We have passed legislation so far in the 129th General Assembly on a wide range of topics, including job creation to abortion to military voting. I am proud of the work that has been done and the progress that Ohio has already made.
There are a couple of bills I sponsored, however, that I am especially proud of because they deal with issues that are very close to my heart. House Bill 62 passed through the House in early June with vast bipartisan support. The bill essentially increases the penalty for purposely harming health care professionals from assault to a fourth degree felony. Health care workers and people associated with that line of work perform an essential service to our safety and well-being. Therefore, I believe it is important to do what we can to protect them while on the job, and I think HB 62 goes a long way toward ensuring this protection.
Additionally, I am working to pass House Bill 244, which grants greater protection to firefighters and emergency medical technicians. It is important that our public safety workers be healthy so they can perform their job to the best of their abilities. HB 244 allows the paramedics within medical service organizations to administer flu vaccines to public safety workers. To ensure that the immunizations are administered properly and consistently, each organization will be required to establish written procedures and training that the paramedics must follow.
While I firmly believe that each of these bills are incredibly important, I have received no greater satisfaction than when I am able to see directly the positive impact on a constituent. Earlier this year, my office received information about a paralyzed Westerville man who was in need of a wheelchair.
In June 2009, Barry Crider applied for a motorized wheelchair, but because of a common error his application was denied. A month later, he was denied the ability to have the chair, a decision which Mr. Crider had 90 days to appeal. However, he never received the letter in the mail that would have notified him of that information.
Then in August 2009, Mr. Crider learned that a chair would no longer be allowed under his current medical benefits. An entire year and a couple of denials later, Mr. Crider still had not received his chair.
After my office heard of this situation, I worked with Mr. Crider to solve the problem. After three months, we finally resolved the issue and a chair was granted to him. This situation showed me first-hand that the actions legislators make are not regulated solely to the House floor, but that we all have a responsibility to do whatever we can to help the individuals we represent.
No piece of legislation can equal the satisfaction that I felt while helping a constituent in need. The 19th House District is so special because of the people who live within it. I wish everyone within the district a joyous holiday season, and I look forward to seeing or hearing from you again soon.