Disability Rights Legislation

HB 50 – Guardianship Guide and Ward’s Bill of Rights (2015-2016)

Link to Bill:
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-50
Status:
Failed
Summary:

Update — while the language the ACLU had concerns about was removed from the legislation, it is a disappointment that this document was not a more helpful guide for guardians across the state

HB 50 creates a Ward’s Bill of Rights which includes the right to mental health services, to safe and sanitary living conditions, to marry, to due process, and to drive, among others. Cut from a recent version of the Bill is the right to vote and the right to privacy. Such basic rights as the right to practice the religion of their own choice or none at all are also omitted. Importantly and contradictory to Ohio law, it instructs wards and guardians that they do not have the right to abortion care.

Primary Sponsors:
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Secondary Sponsors:
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Committee:
Community and Family Advancement (H), Finance and Appropriations (H), Rules and Reference (H)
LSC Legislation Status:
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-status?id=GA131-HB-50
Jurisdiction/Legislation Level:
State
Our take on this bill:

The ACLU of Ohio opposes HB 50 because it provides inadequate information that omits or blatantly misleads wards and guardians of the ward’s most fundamental rights. HB 50 dishonestly states that wards do not have access to abortion care, a protected right under the law. And omits other important rights such as the right to vote, to practice the religion of their choice or none at all, and the right to privacy.

In order for the guardianship system to work properly, both wards and guardians need to be equipped with the best information possible to protect their rights. State legislators should be honest about these peoples’ rights rather than allowing incomplete or wrong information to be spread because of pressure from special interests.

Bill Status:

Introduced in the House on 2/10/15
Passed House Community and Family Advancement Committee on 4/29/15
Passed House Finance Committee on 5/6/15
Re-referred and passed the House Rules and Reference Committee – Amended with guided language removed on 11/16/15
Passed the House on 12/1/15
Introduced in the Senate on 12/8/15