1. Reactions from state leaders on the Supreme Court ruling
In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the federal health care law, state leaders released statements.
Governor John Kasich and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor released a joint statement on the ruling. Taylor is the head of the Department of Insurance, which would take the lead should the state decide to establish an exchange.
“We’re very disappointed that this flawed law has been allowed to stand. The Supreme Court has confirmed what everyone knew all along—but that the White House tried to deny: this is a massive new tax on the middle class. Hopefully Congress will eventually repeal the law altogether and replace it with improvements that actually address the most pressing needs in health care, especially the need to reduce costs in order to improve access. Until then, Ohio taxpayers could be saddled with dramatically higher costs. The Administration will carefully analyze the decision to determine the appropriate next steps. We are very concerned that a sudden, dramatic increase in Medicaid spending could threaten Ohio’s ability to pursue needed reforms in other areas, such as education. Going forward, we remain committed to minimizing the law’s drag on the economic growth Ohio is beginning to experience, protecting the inviolate relationship between doctors and patients, and preserving as much free market competition in health care as possible.”
Attorney General Mike DeWine, joined the lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act shortly after being sworn in to the office and said the following:
"I am disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare. It is a matter now that will again be fought in the political arena and will be the preeminent issue of the presidential campaign.
There is a victory in this case. The Supreme Court did not expand the powers under the Commerce Clause. While I am disappointed in Justice Roberts' decision, he was the leader in restricting the Commerce Clause, an expansion of which would have been detrimental to our country. If that would have been upheld, it would mean there are no limits to what Congress could compel Americans to purchase.
While we lost the battle over Obamacare, we did win the war on the true meaning of the Commerce Clause."
House Speaker William Batchelder said:
“Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court will raise taxes on all Americans and give the federal government unprecedented control not just over people’s health care decisions, but over the entire economy of our nation. I’m shocked and disappointed that this federal health care law—which will skyrocket costs on Ohioans and hurt Ohio’s businesses—was not overturned. Although we clearly need to reduce costs and improve Ohioans’ access to care, these mandates from President Obama and the then-Democrat Congress were not the best course of action for Americans and especially not for Ohioans. This plan is projected to raise costs on Ohioans by $940 million over the next two years at a time when we all are least able to afford it.
My colleagues and I in the House Republican Caucus will work with Governor Kasich and the Senate to explore ways to minimize the detrimental effect these costs will have on families and businesses. It is my sincere hope that Congress will ultimately repeal the rest of the law and start fresh with reforms that will improve the quality and cost of care all Americans receive.”
House Minority Leader Armond Budish said:
"This is a victory for all Ohioans: seniors, kids and young adults; entrepreneurs and working people; and middle class families. President Obama and Democrats have fought tirelessly to ensure quality, affordable healthcare for all regardless of health status and condition.
I am pleased that Chief Justice Roberts put aside partisan political pressures to uphold precedent and the rule of law. Now Gov. Kasich and Lt. Gov. and Director of the Department of Insurance Mary Taylor must do the same and stop playing politics with the health of Ohioans. They should stop dragging their feet and expeditiously and responsibly put in place the proper health insurance market place for the people of Ohio, before the deadline. Creating a Health Exchange will allow all Ohioans to obtain affordable health care coverage even if they have pre-existing conditions. Reps. Antonio and Carney have already introduced House Bill 412 which would establish the Ohio Health Benefit Exchange Agency. "
2. Agencies provided operating budget guidance
Director Tim Keen of the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) this week released a document providing guidance to agency directors for the next state operating budget. Keen said the Executive Budget for Fiscal Years 2014-2015 will build on the success of both the FY 2012- 2013 Operating Budget and the Mid-Biennium Review (MBR) by furthering Governor Kasich’s agenda of renewal for the State of Ohio.
Agencies are subject to limits on what funding may be requested. Each is asked to describe what activities may be supported at 90 percent of adjusted FY 2013 appropriations for FY 2014-2015. Additionally, agencies must submit a description of what activities could be supported at 100 percent of adjusted FY 2013.
“Although the State’s budget has been returned to fiscal stability and Ohio is better positioned for economic growth, Governor Kasich will use the next biennial budget to continue his ongoing effort to enhance the climate of economic competitiveness and job growth in our state, restrain state spending, and improve services for taxpayers,” said Keen.
Cabinet agencies have an October 1, 2012 deadline to submit budget requests to OBM for consideration, while non-cabinet agencies must submit by September 17, 2012. The Governor must release the Executive Budget by February 2013, as required by the Ohio Revised Code.
3. Bills signed by the Governor
The following bills were among the 13 signed by the Governor this week. Legislation becomes effective 90 days following the Governor’s signature.
Senate Bill 316: Sponsored by Senator Peggy Lehner (R- Kettering), the bill includes the education portions of the Governor’s Mid-Biennium Review (MBR). Pertaining to the third-grade proficiency requirements included in the bill, the State Board of Education is directed to determine the “cut” score, progressively adjusting it upwards until the retention requirements apply to students who do not receive at least a “proficient” score. The bill provides exceptions to the retention requirement for certain students with disabilities, limited English proficient students, and students previously retained.
Senate Bill 224: Sponsored by Senator Larry Obhof (R- Montville Township), the bill shortens from 15 to 8 years, the period of limitations for actions upon a contract in writing.
Senate Bill 314: Sponsored by Senator Mark Wagoner (R- Toledo), the bill renames the Ohio Department of Development to Development Services Agency (DSA) and establishes the Office of TourismOhio within DSA. Additionally, the bill clarifies that though JobsOhio performs some of its duties via contract with the Director of DSA, it is not to be considered a state or public entity for purposes of the statutes identified in current law.
Senate Bill 321: Sponsored by Senator Bill Beagle (R- Tipp City), the bill authorizes the State Library Board to establish library districts for association libraries.
House Bill 509: Sponsored by Representative Terry Blair (R- Washington Township), the bill includes local government provisions of the Governor’s MBR. Among the provisions included in the bill:
- Authorizes individual or joint self-insurance program contracts awarded to a nonprofit corporation or a regional council of governments to also cover the employees of other nonprofit corporations that employ 50 or fewer employees and that have been organized for the primary purpose of representing the interests of political subdivisions.
- Raises the county and county contracting authority competitive bidding threshold from $25,000 to $50,000.
- Creates the Statewide Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network Steering Committee to advise the state on the implementation, operation and maintenance of a statewide emergency services internet protocol network to support state and local government next-generation 9-1-1 and the dispatch of emergency service providers.
House Bill 262: Sponsored by Representative Teresa Fedor (D- Toledo), the bill authorizes a juvenile court to hold a delinquent child complaint in abeyance pending the child's completion of diversion actions if the alleged delinquent child is charged with prostitution-related conduct is a victim of trafficking in persons. The bill increases the penalties for trafficking in persons and obstruction of justice, and creates the Victims of Human Trafficking Fund.
For more information, please contact:
Michael Caputo (non-attorney professional)
Rebecca M. Kuhns (non-attorney professional)
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