Chapter 4744: SPEECH AND HEARING PROFESSIONALS BOARD

4744.02 Creation.

(A) There is hereby created the state speech and hearing professionals board consisting of the following members, appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate:

(1) Two individuals licensed as speech-language pathologists under Chapter 4753. of the Revised Code;

(2) Three individuals licensed as audiologists under Chapter 4753. of the Revised Code;

(3) Two individuals licensed as hearing aid fitters under Chapter 4747. of the Revised Code;

(4) Two individuals representing the general public.

(B) Not later than ninety days after the effective date of this section, the governor shall make initial appointments to the board. Of the initial appointments, four members shall serve terms ending March 22, 2019, three members shall serve terms ending March 22, 2020, and two members shall serve terms ending March 22, 2021.

Thereafter, terms of office are three years, with each term commencing on the twenty-third day of March and ending on the twenty-second day of March. Each member shall hold office from the date of appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed, except that a member shall continue in office after the expiration date of the member's term until the member's successor takes office. No member shall serve more than three consecutive terms.

Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of that term.

(C) No individual may be appointed to the board who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States.

The governor may remove a member of the board for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance after a hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. The governor shall remove, after a hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, any member who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.07 Vacancies; appointments.

When the term of a member of the state speech and hearing professionals board expires or a vacancy occurs on the board, a professional association representing the interests of the occupation of the board position to be filled may recommend to the governor individuals to fill the position. The governor shall consider the recommendation in making appointments to the board.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.10 References to board and executive director.

Whenever the term "hearing aid dealers and fitters licensing board" or "board of speech-language pathology and audiology" is used in any statute, rule, contract, or other document, the use shall be construed to mean the "state speech and hearing professionals board."

Whenever "secretary of the hearing aid dealers and fitters licensing board" or "executive director of the board of speech-language pathology and audiology" is used in a statute, rule, contract, or other document, the use shall be construed to mean the executive director of the state speech and hearing professionals board.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.12 Officers; duties of board.

(A) The state speech and hearing professionals board shall annually elect from among its members a president and secretary. The board shall hold at least four regular meetings each year and may hold additional meetings as it considers necessary. At least one of the board's regular meetings shall be held in Franklin county. The board shall publish the time and place of any meetings at least thirty days before the date on which the meeting is to be held, except that in the case of an emergency or special meeting, the board shall give twenty-four-hours' notice or as much notice as possible.

A majority of board members constitutes a quorum.

(B) The board shall do all of the following:

(1) Adopt a seal and certificate of suitable design;

(2) Maintain a record of its proceedings;

(3) Maintain a register of every individual holding a certificate, license, or permit issued under Chapters 4747. and 4753. of the Revised Code and every individual whose certificate, license, or permit has been revoked under those chapters.

(C) Except as otherwise provided in the Revised Code, the books and records of the board, including its registers, shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times. A copy of an entry in those books and records, certified by the executive director under the board's seal, is prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.14 Executive diretor.

The state speech and hearing professionals board shall hire an executive director. Before discharging the executive director's duties, each executive director shall give a bond, to be approved by the board, in the amount of two thousand dollars to ensure the faithful performance of the executive director's duties. The board shall pay the premium of the bond in the same manner as it pays other expenditures of the board. The bond shall be deposited with the secretary of state and kept in the secretary of state's office.

The executive director of the board, in consultation with the director of administrative services, may employ inspectors, investigators, assistants, and other employees as necessary to administer and enforce Chapters 4747. and 4753. of the Revised Code.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.16 Compensation.

Each member of the state speech and hearing professionals board shall receive an amount fixed under division (J) of section 124.15 of the Revised Code for each day the member is performing their official duties and be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing such duties.

The board, in consultation with the director of administrative services, shall set the compensation of its executive director and of any employees of the board. The executive director of the board shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses in accordance with section 126.31 of the Revised Code.

All vouchers of the board shall be approved by the board's president or executive director, or both, as authorized by the board.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.18 Office.

The state speech and hearing professionals board shall have an office in Franklin county, where all of the board's permanent records shall be kept. On request of the board, the director of administrative services shall supply the board with office space and supplies. The board's president and executive director shall submit an order to the director of administrative services for all printing and binding necessary for the board's work.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.20 Payment of expenses.

All expenses of the state speech and hearing professionals board shall be paid from, and all receipts of the board shall be deposited in, the state treasury to the credit of the occupational licensing and regulatory fund created in section 4743.05 of the Revised Code.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.24 Reports.

The state speech and hearing professionals board shall annually, on or before the first day of February, submit a report to the governor of all its official acts during the preceding year, its receipts and disbursements, and a complete report of the conditions of the professions regulated by the board. The board shall submit its first report to the governor not later than February 1, 2019. The board shall submit the reports to the governor electronically.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.28 Rules.

The state speech and hearing professionals board may adopt rules as necessary for the transaction of its business.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.30 Liability.

In the absence of fraud or bad faith, the state speech and hearing professionals board, current or former board members, agents of the board, persons formally requested by the board to be the board's representative, or employees of the board shall not be held liable in damages to any person as the result of any act, omission, proceeding, conduct, or decision related to official duties undertaken or performed pursuant to Chapters 4747. and 4753. of the Revised Code.

If such a person asks to be defended by the state against any claim or action arising out of any act, omission, proceeding, conduct, or decision related to the person's official duties, and if the request is made in writing at a reasonable time before trial and the person requesting defense cooperates in good faith in the defense of the claim or action, the state shall provide and pay for the person's defense and shall pay any resulting judgment, compromise, or settlement. At no time shall the state pay any part of a claim or judgment that is for punitive or exemplary damages.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.36 Committees.

The state speech and hearing professionals board may appoint committees or other groups to assist in fulfilling its duties. A committee or group may consist of board members, other individuals with appropriate backgrounds, or both board members and other individuals with appropriate backgrounds. Any appointed committee or group shall act under the board's direction and shall perform its functions within the limits established by the board.

Except as otherwise provided in the Revised Code, a committee or group organized under this section is advisory in nature and may not act independently of the board or act on the board's behalf.

Members of a committee or group may be reimbursed by the board for any expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, in accordance with section 126.31 of the Revised Code and with approval from the director of administrative services.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.40 Authority to contract.

The state speech and hearing professionals board may enter into contracts with any person or government entity to implement this chapter and Chapters 4747. and 4753. of the Revised Code, the rules adopted under those chapters, any other applicable statutes or rules, and any applicable federal statutes or regulations.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.48 Membership in national organization.

The state speech and hearing professionals board may become a member of a national licensing organization for the professions regulated by the board. The board may participate in any of the organization's activities, including reporting actions the board takes against an applicant or license holder to any data bank established by the organization.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.50 Code of eithics.

The state speech and hearing professionals board shall establish a code of ethical practice for individuals licensed, certified, or registered by the board in accordance with rules adopted under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. In establishing the codes of ethical practice, the board shall define unprofessional conduct in the rules, which shall include engaging in a dual relationship with a client or former client, committing an act of sexual abuse, misconduct, or exploitation of a client or former client, and, except as permitted by law, violating client confidentiality.

The codes of ethical practice may be based on any codes of ethical practice developed by national organizations representing the interests of those professions regulated by the board. The board may establish standards in its codes of ethical practice that are more stringent than those established by national organizations.

The board may take disciplinary action against an applicant or license holder for violating any code of ethical practice established under this section.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.

4744.54 Discrimination prohibited.

The state speech and hearing professionals board or any committees established by the board shall not discriminate against an applicant or license holder because of the person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability as defined in section 4112.01 of the Revised Code, or age. A person who files with the board or committee a statement alleging discrimination based on any of those reasons may request a hearing with the board or committee, as appropriate.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §130.11, eff. 9/29/2017.