Posts Tagged 'Rep. Garland'

Reps. Garland & Antonio Fight to Protect Women from Gender Discrimination

State Reps. Nancy Garland (D- Columbus), Chair of the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus, and Nickie J. Antonio (D- Lakewood) held a press conference in coordination with Innovation Ohio to discuss gender discrimination by health insurance companies, and introduce HB 551 to prohibit so called “gender rating.”

Currently, health insurance companies determine premiums based on a variety of factors, one of which is the gender of the policy holder. Women are consistently charged significantly higher rates than men, even when factoring out maternity coverage.  The legislation introduced today would eliminate gender discrimination in healthcare premiums. Ohio’s women would no longer have to unfairly pay more for equal coverage.

“Women deserve to be treated equally to men, and this legislation will make that possibility closer to a reality,” Rep. Garland stated. “Ohio’s women cannot be forced to pay higher insurance premiums any longer. Not only does this put a financial strain on individuals, but on small businesses that are owned by or employ women. This injustice must end.”

Innovation Ohio released a report today that shows the disparity between men and women for insurance premiums in Ohio. According to their report, a typical 40-year old Ohio woman buying an individual policy pays anywhere from 20 to 50 percent more than a 40-year old male and 60 percent of insurance plans sold in Ohio charge non-smoking women higher premiums than male smokers.  The difference in insurance premiums varies so greatly, there is not a clear justification of the premium differences.

“The status of being a woman should not be a pre-existing condition,” said Rep. Antonio. “Ending ‘gender rating’ by health insurance providers is another step towards equality. By continuing practices like this we are implicitly tolerating discrimination and hurting families in which women are often the health care decision makers in households around the state.”

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Women’s Caucus Calls for Focus on Policies to Support Women & Families

The Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus today held a press conference to discuss several pieces of legislation focused on advancing rights and opportunities in all aspects of women’s lives.

“Women are a majority of the population and can make a difference when we unite behind legislation that will improve lives of women and families,” said State Representative Nancy Garland (D-New Albany), Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “Women’s History Month is a great time to refocus our attention on common-sense policies designed to support, benefit and encourage the advancement of women here in Ohio.”

Several bills recently introduced by members of the Women’s Caucus help ensure all women have access to quality healthcare, including HB 419, the CARE Act; HB 281, the Prevention First Act; and HB 412, to establish health insurance exchanges in Ohio. All three bills were introduced by State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood).

“We must continue to support Ohio women’s right to access basic healthcare and accurate information regarding their healthcare decisions,” Rep. Antonio said. “These rights should not be legislated away nor used as a political football. Women’s lives hang in the balance.”

Members of Women’s Caucus have also introduced legislation to protect Ohio women and families from violations of their right to safety and security. HB 262, sponsored by State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), aims to stop human sex trafficking in Ohio and to protect young women and girls from being forced into sexual slavery.

“Human trafficking victims are more likely to have HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and are more likely to suffer from mental illness,” Rep. Fedor said. “And the average trafficking victim wants to leave prostitution but can’t.”

A woman’s right to security also extends to security in her own home. State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) is cosponsoring HB 103, a bill to protect victims of domestic violence by keeping their home addresses confidential. Additionally, State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) is cosponsoring HB 105, legislation to protect and support domestic violence victims by guaranteeing their rights to safety at home and at work.

“Survivors of domestic violence deserve to live safe from their abusers. I truly hope Ohio can join 37 other states by enacting this important Address Confidentiality Program legislation,” said Rep. Clyde.

“Victims’ advocates have said that stability in housing and employment are the largest hurdles in keeping their lives together, staying safe and protecting their children,” said Rep. Driehaus. “We need to empower victims so they know it’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to ask for time off, it’s okay to ask for new locks, and it’s okay to leave when their safety or their children’s safety are at risk.”

In addition to discussing the many pieces of women-focused legislation, the members of the Women’s Caucus reinforced their commitment to creating good-paying, long-term jobs for Ohio’s women through job creation measures such as the Local Government Jobs Fund and the Small Business Working Capital Loan Program.

Women’s Caucus Chair Applauds Defeat of Blunt Amendment, Calls for an End to Extreme Attacks on Women’s Rights in Ohio

State Rep. Nancy Garland (D- New Albany), Chair of the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus, released the following statement on yesterday’s defeat of the federal Blunt Amendment:

“I applaud the United States Senate for rejecting the ‘Blunt Amendment,’ which would have severely limited a women’s access to preventative healthcare and contraception. It is unfortunate, however, that Ohio House Republicans voted unanimously to urge passage of this very same measure just a few weeks ago.

“In passing HCR 35, House Republicans asserted their belief that employers should be allowed to deny women access to preventative healthcare and contraception for any proclaimed moral or religious reason.  That same day, House Bill 284 was voted out of committee with a provision that would change current law to prohibit physician assistants from inserting our removing IUDs, further limiting women’s access to contraception.

“These attacks on women must stop.  They only serve to move our nation backwards and undermine the great progress we have made on equal rights. The U.S. Senate made the right decision in shielding women’s rights from further attacks. It is time for Ohio to do the same.”

Reps. Stinziano and Garland Tour Universal Design Living Laboratory

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Rep. Stinziano and Rep. Garland with Rosemarie Rossetti at the Universal Design Living Laboratory.

State Representatives Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) and Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) recently toured the Universal Design Living Laboratory to see first-hand the types of home improvements that could be made if House Bill 332 is implemented. As drafted, the bill would provide state tax credits for building, purchasing or remodeling homes and incorporating accessibility and universal design features.

“I am grateful I had the chance to tour Rosemarie and Mark’s home with Rep. Garland,” said Rep. Stinziano, who is sponsoring the bill with Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City). “To see firsthand the positive impact visitability features have when incorporated into a home reaffirms my strong belief in the need for this legislation. HB 332 is a step in the right direction to ensure accessible housing is available now and in future years. I call on my colleagues to pass this important legislation.”

Construction began on the Universal Design Living Laboratory, a 3,500 square foot ranch-style home on Clark State Road in Jefferson Township, in September 2009. Universal design is a framework for the design of living and working spaces and products benefiting the widest possible range of people, regardless of size, age or ability level. It provides for accessibility by removing barriers such as steps and integrating features like wider doors and hallways to allow people who use wheelchairs equal access to the house and the rooms within it.
 
“Not only is the Universal Design Living Laboratory a beautiful home but it is also a testament of what can be done to ensure a home truly meets the needs of its residents,” said Rep. Garland, a co-sponsor of the legislation. “HB 332 will help make it more affordable for all types of families to make their houses a home.”

The homeowners, Rosemarie Rossetti, a wheelchair user, and her husband, Mark Leder, open their home to builders and the public to show how universal design and green building can be included in new homes and remodeling projects.
 
House Bill 332 is pending in the House Ways & Means Committee.

Reps. Antonio & Garland Introduce Sexual Assault Legislation

State Representatives Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) along with Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) today introduced legislation to ensure sexual assault survivors are provided with medically and factually accurate, unbiased information from hospitals.

“Make no mistake, this is not a democratic or republican issue, nor is this an issue of ideology,” said Rep. Antonio. “This is an issue of fairness, compassion and the right of survivors of sexual assault to have full access to emergency care and treatment—something that should resonate with all Ohioans.”

The Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act requires all hospital emergency rooms to provide survivors of sexual assault with treatment that can prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, if the survivor wishes to use them. The bill would place the responsibility on the hospital to have policies in place to ensure access for survivors with the medical treatment they need by requiring immediate safe, effective methods of pregnancy and disease prevention following an assault.

“Comprehensive and compassionate care helps women in crisis move from victim to survivor,” said Rep Garland. “The C.A.R.E. Act is a common-sense approach. It will help ensure sexual assault victims are given accurate, unbiased information in a timely manner when they visit the hospital, allowing them to make informed choices about their lives.

The House Bill will go to the Rules and Reference for a committee assignment. Senator Turner introduced companion legislation, which is Senate Bill 283.


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