Valley lawmaker questions Kasich appointment - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Valley lawmaker questions Kasich appointment

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Sen. Joe Schiavoni Sen. Joe Schiavoni
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Senate Minority Leader  Joseph Schiavoni is questioning the qualifications of  Governor John Kasich's appointee for Director of the Ohio Department of Health.

The Boardman Democrat sent a letter to the Senate President and Chairperson of the Senate Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee, to formally request hearings on the appointment of Rick Hodges.

Governor Kasich appointed Hodges to the position earlier this month in spite of what Schiavoni says is a requirement under state law that the Director of the Department of Health be a medical doctor or have significant public health experience. Schiavoni says Hodges, who previously served as the Director of the Ohio Turnpike Commission, does not meet either qualification.

Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Governor Kasich says Hodges is qualified. "To give credence to the predictable, shrill attacks from partisan activists like these is puzzling." said Nichols in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.  "The health of the people of this state deserves to be above politics and this decision has already been supported by some of the most qualified health care professionals in the state.” said Nichols.

Nichols attached a letter from the Ohio State Medical Association applauding the appointment of Hodges. The physician led organization hailed Hodges as a former state legislator with prior health care executive experience,

Schiavoni is asking that hearings be scheduled in the Medicaid Health and Human Services Committee or the appropriate committee. He also wants a vote of the committee and that the nomination then proceed to a vote on the Senate floor.
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