COLUMBUS – Today, the Ohio House Democratic Caucus highlighted legislation to counter rising costs and ensure older Ohioans on fixed incomes have economic security. The Support Our Seniors legislative package includes bills to reduce the costs of expenses such as healthcare, prescription drugs and utilities. The package would also put more money into the pockets of older Ohioans by lowering property taxes and reinstating cost-of-living adjustments for certain retirees.
“Lowering costs for senior citizens was one of my primary motives for sponsoring HB 135. This bill reduces the cost of prescription drugs, thus increasing access to critical and often lifesaving medications,” said Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton). “I am proud of the progress we have made with this bill, but HB 135 is only the beginning of what I hope we can accomplish to support our senior population and all of Ohio.”
“All Ohioans deserve to retire with dignity and security. That’s why I introduced HB 562 to reinstate the cost-of-living adjustment for retired teachers,” said Rep. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park). “We are so thankful to our retired teachers for their years of service, so reinstating the COLA is the least we can do to repay them for their hard work. HB 562 will assist our retirees with the rising costs of goods and inflation.”
“Many of our senior citizens are struggling financially in our current challenging economy. We need to stop all of the culture war nonsense and focus instead on real help for our older Ohioans. That’s why I’m sponsoring legislation that further reduces the property tax burden for those on fixed incomes, and also legislation that mandates repayment by the utility companies of millions of dollars of improperly assessed utility charges back to the consumer. Now more than ever, we need to improve the quality of life for our seniors,” said Rep. Daniel P. Troy (D-Willowick).
The comprehensive Support Our Seniors package includes legislation to:
Reduce the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs
HB 135 (West) To reduce the cost of prescription drugs
HB 305 (Liston) To cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month
HB 125 (Lightbody, Crossman) To enact the Pre-Existing Condition Protection Act
Reduce energy costs
HB 57 (Skindell, O’Brien) To fully repeal HB 6, corrupt corporate bailout legislation costing Ohioans $150 million per year
HB 260 (Troy) To require refunds to improperly charged utility customers
HB 389 (Leland) To re-establish energy efficiency programs that will save utility ratepayers money and reduce energy usage
Lower property taxes
HB 207 (Troy) To expand the Homestead Exemption Act
Ensure Ohioans live with security and dignity
HB 601 (Lightbody, A. Miller) To establish minimum cost-of-living adjustments for teachers and other school employees and increase employer contributions for the first time since 1988
HB 562 (Miranda) To reinstate the cost-of-living adjustments for Ohio’s retired teachers
HB 79 (Russo) – To establish the Caregiver Expenses Tax Credit
Meanwhile, several pieces of legislation sponsored by Statehouse Republicans would directly increase costs for Ohio’s seniors. HB 126 shifts the property tax burden to individuals and small businesses, resulting in older Ohioans paying more in property taxes each year, and HB 128 continues the ratepayer-funded bailout of two failing coal plants, including one located in Indiana. HB 344 would eliminate patient savings and increase the cost of dental care for seniors. HBs 288 and 651 impact the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, making it more difficult for seniors to get the food they need to survive and age with dignity.