Humanists Respond To Proposed Laws

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie has sub­mit­ted writ­ten tes­ti­mo­ny to the Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee con­cern­ing two bills before the com­mit­tee. One would allow the leg­is­la­ture to over­ride exec­u­tive orders issued by the Governor and the sec­ond would add more reg­u­la­tions to peo­ple need­ing pub­lic assis­tance. SHoWLE oppos­es both bills.

Senate Bill 17

Makes sev­er­al changes to the SNAP (aka Food Stamps) and Medicaid pro­grams. It pro­hibits the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services from adapt­ing SNAP eli­gi­bil­i­ty rules for sit­u­a­tions like hav­ing a pan­dem­ic. It also changes SNAP to a report­ing sys­tem where the per­son get­ting the benifit would have to report ANY change in their income. For exam­ple, most peo­ple on SNAP work. They would have to report any extra shifts they pick up even if the income over­all would­n’t put them over a thresh­old.

Another bad change is requir­ing able body peo­ple on Medicaid to work at least 20 hours a week. A good num­ber of peo­ple on Medicaid work so this change would hurt those, while not dis­abled, still should­n’t be work­ing. There is also a ques­tion about if a work require­ment is allowed since the Biden Administration just recent­ly rescind­ed all waivers for the require­ment.

Click HERE if the embe­d­ed let­ter can’t be seen above

Senate Bill 22

This bill would allow the General Assembly to rescind any exec­u­tive order made by the Governor or any emer­gency order by any state agency such as pub­lic health orders deal­ing with a pan­dem­ic that come from the Ohio Department of Health.

Even if there was­n’t a con­sti­tu­tion­al ques­tion about this pro­posed law, SHoWLE believes that allow­ing the leg­is­la­ture to ignore sci­ence and med­ical experts to end pub­lic health orders is a dan­ger to all Ohioans. The leg­is­la­ture has under­mined the response to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic that has killed at least 12,000 peo­ple in the state and almost half a mil­lion in the US. It is sim­ply wrong to politi­cize the lives and safe­ty of the cit­i­zens of Ohio.

SHoWLE believes Ohio would be in a much bet­ter posi­tion had the state con­tin­ued to do the right thing in address­ing the pan­dem­ic rather than giv­ing in to the self­ish and sci­ence deny­ing mem­bers of the leg­is­la­ture. SB 22 will make things much worse now and in the future.

Click HERE if the embe­d­ed let­ter can’t be seen above

SHoWLE will con­tin­ue to keep track of and respond to pub­lic laws and poli­cies that are of inter­est to the group or fits our mis­sion state­ment and pur­pose. Laws and poli­cies that not only effect church and state issues but also social jus­tice issues will be respond­ed to as well.

If you feel as we do about these two bills, we ask that you con­tact your state Senator and let them know how you feel about SB 17 and SB 22.

*Update* SB 22 passed the com­mit­tee and the Senate on 2/17. The bill now moves on to the House.

House Bill 90

A com­pan­ion to SB 22 was intro­duced in the Ohio House and is now in the State and Local Government Committee.

Here is the let­ter I sent to the com­mit­tee oppos­ing HB 90:

Click HERE if the embe­d­ed let­ter can’t be seen above