Just as soon as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine had vetoed a bill that would have crippled his and other medical leaders’ response to any type of health crisis, several of the super majorities from the state’s Republican Party decided to give him one giant middle finger.
Senate Bill 22 was offically able to override a veto from Gov. DeWine thanks to votes from members of the Ohio legislature, all from the GOP, and will be put into effect sometime this year.
In a vote from both the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate that was, not surprisingly, along party lines, with a 23-10 vote from the Senate and a 62-35 vote from the House.
Very few Republicans, if any, joined the Democrats in voting no from both parts of the legislature. Two Republicans voted no in the Senate and only one voted no in the House.
Members of the state’s GOP were not at all pleased with the response to the pandemic as they felt it was “too heavy-handed and not adequately involving the legislature in pandemic decision-making.”
In case you are wondering about what SB 22, here is the quick information below what it can do regarding government response.
From WEWS News 5 Cleveland:
SB 22 includes a number of provisions targeting the authority of the governor, Ohio Department of Health and local health departments to respond to a public health crisis:
- Through passing a concurrent resolution, the legislature can rescind public health orders; state of emergency declarations; and any other executive branch order/rule issued in response to an emergency declaration.
- These orders/declarations can be rescinded as early as the same day they are issued.
- The executive branch cannot reissue a rescinded order for at least 60 days
- Limits state of emergency declaration to 30 days, requiring legislature approval to extend it.
- Limits local boards of health from issuing widespread quarantine orders or any other orders that generally impact schools and businesses.
- Local boards of health can only issue a quarantine/isolation order to individuals who have been diagnosed with a disease or have come in contact with someone who has.
State Sens. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, and Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, are the main sponsors of Senate Bill 22 and both spoke in favor of the override votes on Wednesday.
Democratic lawmakers opposed the bill by mentioning how “decision-making power should rest in the hands of health experts.”
Gov. DeWine and medical officials said the bill would severely limit from reacting to “quickly to a fast-developing crisis such as a pandemic.”
Ohio Department of Health chief medical officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff spoke at a hearing last month saying that “emergency response must be nimble and public health officials must have the ability to react to rapidly changing conditions as they happen.”
Other city and county health departments and officials were also against SB 22.
Gov. DeWine is hoping by then that all of the health orders will have disappeared by the time SB 22 arrives as COVID-19 cases continue to go down and vaccines have become available “for the entire adult population.”
Of course, that also depends of how responsible, or irresponsible, state residents and visitors are will following the orders as of right now and the rest of Spring through beginning of Summer.
If those health orders have not gone away when the bill goes into effect, then “lawmakers would have a chance to rescind existing health orders” if they decide to. As it seems with the way the bill got past the veto, it seems some of those in the legislature are anxious to make those go away as soon as possible, whether the pandemic is under control or not.
SB 22 is slated to go into effect in late June of this year, unless any new developments happen between now and the bill being put into use.
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Article Courtesy of WEWS News 5 Cleveland
First Picture Courtesy of NurPhoto and Getty Images
Second Picture Courtesy of Douglas Sacha and Getty Images