Week in Review - 02/28/2020

Week in Review - 02/28/2020

ARTS, SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Transgender girls and women would be banned from playing for high school and college women's sports teams under HB527 proposed by Reps. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) and Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Minerva). Under the "Save Women's Sports Act," biological males who identify as females will not be allowed to participate in women's sports at public high schools, public institutions of higher education or private schools and colleges that are members of a state or national athletic association, the lawmakers said during a press conference at the Statehouse.


CHILDREN/FAMILIES

Reps. Thomas West (D-Canton) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) introduced a concurrent resolution Tuesday urging Gov. Mike DeWine to declare a "state of emergency on childhood trauma," modeled after Ohio's "state of emergency on opioids," which the lawmakers said helped spur legislative changes and has resulted in reductions in overdose rates. West emphasized that trauma disproportionally affects African American communities not just at home, but also in school, the criminal justice system and the state's broader "system of care."


EDUCATION

Gov. Mike DeWine pledged "just as much if not more" money for school health and wellness programs in his next budget as the $675 million available in the current biennium during remarks Tuesday to local education leaders at a social-emotional learning conference. "I will not sign a budget that does not have this money in it," the governor said at the Ohio School Boards Association's Mental Health and Social-Emotional Learning Summit in Columbus.


Attorney General (AG) David Yost announced new threat assessment training tools for schools at a Wednesday press briefing. Yost, who was joined by State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria and Lina Alathari of the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center, unveiled a series of videos -- three hours of material across 10 videos -- meant to train schools officials, law enforcement, students and the public about using a threat assessment model to prevent violence in schools.


The most recent panel charged with making recommendations regarding the state's dropout prevention and recovery (DOPR) schools sought to arrive at clearer definitions about what a DOPR school is and what sorts of students they serve at its Thursday meeting. Chairwoman Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) said two of her biggest concerns for the panel include resolving whether students over age 14 can attend DOPR schools -- current law provides for students age 16 and up to attend -- and the creation of an advisory committee on DOPR schools. Members supported lowering the age of entry to DOPR schools to 14 as well as the creation of an advisory committee. 


ELECTIONS

Auditor of State Keith Faber Wednesday reminded public officials that most local governments and public school districts may not use tax dollars to support or oppose levy or bond issues on the ballot.


GOVERNOR

Gov. Mike DeWine told reporters Tuesday that he was "confident" there would be legislative progress on the ongoing EdChoice voucher dispute and other issues that were set to be discussed in his Wednesday meeting with Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) and House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford).