect, abandonment, contributing to
the delinquency of, or physical abuse of a child, the violation is a felony of the fourth degree. If the violation results in
physical harm, it would be a felony of the second degree. A second hearing was held on September 27, 2011, but there
were no witnesses present to testify.

House Bill 301 and House Bill 299 have been referred to the House Criminal Justice Committee. House Bill 301 had a
hearing on September 21, 2011. Senate Bill 203 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee and was given a
hearing on November 28, 2011.

Representative Hottinger had requested a counselor meet with him to discuss House Bill 301. Hilda Glazer, LPCC, and
Carolyn Towner and Amanda Sines met with Representative Hottinger and his aide on August 8, 2011 to discuss House
Bill 301 and the Caylee Anthony case.

Minimum School Year

State Representative Bill Hayes (R – Granville) introduced House Bill 191, which would establish a minimum school year
for school districts, STEM schools, and chartered nonpublic schools based on hours of instruction, rather than days of
instruction. The bill would also prohibit public schools from being open for instruction prior to Labor Day or after
Memorial Day except in specified circumstances. A sponsor hearing was held in May and two proponent hearings were
held in June in the House Education Committee.

November 2011 Election Results

State Issue 1 - Judicial Retirement Age Constitutional Amendment. Failed (62.03% to 37.97%) This amendment
would have increased the retirement age for judges to 75. The current age when a judge becomes ineligible to seek
another term is 70; this limit is retained because Issue 1 did not pass.

State Issue 2 – Senate Bill 5 Referendum. Failed (61.33% to 38.67%) Senate Bill 5 is the controversial collective
bargaining legislation that passed the Ohio General Assembly earlier this year. Because the issue did not pass the law, SB
5, is repealed. There is speculation that some of the provisions included in SB 5 could resurface later in this General

State Issue 3 - Health Care Freedom Act Constitutional Amendment. Passed (65.63% to 34.37%) This amendment will
make it unconstitutional for any local, state or federal law to require Ohio residents to purchase health insurance. This is
an attempt to nullify a major portion of the Federal Health Care law past in 2010. Although, many believe the issue will
ultimately be decided by the US Supreme Court.

4 – Towner Policy Group                                                                                       January, 2012
                                               Ohio Counseling Association
                                                    Legislative Report

There is some concern with State Issue 3 because the constitutional amendment also affects state and local laws and rules
pertaining to health care. The proposed amendment would provide that:

        1.       In Ohio, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider
                 to participate in a health care system.
        2.       In Ohio, no law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance.
        3.       In Ohio, no law or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health

Primary Set for March 6, 2012

There was much controversy and public quarrelling when it came to redistricting Ohio’s Congressional Districts and
setting the date for Ohio’s 2012 primary. Because of the latest national census, Ohio lost two of their Congressional seat,
leaving the Ohio Legislature with the task of whittling down Ohio’s seats from 18 to 16. Since Ohio’s legislature is
controlled by Republican’s the districts were drawn to favor their candidates. The Democrats opposed what they viewed
as an unfair map. They refused to give the Republicans votes to pass the maps with an emergency clause and they refused
to give Republicans the votes to move Ohio’s primary.

In a battle that went on for the better part of the end of 2011, the legislature settled on a plan that would result in Ohio
having two 2012 primary elections. One election for state and local races, plus the US Senate, and one election for
Congressional and Presidential candidate elections.

Ultimately, because of public backlash, the legislature was finally able to come to some agreement that made slight
adjustments to the Congressional map and consolidated the two primaries into one that will be held on March 6, 2012.
Don’t expect this to be the last word on redistricting though. Democrats are still planning to follow through on a lawsuit
challenging the maps for the State legislature.

Legislators Resign and Appointed

2011 has seen a record number of legislators leaving, with new individuals appointed to their seats. The following are the
legislators who have resigned and the individuals appointed to their respective seats:

Resigned                                   New Position                      Replacement Appointed

Representative Jim Zehringer               Director of Agriculture           Representative Jim Buchy (R –Greenville)
Senator Steve Buehrer                      BWC Administrator                 Senator Cliff Hite (R – Findlay)
Senator Jon Husted                         Secretary of State                Senator Peggy Lehner (R- Kettering)
Representative Peggy Lehner                Ohio Senate                       Representative James Butler (R – Oakwood)
98th House Seat (Senator Grendell)         Remain in Senate                  Representative Richard Hollington
                                                                                               (R – Chagrin Falls)
Senator Bob Gibbs                          Congress                          Senator Larry Obhof, Jr. (R –Montville)
Representative Cliff Hite                  Ohio Senate                       Representative Robert Sprague (R – Findlay)
Representative Todd Snitchler              PUCO Chair                        Representative Christina Hagan (R – Alliance)
Senator Gary Cates                         Board of Regents, Vice Chancellor Representative Bill Coley (R – West Chester)
Representative Bill Coley                  Ohio Senate                       Representative Margaret Conditt
                                                                                               (R – Liberty Township)
Representative Bob Mecklenborg             Resigned due to DUI               Representative Louis Terhar (R – Cincinnati)
Senator Karen Gillmor                      Industrial Commission             Representative David Burke (R – Marysville)
Representative David Burke                 Ohio Senate                       Representative Dorothy Liggett Pelanda

5 – Towner Policy Group                                                                                         January, 2012
                                              Ohio Counseling Association
                                                   Legislative Report

Senator Jimmy Stewart                     Ohio Gas Association             Representative Troy Balderson (R – Zanesville)
Representative Troy Balderson             Ohio Senate                      Representative Brian Hill (R – Zanesville)
Senator Tim Grendell                      Geauga Co. Common Pleas Court    Senator John Eklund (R – Chardon)
Representative Todd McKenney              Appointed to a Judgeship         Representative Tony DeVitis (R – Green)
Representative John Carey                 VP Gov’t Affairs Shawnee State   Yet to be Named
Senator Jason Wilson                      Office of Appalachia             Senator Lou Gentile
Representative Lou Gentile                Ohio Senate                      Former Representative Jack Cera (D – Bellaire)
Representative Richard Hollington         Mayor of Huntington Valley       Yet to be Named
Representative Tim DeGeeter               Mayor of Parma                   Yet to be Named

How to Contact Your Lobbyists
Carolyn Towner and Amanda Sines
Towner Policy Group, LLC.
33 North Third Street, Suite 320
Columbus, Ohio 43215

614-221-7157 (telephone)
carolyntowner@sbcglobal.net         amandasines@sbcglobal.net

6 – Towner Policy Group                                                                                       January, 2012

To top