Weekly Budget Debriefs:
Download the full powerpoint presentation be clicking here: https://bit.ly/3YJqK9D
- Governor Dewine's Budget Proposal: http://bit.ly/3jLUc0c
- BlueBook: https://bit.ly/3YN87lu
- Ohio Legislative Services Budget Central: https://www.lsc.ohio.gov/budget
- Ohio Checkbook: https://checkbook.ohio.gov/
- DRO Policy Director's Budget Overview Presentation: https://bit.ly/3YJqK9D
- Ohio Representatives You Should Know: https://bit.ly/budgetreps
Weekly Budget Updates:
- Update #6: Upcoming in Budget Advocacy
This week the Ohio House Finance Committee began its budget process by inviting agency directors to provide testimony. So far, we heard from the Office of Budget and Management, the Departments of Medicaid, Aging, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Developmental Disabilities, and the Ohio Department of Education.
There are a few key takeaways from that testimony.
- Each of the health and human service agencies put a heavy focus on increasing wages for the direct care workforce;
- Agencies indicated their desire to raise the wage to $16 per hour for direct care workers; and
- Legislators who serve on the committee asked if $16 was enough and if there should be consideration to increase that to $20.
We are still waiting for the budget to be introduced as legislation. Once it is introduced as legislation, we will have more details on what is included. However, these statements made by the directors are a great foundation!
Next, the House Finance Committee will begin breaking up the budget into various subcommittees. The Subcommittee on Health and Human Services released a preliminary schedule of when directors will be testifying. Below are a few of those key dates, all are planned to be in room 121 of the Statehouse at 10:00AM. If you want to watch the sessions from home, you can stream them on www.ohiochannel.org.
- Wednesday, February 22, the subcommittee will be hearing testimony from the directors of the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, and the Department of Aging;
- Thursday, March 9, the subcommittee will be hearing testimony from the directors of the Department of Mental Health and Addition Services and the Department of Developmental Disabilities; and
- Thursday, March 16, the subcommittee will be hearing testimony from the Ohio Department of Medicaid.
As the process continues to move forward, we will make sure to inform you of all the important dates, budget information, and when you can make your voice heard in committee. We hope to know more about dates of when the public can testify soon.
- Update #5: Schedule for Week of 2/6/23
Good morning, advocates!
The House Finance Committee is kicking of the budget season with three days of testimony. Here’s the agenda as of February 6:
Tuesday, February 7: Office of Budget and Management and the Legislative Service Commission will give an overview of the entire budget. The Ohio Department of Transportation will give overview of the transportation budget.
Wednesday, February 8: Health and Human Services Agency directors and lead staff will give testimony on their agency priorities in the budget.
Thursday, February 9: The committee will hear testimony from the Department of Education and Department of Higher Education.
During this stage, members of the House Finance committee will ask the state agencies questions about their spending and programs. Through this, we can learn what things the representatives are excited about and what things they might be wary of. We can also learn more details about what the agencies plan to do in the next two years.
If you want to watch the sessions, you can stream them on www.ohiochannel.org.
Note: If you need captions, here’s a tip.
Use the Google Chrome browser. At the top right of the browser, below the “X” button to close the browser, there are three dots. Click on the dots, and then click, “Settings.” On the settings menu, click on “Accessibility.” It is about 2/3 of the way down the menu. Then toggle on the “Live Caption” feature. Now, when you watch Ohio Channel, a caption box will automatically pop up.
- Update #4: Bluebook and State of the State!
This week Governor DeWine gave his State of the State address to the General Assembly. This is the annual speech where the Governor tells the Ohio Representatives and Senators about his priorities for the year. In his speech he focused on several issues including children, workforce, mental health, and housing.
Governor DeWine also released his BlueBook this week. The BlueBook explains what policy priorities will be his focus as the budget moves through the General Assembly. Below we share some of the major initiatives that will impact our disability service systems.
Direct Care Workers
The Departments of Medicaid and Developmental Disabilities are making historic investments into the direct care workforce. Governor DeWine’s proposed budget includes roughly $2 billion in additional investments with a focus on increasing wages.
Governor DeWine is putting a heavy focus on children and youth in the budget by creating a new state agency, the Department of Children and Youth. This new agency will combine programs from 6 state agencies. Creating one agency will hopefully make programs that support children in Ohio much simpler.
In his State of the State and proposed budget, the Governor emphasized the need to invest in Ohio’s mental health system. The BlueBook proposes increases for funding community-based services, growing the behavioral health workforce, and prioritizing prevention programs.
The Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency is increasing investments. This means they will get additional money from the federal government through a federal match. This means Ohio will be able to fully take advantage of services to help disabled Ohioans obtain and retain employment. Unfortunately, the Centers for Independent Living and the Independent Living Council did not receive additional investments in the proposed budget.
Although we will not know all the details of the budget for a couple of weeks when the Legislative Service Commission (LSC) releases the RedBook and the legislation is introduced, we have a lot to look forward to. As more information is released on what will be in the budget, we will make sure to keep you informed!
Week 4 Glossary
BlueBook – the Governor’s proposed budget that outlines key goals, objectives, and funding priorities. This is a high level overview and provides limited detail.
General Assembly – sometimes called the “GA.” The General Assembly is all of the members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate.
RedBook – the as introduced budget companion document that outlines the entirety of the Governor’s budget proposal
State of the State – This is a speech given once a year by the governor. In the speech, the governor talks about what issues he will be focusing on in the next year. You can watch Governor DeWine’s 2023 State of the State here: https://ohiochannel.org/video/state-of-the-state-address-2023
Legislative Service Commission (LSC) – the agency that provides support to the Ohio General Assembly through drafting legislation, legislative analysis, and other documents that make reviewing legislation easier.
- Update #3 : Weekly State Budget Debrief
Join us every Friday for a Budget Debrief! ASL and CART provided.
If you need additional accommodations, you can request them on the registration link here:
(https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AzxQpyewSLKzFrEM-qn7iw) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the full flyer here.
- Update #2: From the Governor to the House: 1/21/2023
- Hi advocates!
Right now, we are waiting on Governor DeWine to release his proposed budget. So, what happens next?
Ohio Budget Process Part 1: From the Governor’s Office to the Ohio House of Representatives (February-April)
Note: There are a lot of unique terms used in politics. We will share explanations throughout and in a glossary at the bottom of the email.
1. The House will appoint members to the House Finance Committee and various subcommittees;
- A “subcommittee” is a small group of representatives that focus on one topic. For example, there is a subcommittee on Health and Human Services.
2. By the end of January, the Governor will share his budget recommendations;
3. The budget will be introduced in the House as a bill;
- A “bill” is a grouping of suggested changes to a law. The budget is one of the largest bills that Ohio works on. It will decide how money is spent on programs in Ohio.
4. The House Finance Committee will hear testimony from agency directors;
- “Testimony” is when a person or organization shares their opinion on a bill through a formal process. Testimony can be written only or read out loud to the legislators. Testimony usually needs to be around three minutes. There are lots of rules for when and how to give testimony.
5. The House Finance Committee will break up the budget into sections. Each section will be assigned to a subcommittee. For example, the Department of Medicaid budget would be assigned to the Subcommittee on Health and Human Services;
6. The subcommittees will accept testimony from state agencies first, then public organizations and individuals;
7. After the subcommittees have heard all testimony, members of the House Finance Committee will send their proposed amendments to the Chair of the Finance Committee.
- An “amendment” is a change to the legislation. A “proposed amendment” means this change is just a suggestion. The legislators eventually must agree on all the changes.
8. The Chair of House Finance will review the proposed amendments and present a substitute version of the bill to the committee with several amendments included;
- The “chair” is the legislator who is in charge of the committee.
9. There will be additional hearings on the substitute bill;
- A “hearing” is a meeting where legislators discuss the bill. Hearings are also where individuals or organizations give testimony.
- The “substitute bill” is the version of the budget that has all the new changes made by the committee.
10. Members of the committee will have another opportunity to submit amendments to the substitute version of the bill to the Chair of House Finance;
11. The House Finance Committee will then adopt a final version of the bill with additional amendments known as the omnibus bill;
- The “omnibus bill” is the final bill to be voted on by the committee. Typically, there is not an opportunity for the public to testify on the omnibus bill.
12. The House Finance Committee will debate the final bill language;
13. The committee votes on this omnibus bill;
14. The bill will then go to the Ohio House of Representatives for a floor vote;
- A “floor vote” is when all the representatives (or senators) take a vote on a bill.
15. The Ohio House makes changes, if needed, and votes on the bill;
16. Next, the bill heads to the senate. The second half of the process will take place from April to June. Expect more updates on that as we move along.
We look forward to continuing our collaboration with all of you as we #BudgetWithCare,
Week 2 Glossary
A glossary is where you can find definitions of words and phrases.
- Amendment -- a change to the legislation. A “proposed amendment” means this change is just a suggestion. The legislators eventually must agree on all the changes.
- Bill -- a group proposed changes to a law. The budget is the largest piece of legislation that Ohio works on. It will decide how money is spent on programs in Ohio.
- Chair (as in “Committee Chair”) -- the legislator who is in charge of the committee. The chair leads the committee meetings.
- Floor Vote -- when all the representatives or senators take a vote on a bill.
- Hearing -- a meeting where legislators discuss a bill. Hearings are also where individuals or organizations give testimony.
- Legislators -- politicians who are elected at the state level. This includes both representatives and senators.
- Ohio House of Representatives -- One of two parts of the General Assembly. Ohio has 99 representatives. Their job is to listen to the concerns of people who live in their area. They are then supposed to respond to those concerns by passing bills.
- Omnibus bill -- the final bill to be voted on by the committee. Typically, there is not an opportunity for the public to testify on the omnibus bill
- Subcommittee -- a small group of representatives that focus on one topic. For example, there is a subcommittee on Health and Human Services.
- Substitute bill -- the version of the budget that has all the new changes made by the House Finance Committee.
- Testimony -- when a person or organization shares their opinion on a law through a formal process. Testimony can be written only or read out loud to the legislators. Testimony usually needs to be around three minutes. There are lots of rules for when and how to give testimony.
- Update #1 from 1/7/2023
Every two years the Governor sends a budget proposal to the General Assembly. Legislators then work for months to decide how money will be spent to operate the state, including home and community-based services and supports.
This is the biggest and most important piece of legislation passed each General Assembly. The process goes from the end of January until the end of June.
Disability Rights Ohio is dedicated to being a reliable resource for:
1. Sharing regular updates on budget items that impact the disability community, particularly issues like:
- Addressing the direct care workforce crisis
- Improving the mental health system
- Eliminating sub-minimum wage
2. Keeping you informed on how and when to take get involved through actions like:
- Submitting testimony
- Calling or emailing a legislator
- Posting on social media
- Attending an advocacy event
- Writing a letter to your newspaper, engaging with media
- There will be lots of opportunities to have your voice heard. To stay engaged, keep an eye out for emails from this listserv and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
We look forward to collaborating with all of you as we #BudgetWithCare.
Alexia Kemerling, Community Engagement Coordinator
Jordan Ballinger, Policy Director