Urgent: Amendment will detrimentally impact all Ohioans living with disabilities

June 8, 2021

In the next 24-48 hours Ohio Senators will vote on budget legislation that includes an amendment that will detrimentally impact Ohioans living with disabilities. The Protection and Advocacy Transparency Amendment would subject Disability Rights Ohio (DRO), a private nonprofit that receives no state dollars, to unprecedented state legislative oversight. The result would have a chilling result on effective advocacy, impact the lives of Ohioans with disabilities and infringe on DRO’s ability to provide strong and independent advocacy for people with disabilities.

Late today, this measure moved forward. DRO Executive Director, Kerstin Sjoberg, is urging lawmakers to strike this amendment from the bill now.

“The Ohio Senate is voting on an amendment in the budget bill that will jeopardize federal funding for Ohio agencies serving people with disabilities. This amendment would require Disability Rights Ohio, a non-profit organization that receives no state dollars, to be evaluated every two years by a joint legislative oversight committee. This would not only take time and resources away from DRO’s advocacy work for Ohioans with disabilities, but it violates federal law by interfering with the independence of a federally authorized protection and advocacy program for people with disabilities (P&A). Every state and territory has a P&A, but this would make Ohio the only state in the country with this type of legislative oversight. 

Use this link to take action NOW, urging your legislators to remove the amendment from the budget bill: http://bit.ly/DRO_ACT.

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