Governor vetoes SB 311, says limiting health director’s orders would be a disaster

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine said he has vetoed a bill Thursday morning designed to limit the ability of his state health director to issue orders.

The Governor announced his intentions last month to oppose SB 311.

DeWine included comments from health experts in his veto message, and he stated that “it is not in the best interest of protecting the health and safety of all Ohioans.”

“The legislation takes away public health’s ability to be nimble in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will limit the ability of public health officials to respond to future infectious disease outbreaks and potential acts of bioterrorism,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer of the Ohio Department of Health, stated during his House testimony.

Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) is disappointed with DeWine’s decision. And another vote can override the veto, if it’s a three-fifths vote of the members of the House and Senate.

Responding to the veto, Cupp said in an e-mail statement: “We are disappointed with the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 311.

“This is a balanced and reasonable plan that would provide appropriate legislative oversight of these health orders, and ensure Ohioans’ voices are heard and their rights protected. I will be discussing next steps with the members of our caucus.”

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