June 24, 2019

To the Members of the Conference Committee on House Bill 166,

The Center for Community Solutions would like to thank you and your colleagues for your diligent work on House Bill 166. Community Solutions is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that aims to improve health, social and economic conditions through research, policy analysis and communication.

Community Solutions’ budget priority areas include: better tracking of data on maternal mortality, increased state support for adult protective services, monitoring of Medicaid expansion and any policies that could impact access and eligibility and full implementation of the multi-system youth legislative committee and flexible funding available to families so that they do not have to relinquish custody of their children in order to receive treatment.

We want to express our appreciation for the commitment shown by both the House and the Senate to the issue of maternal mortality. It is imperative that Ohio take steps to strengthen its pregnancy-associated mortality review (PAMR) committee. To this end, we urge the acceptance of the Senate’s language addressing steps to improve the PAMR (DOHCD2, Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review Board). The Senate’s language builds upon the proposed language from the governor and House, to further Ohio’s efforts in tracking and reporting on maternal deaths, information that will help to prevent future deaths.

We witnessed strong commitment from both the House and the Senate to address the tragic circumstance of families relinquishing custody of their children to child welfare agencies in order for children to receive services for their complex needs. Again, the Senate built upon the House’s commitment to develop an action plan for multi-system youth. The Senate designated $6 million in 2020 and $12 million in 2021 for the issue of custody relinquishment related to multi-system youth. Over the next several months, this funding and the development of the action plan will make a real difference for families across the state. We encourage adoption of the Senate’s budget plans for multi-system youth.

Funding for adult protective services was increased in the House budget and the Senate maintained this increase. This is a move in the right direction. We are also encouraged that there is no language in either version of the budget that would impact the ability for Medicaid expansion enrollees to access coverage.

We know you have a busy week ahead. We stand willing to help in any way that we can.

Thank you,
John Corlett
President and Executive Director
The Center for Community Solutions