The Coshocton County Beacon April 1, 2020 - Page 3

April 1, 2020 The Beacon • 3 T he Oh io Hou se t h is week approved a legisla- tive package to help the state manage through the COVID-19 pandemic. The package, contained in House Bill 197, now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine for his signature. The legislation covers a range of issues the state, lo c a l c o m mu n it ie s a n d schools need in the near- term to help address impacts from the coronavirus. The bipartisan plan is the result of work between the House, Senate and DeWine administration. “The impact of the coro- navir us has touched the lives and daily routines of all Ohioans,” Speaker Larry Hou s ehold e r s a id . “ We believe this legislation will help state and local leaders manage through this global pandemic.” Among the changes, the plan addresses the 2020 pri- mary election. Primary election in-per- son voting was cancelled due to the public health cri- sis. Ohioans that were eligi- ble to vote on March 17 will be able to cast their ballot by mail on or before April 28. Those Ohioans that cast their ballot early will have their vote count. The Ohio secretary of state will mail all voters a postcard inform- ing them on how they will be able to request their bal- lot by mail from their local county board of elections. The board will send them their ballot and a postage- paid return envelope. Other highlights of the bill include: Testing and account- ability State-mandated k-12 stu- dent assessments for the 2019 school year are elimi- nated, along with school district and school building report cards. The bill also directs the Ohio Depart- ment of Education to seek a waiver from federal student testing mandates. EdChoice In order to give schools greater cer tainty for the upcom i ng school yea r regarding the state’s largest student voucher program, EdChoice, the bill freezes the 2019-20 performance- based EdChoice building eligibility list, which stands at 517 schools, for the 2020- 21 school year. The bill expressly prohibits expan- sion of the building list to 1,227 buildings. Rainy Day Fund In order to ensure the state can end the current fiscal year with a balanced budget, the bill permits the DeWine administ ration, if necessary, to seek State Controlling Board approval to transfer money from the state’s “Rainy Day Fund.” The current fiscal year ends June 30. Local government The measure includes several provisions to help local governments includ- i ng f lexibilit y for local elected off icials to hold public meetings via video conference. Unemployment com- pensation Changes to help workers impacted by the coronavi- rus pandemic. Water shutoffs The bill gives the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency authority to direct public water systems to not disconnect customers for nonpayment. Licenses Any license issued under s t a t e l aw a nd t h a t w i l l expire between the effective date of the bill and Dec. 1, 2020, is to be extended until Dec. 1. Nursing and teaching licensure The bill allows new nurs- es and teachers to secure a temporary or provisional license if they meet all other requirements but are unable to complete their licensure exam due to the coronavirus outbreak. Ohio’s tax-filing dead- line will be the same as the federal filing deadline, July 15. EMS shares non-transport protocols Ohio Emergency Medi- cal Services State Direc- tor Carol A. Cunningham shared a memo including discussion on non-transport protocols for EMS.  During increased demand for EMS servic- es, non-transport protocols can be one of the initia- tives to improve resource utilization. These resources include, but are not lim- ited to, EMS manpower, personal protective equip- ment, transport vehicles, decontamination materi- als, operational costs, and emergency department and hospit al ser v ices. Most importantly, non-transport protocols can increase the SEND US YOUR NEWS! availability of EMS services to patients with the greatest need improving abilities to save lives. “This is a very confusing and stressful time, but I am confident that we will all get through it,” said Todd Shroyer, Coshocton County Emergency Medical Service Director. “We are fortunate to live in a great community that always pulls together to get through the tough times.” He added that it is very difficult for his agency to suggest that residents don’t call them. “But as we enter the peri- od of time that we have all been dreading, and we start to see the coronavirus num- bers increase exponentially each day, we have to save EMS and hospital resources for those who are the most ill or injured,” Shroyer said. EMS will continue to respond to every call for assistance. However, they may not transpor t ever y caller, or they may transport to the respiratory screening clinic and not the emergen- cy department.  Due to the change in the date of the Ohio primary election with the passage of the latest bill in the Ohio legislature all letters to the editor regarding any issues, levies or otherwise for the April 28 primary are halted effective immediately. MILLER’S CUSTOM MEATS PROCESSING OF BEEF • HOGS • DEER Try Our... Summer Sausage Bologna • Beef & Deer Snack Sticks • Hot Dogs Closing for the season on April 14! Limited appointments still available, call to reserve your spot! Ben A. Raber Voice Mail (330) 893-1336 Cut, Wrap & Freeze Available Fax (855) 219-0777 5493 Co. Rd. 68, Millersburg Mon.-Fri. 7am-6pm; Sat. 7:30am-3pm WE GUARANTEE YOUR OWN MEAT BACK House OKs COVID-19 Response Bill, changes made to election