Stay engaged, involved, and up-to-date: 01/08/2018 Weekly Review

Stay engaged, involved, and up-to-date: In the weekly reviews from the Women’s Public Policy Network, we look back on last week’s highlights from the WPPN, share updates on bills affecting women that are moving at the Statehouse, showcase weekly news clips, and provide calls to action on bills pending in the Legislature. Sign up for our emails to receive these updates in your inbox every week!

This past week, the Franklin County Commissioners announced that they had approved a new paid family leave policy for their workforce. The new program will help many county workers continue to earn a paycheck while taking time off of work to care for a loved one – whether it be a new baby or a family member facing a medical emergency.
Our Executive Director Elizabeth Brown responded to this news, applauding the Commissioners for taking action to implement this family-friendly policy for their workers and recognizing the benefit it will have for employers to create a more competitive and productive workforce. Read the full statement here.


Friday, January 19
9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
North Market
59 Spruce Street, Columbus, OH 43215
Please join us for Working America- Central Ohio’s monthly Women’s Coffee Meet Up! Here you can plan to be surrounded by progressive, active, possibly angry, amazing, fellow female community members. We have no set actions to take at these meet ups, but feel free to bring one of your own to encourage others to take part in. The Meet Up was created to be safe space for women to connect, destress, build one another up, and encourage each other to continue fighting. Find out more here.

Women’s March Anniversary: Power to the Polls

Saturday, January 20
Time and location vary across the state*
Click here for more information and to find an event near you.
Visit our Partner Events Calendar for more details on future events hosted by our coalition partners across the state.

We are tracking the progress of any state bills affecting women in the Ohio Legislature for the 132nd General Assembly. The legislature is back in session for 2018. Here are some updates from this past week and a look ahead at activity to watch for in the House and Senate:
  • HB 1 (Sykes, Manning) – Dating Protection Orders: Modernizes Ohio’s domestic violence laws by extending victims of dating violence access to DV protections, such as civil protection orders. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a third hearing for all testimony and possible amendments and vote this upcoming Tuesday, January 16. The Committee will meet at 10:15 AM in the North Hearing Room.

  • HB 56 (Dever, Gavarone) – Human Trafficking: Expands the expungement law for human trafficking survivors to include criminal records. Many women forced into human trafficking are charged with other offenses during that time, such as theft and drug possession. Current law only allows for the expungement of their records for prostitution and related charges, but does not apply to other offenses committed during the time that they were trafficked. Too often, these other charges hold back women from finding housing or employment. The House Criminal Justice Committee will hold a fourth hearing with possible substitute bill this upcoming Tuesday, January 16. The Committee will meet at 1:30 PM in Statehouse Room 114.

  • HB 383 (Carfargna) – Child Care: Requires that child-care centers provide parental notice of any serious risks to health or safety of children while under their care. The House Community & Family Advancement Committee will hold a fourth hearing with possible vote this upcoming Wednesday, January 17. The Committee will meet at 3:00 PM in Statehouse Room 114.

  • HB 425 (Antani, Craig) – Body Cameras: The bill would establish that policy body camera footage be made public record with certain exceptions to protect privacy, including the following: a confidential investigatory record, a video within a private home, a video within a private business, or a video of a sex crime victim. The House Government Oversight & Accountability Committee held a first hearing on the bill for sponsor testimony on Wednesday, January 10. You can find testimony from the hearing here(look under Hearings from January 10).

  • SB 28 (Uecker) – Abortion: Would require fetal remains from a surgical abortion at an abortion facility to be disposed of by cremation or burial. The Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee held a third hearing on the bill on Wednesday, January 10. The Committee voted along party-lines to pass the bill, and it will now head to the Senate floor for consideration. You can find all testimony from the hearing here (look under Committee Documents from January 10).

  • SB 145 (Huffman, Wilson) Abortion: Bans the safest and most common procedure for abortions in the second trimester. It has already passed out of the Senate chamber by a 24-9 vote in the full Senate. The House Criminal Justice Committee will hold a second hearing for proponent testimony this upcoming Tuesday, January 16. The Committee will meet at 1:30 PM in Statehouse Room 114. 

  • SB 201 (Bacon, O’Brien) – Reagan Tokes Act: Would require released violent offenders wearing GPS monitors to have set geographic boundaries and would give law enforcement the ability to access the GPS data without a subpoena. A companion bill is moving in the House, as well. The Senate Government & Oversight Committee held a third hearing for opponent testimony on the bill on Wednesday, January 10. You can find all testimony from the hearing here (look under Committee Documents from January 10). 
We will keep tracking any new updates and will be sharing timely legislative updates on these and other women-centric legislation on Twitter using the #OHLeg hashtag. Follow us to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Statehouse.

It has been more than 100 days since the deadline passed to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Congress has still not taken action. Now, the program’s future remains largely unknown.

According to a new report, more than 20 states face CHIP funding shortfalls if Congress doesn’t act this month. Congress must act fact to pass a ‘clean’ bill extending CHIP funding to ensure the program continues without disruption.
Congress must make CHIP reauthorization a priority! Contact your members of Congress and urge them to take action immediately to reauthorize CHIP funding. 
Tell them that nearly nine million children – including over 200,000 Ohio children – and their families are depending on them to extend funding for the program without attaching reauthorization to other health care programs – like Medicaid or the ACA – or making structural changes to the program, such as rollbacks of funding or eligibility.

For more context about what’s at stake if the funding expires, read a guest blog on the Women’s Public Policy Network website from an Ohio mom and advocate who shared her family’s story using CHIP benefits. Read the full post here.