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County Commissioners Association of Ohio Update

October 9, 2019
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County Commissioners Association of Ohio Update

 

Hello OPHELRA members!  Congratulations on releasing your new magazine.  CCAO is honored to be asked to contribute to this inaugural issue.

 

Let me begin with a sincere thank you for all the ways you serve county employers.  If counties are to succeed in providing important services to Ohio’s citizens, we need motivated and productive workforce. When you come together through OHPELRA to share innovative solutions to challenges facing public employers, the staff and members of CCAO benefit.  Since you may not hear it enough, let me say it again - thank you. 

 

Our priority at CCAO this year has been to enhance the state/county partnership. Our mantra has been Stronger Counties, Stronger Partnership, Stronger Ohio! I am pleased to say that this year we’ve seen transportation funding, the largest increases in indigent defense funding and child protective funding I’ve ever witnessed, new resources to combat the drug epidemic and new commitments around addressing water quality. Not to mention finally achieving marketplace fairness through implementing internet sales tax. These advancements occurred because of a focused and committed membership, Board, Executive Committee, and our talented staff who tirelessly worked to advance our advocacy message - coupled with strong leadership from the DeWine Administration and the General Assembly.  I am so very grateful.

 

If you would like to learn more about how the state biennial budget impacted counties, our amazing policy team recently did a webinar on the topic.  Feel free to check it out at https://ccao.org/conferences-and-education/2nd-wednesday-webinars/

 

An issue that has come up before, re-emerged in the budget process and will undoubtedly return again is the ongoing public policy debate around covering PTSD in the absence of an accompanying physical injury under the workers’ compensation system for first responders.  What role should the health plan/EAP play in treatment?  Should there be a limitation period?  Should there be baseline testing?  How long should one have PTSD symptoms before applying for worker’s compensation? What is the fiscal impact to local governments?  What kind of precedent might this set? Should it be a stand-alone program or within the BWC system?  These and many other questions will continue to be debated and discussed.  Perhaps you have some great ideas.  If so, CCAO would love to hear them.

 

You dedicate your professional lives to promoting effective communications and attempting to resolve conflicts and problems before they get out of hand.  As I conclude this article, the senseless violence in Dayton has just occurred.  We need your skill set now more than ever.  May we all strive to take a few tools from your tool box about listening carefully and resolving our differences peaceably. 

 

Suzanne Dulaney