The Ohio Legislature is working to iron out the differences between the two versions of HB 33, the state operating budget. The House and Senate versions differ greatly on many issues and appropriations. In fact, House Finance Committee Chairman Jay Edwards stated that there are 883 points of difference – the most in recent history.
hero_image_alt_text===Ohio Capitol Building
thumbnail_alt_text===Ohio Capitol Building
We are continuing to advocate for many provisions included in the House version, namely the statewide stroke registry, implementation of a NextGeneration 911 system, funding to ensure schools have the resources to conduct required CPR trainings, an appropriation to provide Produce Perks with the chance to expand and provide a $1-$1 match for fresh fruits and vegetables, and for the governor’s proposed funding level for the Tobacco Use Prevention Fund.
We are disappointed the Senate include language in their omnibus amendment, at the last minute, to preempt any political subdivision from enacting their own tobacco regulations, with no effective state level enforcement mechanism in place. This language would negate all current local tobacco retail licensure programs, that are intended to hold retailers accountable and ensure they do not sell to underage customers, and prevents any school and park districts, and colleges from enacting their own smoke-free policies for their campuses or grounds. Also included in the omnibus amendment was a “flavor ban” that only covers flavored e-cigarette fluids and excludes menthol from the restriction. This is a stark contrast to what the governor included in his as-introduced version that covers all tobacco products and included menthol. We are urging the governor to ask the legislature to use his language for the sake of public health.
We need your help! Please e-mail your legislators regarding these issues.
1. Ask the Governor to line item veto the tobacco preemption language and proposed flavor restriction from the state budget bill. This provision will negate every tobacco retail license passed at the local level and could even prevent any additional non-smoking policies enacted by school districts and park districts.
a. Protect Home Rule In Ohio - Contact Governor DeWine here.
2. Urge the legislature to restore the House-added provisions regarding the stroke registry program, the implementation of NextGeneration 911, funding the Tobacco Use Prevention, and funding the student CPR training requirements for all schools.
a. Please restore previous funding and provisions found within the House version of the Budget Bill – https://act.yourethecure.org/bleZxPN
Lawmakers need to hear from us as they make decisions on the state budget. It’s up to us to speak up for a healthier Ohio!