Week in Review > Week in Review 11-27-2020Posted by Kevin Miller on November 27th, 2020
Gov. Mike DeWine held a press conference Monday with hospital executives to again urge Ohioans to take precautions during the Thanksgiving holiday as the state continues to set records with what DeWine called a “runaway freight train” in the spreading COVID-19 virus. The press conference came as the state shattered the record for the daily reported caseload of the coronavirus, with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reporting 11,885 new cases in the last 24 hours. However, DeWine said Monday’s jump was likely in part related to issues at testing labs at Mercy Health and the Cleveland Clinic over the weekend, which caused those test reports to be delayed until Monday. But he said Ohio is still
Education groups weighed in on the recent vote in the General Assembly to resolve an impasse over potential explosive growth in the list of schools where students are eligible for EdChoice vouchers. School Choice Ohio and the Fordham Institute praised the changes in SB89 (M. Huffman), while the Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio Association of School Business Officials and Buckeye Association of School Administrators expressed disappointments. The Ohio Federation of Teachers and Ohio Education Association urged Gov. Mike DeWine to veto the bill. Asked about the bill at his COVID briefing Tuesday, DeWine said only that he’s reviewing the legislation.
The Ohio Department of Education announced recently the launch of the RemotEDx Exchange, which provides parents and educators of K-12 students access to supports, services and resources for remote education. The platform is part of the broader RemotEDX initiative, a $15 million effort using federal CARES Act funding to improve remote, hybrid and blended learning. The exchange is available at https://remotedx.infohio.org/ .
House Democrats announced Monday the re-election of Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) as minority leader for the 134th General Assembly. Also re-elected were Assistant Minority Leader Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus), Minority Whip Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) and Assistant Minority Whip Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester). Newly elected to the team as caucus chair is Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon).
Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) has been chosen by his colleagues to serve as president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) for the 134th General Assembly, succeeding Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland). West was chosen as president following an official vote by OLBC members in the Ohio House and Senate. Other members of the OLBC leadership team are the following: First Vice President Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland); Second Vice President Rep. Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati); Treasurer Rep. Erica Crawley (D-Columbus); Sergeant-at-Arms Sen. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus); Secretary Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati); and Parliamentarian Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron).
Gov. Mike DeWine signed two bills related to COVID-19 Monday, one of which extends numerous temporary policies put in place because of disruptions from the pandemic. Originally written to allow university trustees to meet electronically, HB404 (Manchester-Sweeney) was amended in the Senate to extend through July 1, 2021 the ability for public bodies to meet and hold hearings remotely, as well as exemptions to school meal requirements and deadlines for renewing various state licenses, among other provisions. DeWine also signed HB151 (Carfagna), which temporarily grants qualified civil immunity to health care isolation centers to protect medical professionals from liability claims throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill also expands the authority of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to provide medical services in hospitals, if needed.
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