Good news at the state and local levels!
Local Non-Discrimination Wins Fill the Gap in Statewide Protection
A shout out to Medina and Shaker Heights city councils, which recently passed LGBTQ+ inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, becoming the 25th and 26th Ohio communities to extend protections to LGBTQ+ people. In the absence of action by the Ohio legislature to advance the Ohio Fairness Act (SB11), these local victories are critical for securing protections for LGBTQ+ Ohioans.
Ohio’s Biennial Budget
After missing the initial June 30 deadline, the state legislature reached an agreement in mid-July regarding the biennial state operating budget and sent the 2,000-page document to Governor DeWine for his signature. The Governor promptly issued 25-line item vetoes – many of which related to Medicaid and health care policy – before signing the bill.
So what’s in it for us? Great news! Medicaid expansion remained intact, continuing to provide access to high quality, comprehensive health care for many of our patients. Additionally, the Ohio Department of Health HIV Care line item increased more than 23%, and the ODH AIDS Prevention/Treatment line item was maintained at its current funding level. And more good news! For the first time ever, the state budget includes funding for harm reduction efforts, including money for local health departments to purchase syringes! We thank ODH Director Amy Acton for her leadership on this important issue.
Governor DeWine Pushes for Gun Reform Following Dayton Shooting📣
On Tuesday morning, Gov. DeWine announced his proposal to address the gun violence epidemic in Ohio. This announcement followed the tragic killing of nine individuals in Dayton, marking the second mass shooting in the United States in under 24 hours.
During the press conference on Tuesday, the governor outlined a 17-point plan to reduce gun violence, including a version of the “red flag” law, expanded background checks, and other gun control proposals. Similar measures proposed by former Gov. John Kasich at the end of last year were unsuccessful due to the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature’s inaction.
Gov. DeWine’s measures are also likely to face resistance in the GOP-held General Assembly, despite calls from Miami Valley area Republican State Senator Peggy Lehner and Republican Congressman Mike Turner to take action. We must take immediate steps to reduce gun violence in Ohio by pressuring state lawmakers to do their job. Our lives depend on it.
Contact your state legislators today. Tell them it is time to enact the proposed reforms to protect Ohioans.
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