Rep. Patterson's Education, Lyme Disease Proposals Make Mid-biennium Budget Bills
Bipartisan effort yields successful inclusion into two state review bills
April 10, 2014
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State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) announced on Wednesday that two of his legislative proposals were incorporated into two mid-biennium review (MBR) bills.

“The measures that were included in the MBR are both very important for our local community and the state as a whole,” said Rep. Patterson. “On both issues, I worked with a number of interested parties and members of both sides of the political aisle over many months. I must give a great deal of credit to my colleagues for their helpfulness in giving these issues their full attention and recognizing their importance.”

House Bill 216, which directly affects Ledgemont Local Schools in Geauga County, was incorporated into House Bill 487 and will allow for debt forgiveness to the state’s Solvency Assistance Fund (SAF) for consolidating school districts that have met certain requirements. Requirements include:

  • The amount owed to the SAF must be greater than 33 percent of the transferring district’s operating budget, but must not exceed $10 million

  • The transferring district must have remained in a state of fiscal emergency during the previous two fiscal years

  • The acquiring district must be in the same or contiguous county as the transferring district

  • The acquiring district must have submitted a 5-year written projection of solvency, which takes into account the fiscal effects of acquiring the transferring district

Rep. Patterson’s Lyme disease proposal, which was not yet formally introduced in the House, was included in House Bill 483 and will require healthcare providers who order a Lyme disease test to provide a written notice that informs the patient of the possibility of both false negative and false positive test results. The notice will also suggest that the patient should contact their healthcare provider to inquire about the appropriateness of additional testing or treatment if symptoms persist. Additionally, the proposal requires veterinarians to report all positive test results in pets to the Ohio Department of Health and provides the agency with $650,000 for tick testing.

On the House floor, Rep. Patterson offered an amendment to make a $20 million investment in statewide early childhood education. The amendment was ultimately tabled along party lines.

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