© 2022 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Bill To Fund PEP Connections Awaits Governor Kasich's Signature

photo of Gov. John Kasich

A bill is now before Gov. John Kasich that would continue $2.5 million in funding for a 40-year-old program providing wraparound services for at-risk kids with severe behavioral needs in Cuyahoga County.

The program’s operator had said it was concerned that services would have to stop because of a dispute over who should pay for them.

The Kasich administration informed PEP Connections that when it was moved into Medicaid managed care July 1, it would no longer get state funding through Cuyahoga County. That funding paid for services not covered by Medicaid, and it was unclear how or if those services would continue.

So lawmakers added a year’s worth of funding for PEP Connections to a bill dealing with organ transplants for people with disabilities. Greg Moody with the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation says the goal now is to expand the program statewide.

“We were glad to see that the legislature all also values this program. What they've proposed is some bridge funding to help that program through a transition.”

PEP Connections says in the meantime, it will take the cash flow risk and keep paying for services, trusting that the bill will be signed and reimbursements will come.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.