FILE - Doctor physician

(The Center Square) – The Ohio Senate took another step toward reducing regulations surrounding medical licenses when it agreed to allow the state to join 29 others in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

The move follows similar compacts the Senate passed this session for physical therapy, nursing and occupational therapy.

Senate Bill 6, if passed by the House and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, provides an expedited path for licensure for qualified physicians who want to practice in multiple states and provides incentive for professionals to come to Ohio, said bill sponsor Rep. Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson.

“Ohio joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is a strong incentive for qualified professionals to come to the Buckeye State,” Roegner said. “This streamlined process will ensure that physicians do not face undue burden in new licensing when moving here, but also ensures quality care for the patients they serve.”

Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are part of the compact, while Ohio and four other states have legislation pending to join.

The bill has been introduced in the House.

Judicial elections: Candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court and the courts of appeals are a step closer to being required to list party affiliation on the general election ballot after the Ohio Senate passed a bill proponents said increases transparency in judicial elections.

Party affiliation currently is required on primary ballots but not in the general election. Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, also believes Senate Bill 80 will lead to more voter participation in judicial elections.

Nearly a million more Ohioans voted for governor and other statewide offices in the 2018 election than for Supreme Court justices.

“Voters deserve to get the full picture of candidates running for the Ohio Supreme Court and each of Ohio’s 11 courts of appeals before voting,” Gavarone said. “Senate Bill 80 will give voters more information and result in significantly higher voter participation levels down ballot.”

The bill has been introduced in the House.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.