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Offering a fall legislative update

With the House of Representatives back in session, we have recently dealt with topics such as congressional redistricting and other headline-grabbing issues, but there are many other bills being considered that do not garner that much attention.

Regardless, I thought I would share some of them with you.

House Bill 218, sponsored by Representative Jay Hottinger, updates Ohio law to match current federal guidelines concerning off-label drug use. Off-label drug use means that the drug is used for a different medical condition or given in a different way than than which the original purpose of the drug was developed.

The House concurred with Senate amendments and the legislation is now headed to Gov. John Kasich for his signature.

House Bill 97, presented by State Rep. Richard Hollington, gives state employees increased opportunity to participate in health savings accounts.

It also saves the state money and benefits the employee in certain circumstances. Meanwhile, another piece of legislation, sponsored by State Rep. Cheryl Grossman, helps to streamline adoptions of children by legal guardians.

Adoption is a policy that Ohio as a state, as well as the federal government, promotes. These bills both passed the House overwhelmingly with bi-partisan support and now are moving to the Senate for further consideration.

Senate Bill 101, sponsored by Senator Tom Patton, designates May as Substance Abuse Awareness Month. This bill also passed the House with bi-partisan support and is headed to the governor for his signature. We certainly do not need a designated month to understand how bad the problem of substance abuse is in our area and state.

We are starting to see some results from House Bill 93, which is designed to shut down pill mills and more closely monitor prescription drugs.

This is a crisis that is taking more and more attention to address. I am working with my colleagues and local officials to continue to fight this disease. It has hit almost every family, whether it is from relatives with addiction or those who are victims of crime.

I wanted to let you know that, while you may hear rancor and discord on television, there are many instances that legislators are able to come together from both sides of the aisle.

In Columbus, we have passed a balanced budget and we are continuing to work together on many issues like those I mentioned above.

John Carey serves in Ohio’s 87th District of the House of Representatives, which includes eastern Lawrence County. He can be reached at (614) 466-1366, by writing to: Ohio House of Representatives, 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215, or via e-mail at District87@ohr.state.oh.us.