Week in Review > Week in Review 11-29-2021

Posted by on November 19th, 2021


Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, in a Friday briefing on efforts to combat COVID-19 in the state, said he was optimistic not only because of the progress in vaccinating children ages 5-11 — which began a week ago — but also because of promising reports coming from Merck and Pfizer regarding oral treatment for those who have contracted the virus. However, he again stressed that the best approach is to get vaccinated and avoid becoming sick in the first place, noting that even when those medications are approved, they will initially be in short supply and only used for those who are the sickest. In that regard, he referenced the increased numbers of new COVID cases in the last few days.

Vanderhoff reminded Ohioans between 5-25 that they can win one of 150 awards worth $10,000 or one of five $100,000 grand prize scholarships. Vax-2-School scholarships will be issued under Ohio 529 College Advantage plans and can be used at winners’ choice of Ohio college, university, technical/trade school or career program. Youth, their parents or guardians can enter at www.ohiovax2school.com or 833-4-ASK-ODH if they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Vax-2-School deadlines are as follows:

Sunday, Nov. 21, 11:59 p.m. – eligible for all drawings.

Sunday, Nov. 28, 11:59 p.m. – eligible for the second drawing (75 scholarships of $10,000) and the grand prize drawing.

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 11:59 p.m. – eligible for the grand prize drawing.

House Republicans succeeded Thursday in approving a bill to create exemptions for workers and students to cite in the face of mandates to be vaccinated against COVID-19, after lack of agreement on the issue thwarted prior attempts at a floor vote on the matter. The floor vote on the bill, HB218 (Cutrona), was 58-32, with Reps. Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) and Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) joining the Democrats present to vote no. Business and health care groups strongly condemned the measure.


Charlotte McGuire rose from vice president to president of the State Board of Education (SBOE) with the support of most of her colleagues Monday, besting board member Antoinette Miranda in a 14-3 vote, while Steve Dackin was elected to succeed McGuire as vice president in an 11-7 vote over Jenny Kilgore. The unusual mid-term leadership election followed the resignation of former President Laura Kohler, whose appointment by Gov. Mike DeWine to a second term faced challenges in the Senate, where leadership expressed displeasure with her vote against repealing a 2020 resolution on racism and equity and her decision to limit public comments before the board on those topics. Eric Poklar also resigned, facing similar legislative resistance.

Ohio Department of Education (ODE) staff provided an overview Monday of the upcoming work to implement conversion of the state report card from an A-F system to five-star ratings, which also entails reconfiguration of many of the underlying components and measures. The State Board of Education’s (SBOE) Performance and Impact Committee reviewed the topic during its monthly meeting. ODE’s Shelby Robertson said the board will be working against a statutory deadline of March 31, 2022 to complete administrative rules laying out the new report card structure. The law reforming the system, enacted via HB82 (Jones-Cross), also requires the department and board to present the rules to the education committees of the House and Senate.


The House Wednesday passed two gun-related bills: HB99 (Hall) would change the requirements for training if a school staff member wants to carry a firearm at a K-12 school. An Ohio Supreme Court ruling essentially made the training requirement on par with what peace officers are currently required to have in order to be certified in the state. The bill drops the requirement down to about 18 hours of training plus an additional two hours of firearms training. The bill passed 58 to 33. The second gun bill, HB227 (Brinkman-Jordan), would eliminate the need to have a concealed carry permit, with the sponsors saying the bill gets rid of bureaucratic barriers to Ohioans exercising their Second Amendment rights. It passed 60-32.

Posted by on November 19th, 2021

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