Morning Read – June 11

Morning Read

SECURITY COSTS SOUGHT – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bob Casey (D-PA) this week urged the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies to include $100 million in funding for security costs associated with the 2015 Democratic and Republican National Conventions being hosted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio.

“Philadelphia and Cleveland are honored to have been selected as the hosts of the 2016 presidential nomination conventions. The presidential nomination conventions are large-scale, complex, and high-profile events that can pose significant security challenges. Local law enforcement plays a critical role in planning and preparing for the security of the conventions and also carries out the majority of security operations at the event itself,” said the Senators.

National Conventions are considered “National Special Security Events,” for which security is coordinated by the U.S. Secret Service. However, the Secret Service has no authority to provide supplemental funding to state and local law enforcement for security operations – which is why Congress must appropriate the funding as they have done for every convention since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The $100 million – which is similar to amounts provided for past conventions – would be appropriated under the Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program and would be divided equally between the two cities. This would ensure that state and local law enforcement have the manpower and equipment needed to keep the conventions safe.

MUSIC AND MEMORY TAKES HOLD – Nearly 300 Ohio nursing homes have signed up for the Music & MemorySM Nursing Home Quality Improvement Project to bring the power of music to their residents and staff. Music & MemorySM is an innovative approach to dementia care that uses personalized playlists on digital music players to help residents reconnect with cherished memories and the world around them.

“Ohio is committed to ensuring the highest quality of life and care for our neighbors who reside in the state’s 967 nursing homes,” said Bonnie K. Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Music & MemorySM is about building relationships, which leads to the most responsive care and caring possible, improving our elders’ well-being.”

Music & MemorySM trains nursing home staff to create and provide personalized playlists on digital music players, such as iPods, that enable those living with dementia to reconnect to the world through memories triggered by the music that has meaning to them. Using music in daily care builds lasting, caring relationships, results in reduced use of medications and improves the care experience for all involved.

The program is an example of the types of high-quality, person-centered care the state has been promoting in nursing homes and other settings over the past four years. Since July 2013, Ohio nursing homes have been required to participate in at least one quality improvement project every two years to qualify for licensing under Ohio law. The Music & MemorySM project is one of several current projects approved by the Ohio Department of Aging.

Nursing homes participating in the project may request assistance from the Ohio Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to cover the costs of certification, start-up equipment or both. To date, 248 homes have requested this assistance, funded through civil money penalty funds collected from nursing homes with certain deficiencies. Federal law requires the funds be used to improve the quality of nursing home care and for protection of residents. At least 1,500 nursing home residents statewide will benefit from the funding, and certified homes will be given tools to help them expand their programs further through local contributions. No funds are paid directly to nursing homes.

An additional 50 homes either paid for the certification themselves or took advantage of certification assistance from the Ohio Health Care Association, which offered certification assistance to 100 of its member nursing homes and residential care facilities.

“We are extremely happy to see so many of Ohio’s nursing homes embrace this unique opportunity to provide real person-centered care to their residents,” added Beverley Laubert, the State Long-term Care Ombudsman. “We believe Music & MemorySM can make a difference at every home that implements it, but it will be most beneficial for nursing homes with many residents who take antipsychotic medications, have depressive symptoms or who experience moderate to severe pain.”

To learn more about Music & MemorySM, visit

HUSTED ASKS FOR LAWSUIT TO BE DROPPED – In response to the ongoing attacks on Ohioans’ voting rights by attorneys for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted reminded all voters that Ohio remains one of the easiest states in the nation in which to cast a ballot.

“We have made it very easy to vote in Ohio,” Secretary Husted said. “Anyone who does not participate in an election does so by choice, not because of lack of access to the ballot.”

During a recent speech in Texas, Mrs. Clinton called for a series of voting standards she believes should be implemented nationwide, which included three weeks of early voting with 20 days of early, in-person voting.

“Any candidate for president who chooses a path that is light on ideas and specifics, but heavy on litigation and politics, is simply telling voters that they will ignore reason in an effort to create chaos,” Secretary Husted said. “Since Ohio is already doing better than the recommended standards she has called for, it’s time for Mrs. Clinton to call on her attorneys to drop their frivolous lawsuit that wastes the money of the Ohio taxpayers she is courting.”