Compromise Bill Passes Ohio Senate
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 15, 2004
COLUMBUS, OHIO--The Ohio Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved Senate Bill 178, a compromise measure designed to protect people with developmental disabilities, which will also slow down the governor's efforts to close two state-run institutions.
The measure now goes to the House, where it is expected to pass.
Governor Bob Taft, who vetoed a similar bill last month, said he will likely sign this one into law. Passing the compromise will help Taft avoid a politically costly veto override, while keeping some of the provisions he had wanted.
The compromise legislation, which is similar in most respects to last year's SB 4, makes it a crime to endanger a person with a disability, in much the same way that endangering a child is a crime. Taft balked when lawmakers added language to SB 4 that required a lengthy review of his decision to close Springview Developmental Center and Apple Creek Developmental Center, which he had scheduled for closure in June 2005 and June 2006 respectively.
SB 178 still keeps the decision to close institutions in the governor's hands. It leaves in a commission to review his plans to close facilities, but shortens the review period from 180 days to 120 days. It also adds a sixth member to what would have been a five-member commission.
Taft announced his plan to close the facilities in January 2003 as a way to save $23 million over the following four years. Ohio houses more than 1,000 people with developmental disabilities in its 12 institutions.
"Ohio Governor's Attempt To Close Institutions" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)