MEDINA — In a regional gathering of state lawmakers and county board of developmental disabilities (DD) superintendents on Aug. 3, Richland Newhope Superintendent Michele Giess met with Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, to discuss disability policy ahead the upcoming two-year state budget process.
The regional meeting, which was held at the Medina County Board of DD offices, drew superintendents from the Ashland, Holmes, Medina, and Richland County Boards of DD, which together provide services and supports to more than 3,000 people in North Central Ohio.
Supports for Ohioans with developmental disabilities are funded by a combination of local, state, and federal dollars. Much of the state’s portion of that funding is decided every two years during the biennial budget process, during which lawmakers draw up the state’s two-year spending plan. The 2020-21 state budget will be written in the first half of 2019.
“This was a great opportunity to connect with Senator Obhof and to share important issues involving the DD Board,” said Giess.
Giess and other board superintendents also spoke to Obhof about several other DD-related topics, including state funding for DD programs and the ongoing statewide shortage of direct service professionals (DSPs) to care for people with developmental disabilities in home and community-based settings.
“The boards of developmental disabilities provide invaluable services,” Obhof said. “I look forward to working with them proactively as we approach the next state budget cycle.”
Obhof represents Ohio’s 22nd Senate District, which includes all or part of Ashland, Holmes, Medina, and Richland Counties. He has served in the Ohio Senate since 2011. Obhof has led the Ohio Senate as the chamber’s president since 2017.
Richland Newhope supports more than 1,500 Richland County residents through early intervention, preschool, transition services, day services, supported employment, residential, therapy, and other family support programs.
Established 50 years ago by the Ohio General Assembly, Ohio’s 88 county boards of DD now support more than 93,000 people with developmental disabilities statewide