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Legislative Corner††

with Kay Ball, PhD, RN, CNOR, CMLSO,FAAN

133rd General Assembly Begins

†††††††††††† This month the 133rd Ohio General Assembly begins for the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate and will last for two years.† Swearing in for these legislators is scheduled for Monday, January 7, 2019, before the two chambers begin their meetings and orientation for new members.† Committees will be chosen, leaders and chairmen will be selected, and offices will be moved into.† Some members of the House may now be members of the Senate and vice versa.† Then there are new members who are inexperienced and are trying to understand the dynamics of their new positions.

†††††††††††† As written in the last Legislative Corner, Wednesday, March 6, 2019, is the Nurses Day at the Statehouse (NDASH) when nurses can attend a conference to meet our legislators and hear them discuss their ideas and suggestions for healthcare and our nursing profession.† I hope you have registered for this event (http://ohnurses.org/ndash/) if you are planning to attend as registration will be closed very soon due to its popularity.† Since the Ohio Council of Perioperative Registered Nurses is a co-sponsor of this event, you get a discount on registration. This is the time to meet your own House member and Senator to learn about their knowledge on healthcare and to discuss critical messages on surgical issues and practices.

†††††††††††† Do you know who your Ohio Senator or House member are?† You can go online to the Ohio Senate or Ohio House of Representatives to find information about your current legislator who represents your district.†

†††††††††††† Many of the bills nursing supported during the last two-year general assembly died in committee so they may be reintroduced during this new two year session (133rd general assembly).† I will keep you posted on any popular or significant legislation that is introduced during this session.† For example, House Bill 456 that prevents mandatory overtime died in committee (132nd general assembly) at the last minute when the Ohio State University and the Cleveland Clinic voiced opposition to it.† Nurses are now letting those facility administrations know of their disappointment in this bill not passing.† Probably the content of this bill will be reintroduced during the 133rd general assembly, maybe with different verbiage to decrease any opposition.† This is politics!† Itís all in the art of negotiation.

†††††††††††† So bottom line:† Know who your legislators are.† Contact them to let them know you are a nurse and are in their districts.† Let them know you are available if they have any questions or need more information about healthcare or nursing issues.

†††††††††††† As nurses, we must be involved with legislation and politics to safeguard our scope of practice as nurses and to protect our patients!