State Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) recently introduced a bill, Senate Bill 302, to improve Ohio’s poor health indicators by requiring the State to determine how all new rules and regulations would impact the health of Ohioans.
“We know that the health of our citizens influences every aspect of our state – our economy, our productivity and our residents’ success,” said Senator Tavares. “Given that our state consistently ranks among the least healthy in the nation, we must take thoughtful and deliberative action to turn things around. This includes considering the impact every policy proposal has on the overall well-being of Ohioans and, especially, our most vulnerable communities.”
Like Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative, which looks at the impact of all laws and agency rules on business and the economy, SB 302 would require an analysis of all pending bills and agency rules to determine if they will have a positive, adverse or neutral impact on the health of Ohioans and on the attainment of health equity in the state.
The legislation, which is supported by the Ohio Public Health Association (OPHA), aims to demonstrate how even factors such as education, housing, neighborhood safety, transportation and employment can have wide-ranging health implications.
“This could be one of the most important public health policies to be considered in Ohio in many years,” said Joe Ebel, president of OPHA. “If passed, this bill would provide a tool which would allow our state lawmakers to consider the potential health implications of proposed legislation prior to the enactment of any new laws.”
SB 302 also creates an advisory board that would provide an annual report on the impact of the initiative and its effectiveness in improving the overall health of Ohioans and reducing costs. Bill text