Within the past few weeks, State Rep. Gary Click (R-Fremont), who represents all of Sandusky County and much of Seneca County, including Tiffin, introduced two new bills in the Ohio legislature. One of the bills addresses public assistance benefits cliffs, and the other addresses potential privacy of vaccination statuses.
The Actionable Help and New Dignity for Upward Progression (A HAND UP) Act was introduced in late August by Click and Democrat State Rep. Dontavius Jarrells. The bill’s primary goal is to assist people on public assistance programs in integrating into the workforce - meaning, it aims to reduce the number of people receiving public assistance.
“We want to give people the dignity of work and reward upward career progression rather than punish it,” Click said. “To improve our workforce, it’s vital we turn consumers into contributors.”
The five main provisions in the bill are essentially the same, just worded differently - from “eliminating barriers individuals face in transitioning to work” to “transitioning public assistance recipients from consumers of state resources into contributors to Ohio’s economy.”
The full text of the bill is not yet available online, as the legislation is still awaiting its official introduction, and no specifics on how the process would work were included in the press release about the act.
Click’s second new act was introduced this week with Republican Rep. Diane Grendell as the Individual Privacy and Anti-Discrimination Act, and would stop people from needing to disclose their vaccination status to travel, participate in work or school functions and other activities.
In April, a nearly identical bill to Click’s was introduced by Republican Rep. Jennifer Gross, and has been sitting in the house health committee ever since. Click and another local representative, Republican Riordan McClain, co-sponsored that bill. Gross also opposed Ohio State University’s decision to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, and introduced legislation to end mask mandates in schools that aimed to protect children.