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Reineke votes against bill passed by Ohio House supporting mental healthcare for first responders

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State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin)

COLUMBUS — First responders and their families wiped tears from their eyes Wednesday as the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation that would provide access to mental healthcare services to first responders across the state.

House Bill 308, sponsored by State Rep. Thomas Patton (R-Strongsville), would provide workers compensation benefits for first responders diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder even if there is no accompanying physical injury.

The bill passed the Ohio House on Wednesday with a vote of 74-22, with State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) voting against the legislation.

Reineke currently represents the 88th Ohio House district, which includes all of Sandusky County and the majority of Seneca County.

“Failure to treat PTSD often leads to death or suicide and creates on-the-job issues, such as avoidance and hypersensitivity,” Michael Weinman, director of governmental affairs for the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, said during a House Insurance Committee hearing. “Once identified, PTSD can be treated effectively, allowing first responders to continue their careers serving our great state.”

Reineke, who is serving his third term as state representative, is running for the Republican nomination for the 26th Ohio Senate district seat. He will appear on the March ballot along with his conservative challenger, small business owner Melissa Ackison (R-Marysville).

The legislation now goes to the Senate where it will be considered.

Attempts to reach Reineke for comment were unsuccessful.

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