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Medicaid expansion legislation released

House Majority Floor Leader Barbara Sears (R- Sylvania) unveiled legislation this week that would expand Medicaid coverage to childless adults under 138 percent of the federal poverty line—a move that Governor Kasich attempted in his biennial budget.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the full cost of the expansion would be covered by the federal government for three years with the federal share phasing down to 90 percent thereafter. Sears’ bill includes a provision that would cease to cover the new population should the federal share be further reduced in the future—a concern many Republican legislators share.

Sears’ bill also requires the Medical Assistance Director to implement reforms aimed at improving the health of Medicaid recipients while reducing the cost of health care and uncompensated care. Additionally, the bill requires the director to promote employment-related services and job training to assist Medicaid recipients into the workforce.

It is unclear whether the bill will have the support of the House majority caucus to receive swift approval prior to the legislative summer break. Sears said it is her hope the bill will pass alongside the biennial budget, which must pass by June 30, 2013.

Housing market gains continue in Ohio

The number of homes sold across Ohio rose 20.5 percent in April, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors (OAR). This marks the 22nd consecutive month the market has posted gains in activity.

Sales in April reached 10,991, a 20.5 percent increase from the 9,121 sales posted during the month in 2012, and reached the best mark since 2007. The average sales price of $134,388 was a 3.5 percent increase from the prior year.

“The Ohio marketplace, with each passing month, continues to make significant progress in building a solid foundation for a sustained, growing housing sector,” said OAR President Thomas J. Williams.

Sales through the first four months of 2013 reached 35,412, a 15.6 percent increase from the 30,636 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The average sales price this year is $128,547, a 5.1 percent increase from the $122,349 mark set during the same period a year ago.

Legislation at the Statehouse

Internet cafes: Sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Huffman (R- Lima), House Bill 7 effectively bans Internet cafes, or sweepstakes by sweepstakes terminals in the state. Additionally, Senate Bill 115, sponsored by Senate President Keith Faber (R- Celina) was approved this week to extend the moratorium on new establishments conducing sweepstakes by sweepstakes terminal devices, and included an emergency clause. Both bills passed this week and will be delivered to the governor for his signature.

Audit procedures: Sponsored by Senator Bob Peterson (R- Sabina), Senate Bill 67 creates an agreed-upon procedure audit for certain eligible political subdivisions. The bill was approved by the Ohio Senate on May 22, 2013.

Beer distribution: Sponsored by House Assistant Majority Whip Jim Buchy (R- Greenville), House Bill 174 would prohibit a beer manufacturer from taking certain actions regarding the awarding or acquiring of beer distribution franchises or beer distribution territories prior to July 30, 2013. The bill was introduced on May 22, 2013.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Caputo
(non-attorney professional)

Rebecca M. Kuhns
(non-attorney professional)

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