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Rep. Somani Celebrates Passage of Democratic Priority Bill, the strong Foundations Act

June 12, 2024
Anita Somani News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Anita Somani (D-Dublin) today announced the passage of House Bill (HB) 7, legislation that expands access to prenatal, postnatal, infant, and toddler services and support. This bill provides crucial investments of over $34 million into Ohio’s children and families, ensuring improved health outcomes during childbirth.

 “We have a maternal and infant mortality crisis in Ohio. This bill takes meaningful steps toward addressing this crisis such as increasing access to stable housing for new mothers, lowering child care costs, and providing mental health support. It takes a village to raise happy and healthy children; this bill will expand that village,” said Rep. Somani.

Programs funded through this legislation include, but not limited to:

  • Invest in technology to make applications for pregnant and postpartum services easier for eligible mothers and children.
  • Establish a grant program to support locations around the state with limited access to childcare.
  • Establish a pilot program for ODJFS to assist in the development of quality comprehensive childcare programs.
  • Make appropriations to support stable housing initiatives for pregnant mothers and to improve maternal and infant health outcomes.
  • Increase funding for Help Me Grow, Ohio’s evidence-based parent support program, and for other parenting and fatherhood awareness programs.
  • Expand mental health training for childcare professionals and parents, as well as early intervention treatment for very young children.

Additionally, Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson)’s bill, Madeline’s Law, was amended into HB 7. This bill requires health insurers to cover up to $2.5K per individual for hearing aids every 48 months and other related services such as fittings and hearing exams for enrolled Ohioans under the age of 22.

During the 135th General Assembly, House Democrats are committed to creating a state that works for and supports all Ohioans, regardless of race, gender, income, and zip code— putting People First.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.