UPDATE ON BOARD CONSOLIDATION PROPOSALS IN HB 49 (STATE OPERATING BUDGET)
The Ohio House Finance Committee unveiled and adopted a substitute bill for House Bill 49, the state operating budget. The sub bill made a number of significant changes to the Governor’s budget proposal. We are thrilled to report that the proposed merger of the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board and the State Board of Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics was removed from HB 49. Under the sub bill, no changes will be made to the makeup of the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board or the Occupational Therapy Section of the Board.
The State Board of Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics will be eliminated, along with the requirement that those providers be licensed. The requirement that the Ohio Department of Administrative Services review decisions from any of the state’s licensure boards that could violate federal anti-trust laws is being modified so that the review will now by conducted by the Office of the Common Sense Initiative, which is housed within the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Overall, we are very pleased that legislators listened to our concerns and removed this problematic language. This is a huge win for the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association.
We couldn’t have done this without strong grassroots support from OT’s and OTA’s across the state. We are asking everyone to contact their state representative and express gratitude for this change. Here are some suggested talking points—
o My name is ______ and I am an licensed (occupational therapist/occupational therapy assistant) in the state of Ohio
o When it was introduced, House Bill 49, the state operating budget, included a very problematic proposal to consolidate several healthcare licensure boards
o Many healthcare organizations including the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association were opposed to this merger proposal
o Earlier this week, the House Finance Committee unveiled a substitute bill that stripped the proposed consolidation of the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board with another board
o I am calling today to express my gratitude to Representative ______ and to the Ohio House of Representatives for listening to the concerns of Ohio’s healthcare community and removing this language from the budget
o Thank you for your support for occupational therapy in Ohio
Thank you all for your continued efforts to support OOTA.