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Intelligence Reform Bill

Ohio Patriot Plan - Update 5

This is a request from LtCol (ret.) Steve Lynch who is assisting the effort in taking care of our deployed military from Ohio.  Many of you have made a difference, but now we need more help.  Here's what Steve is asking for:

This is an update on the Ohio Patriot Plan and a request for some additional help.  Back in February & March, you were kind enough to post info re the Ohio Patriot Plan (aka House Bill (HB) 426) - www.blackfive.net/main/2004/02/help_protect_ve.html.

The posts generated lots of supportive e-mails, phone calls and letters - all of which led to the legislation passing its first stage - the Ohio House of Representatives gave it a unanimous vote of support.  Now we are at Stage Two - the Ohio Senate.

I just learned that the Ohio Patriot Plan (aka HB 426) will be considered by the Ohio Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs on November 30th of this year.  If it doesn't get out of committee, it has no chance of becoming law anytime soon, if at all.  On the other hand, if it is endorsed by the committee, it has a great chance of becoming law - soon.

I am writing to see if you could get the word out (again) about the upcoming hearing, and urge posters, bloggers and readers to voice their support for the bill to the Ohio State Senators on the committee (listed below).

The bill sponsor (Rep Peter Ujvagi, 614-644-6017, POC: [email protected].us) has asked that we get as many e-mails, letters and faxes as we can to the Senator's on the committee BEFORE the hearing.  I've included committee member names, mailing addresses and e-mail addresses below.  I've also attached a petition for folks to sign and a summary of the bill.   If we can do the same thing with the Senate, that we did with the House in the spring, we have a good chance to get a law in place soon that can help thousands of military personnel from Ohio and their family members.

With this being Thanksgiving week, one great way to ay "thank you" to those from Ohio serving in uniform, is to help gain passage of the bill.

As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I am a retired AF Lt Col now living in Ohio (near Cleveland) who believes strongly in what you are doing. 

Please let me know, if you need more info from me.  Many many thanks.

Sincerely,

Steve Lynch, Lt Col, USAF (ret)
C: 216-214-4545

Members of the Ohio Senate Committee on State and Local Government and Veteran's Affairs

Sen. Dan Brady, Senate Building, Room #056, Ground Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215 614/466-5123, Senate District 23 (Cleveland) [email protected]

Chairman Kevin Coughlin, Senate Building, Room #137, First Floor, Columbus,Ohio 43215, 614/466-4823, Senate District 27 (Cuyahoga Falls)[email protected]mailr.sen.state.oh.us

Sen. Bob Gardner, Senate Building, Room #042, Ground Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215, 614/644-7718, Senate District 18 (Madison) [email protected]

Sen. Larry Mumper, Senate Building, Room #039, Ground Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215. 614/466-8049, Senate District 26 (Marion) [email protected]

Sen. Robert Schuler, Statehouse, Room #221, Second Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215, 614/466-9737, Senate District 7 (Cincinnati), [email protected]

Sen. Kimberly Zurz, Senate BuildingRoom #057, Ground Floor, Columbus, Ohio, 43215, 614/466-7041, Senate District 28 (Kent) [email protected].us

Sen. Tom Roberts, Senate Building, Room #048, Ground Floor, Columbus, Ohio, 43215 614/466-6247, Senate District 5 (Dayton), [email protected]

I'll repost the Ohio Patriot Plan in the Extended Section.  For those of you who live in Ohio, here is the petition form that you can save and print to gather signatures to help push this bill out of committee: Download Ohio Patriot Plan petition.doc

The “Patriot Plan” is a bi-partisan comprehensive package of new benefits and enhanced protections for Ohio military personnel and their families.  It was introduced with fifty-one co-sponsors and has passed the Ohio House of Representatives by a unanimous vote on Wednesday, May 26, 2004.  Sub. House Bill 426 is now in the Senate State and Local Government and Veteran’s Affairs Committee and scheduled for a hearing on November 30, 2004.

The provisions of the Plan include:

-         Termination of Vehicle Leases:  Permits military personnel to terminate without penalty a car lease if he or she is called to active duty.

-         Interest Rate Cap on Installment Loans:  Caps rates of interest on installment loans at 6 percent while the individual is on state active duty.

-         Health Insurance Benefits:  Directs the Insurance Department to protect the rights of military personnel to continue, suspend or convert health insurance benefits during periods of active duty. 

-         Life Insurance policies cannot lapse during period of active deployment or 2 years after end of insured’s active duty.

-         Educational Military Leave of Absence and Tuition Relief:  Requires colleges and universities to provide educational military leave of absence for students called to active duty. The provisions require that the institution restore the student to his/her previous educational status upon return from military service without loss of credits earned, scholarships or grants or other feed paid prior to commencement of military duty.  In addition, colleges and universities would be required to provide a tuition refund or credit to students who are forced to suspend their studies because of military leave of absence before or on the institutional date of withdrawal.  Also includes an enforcement mechanism providing an opportunity for students to file civil claims if the institution does not comply.

-         School Stability:  Children of overseas deployed parents will be permitted to remain in the same school, without disruption for the period of deployment.

-         Evictions:  Prohibits evictions of a financially dependant family member in residence with a soldier during period of active duty military service.  The service member must be listed on the lease.

-         Termination of Cellular Contracts:  A soldier deployed overseas may terminate a cellular telephone contract without penalty.

-         Utility Disconnection:  Utilities may not be disconnected from the residence of a financially dependant family member in residence with a soldier during a period of active duty military service.  The service member must be listed on the lease or provide proof of residency.

Any provisions concerning the termination of legal and binding contracts would be effective only on contracts signed after the effective date of the legislation signed by the Governor of the State of Ohio, but before the date of deployment notification.

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