Ohio legislators override DeWine’s veto of bill that would limit health orders

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — The Ohio General Assembly voted Wednesday to override Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that could restrict a governor’s ability to issue health orders.

Both the Senate and the House voted to override the veto minutes apart from each other, in a showdown among different factions of Republicans.

DeWine had argued that his health orders during the pandemic were necessary and that the bill would hinder a future governor facing a different public emergency. Those in the Assembly said the pandemic has exposed a disparity in the state’s system of checks and balances.

The bill will go into effect in June. It will give the General Assembly the power to rescind orders issued by the governor or Department of Health. It will also limit a public health emergency order to 30 days unless the legislature votes to extend it.

“Senate Bill 22 jeopardizes the safety of every Ohioan,” DeWine said in a statement announcing the veto. “It goes well beyond the issues that have occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. SB 22 strikes at the heart of local health departments’ ability to move quickly to protect the public from the most serious emergencies Ohio could face.”

Multiple local health departments reached out to the Assembly expressing support of the veto. They documented how the bill would slow down or block local officials from ordering businesses to close or requiring residents to quarantine or isolate without a medical diagnosis.

The override is the first of DeWine’s term since taking office in 2019. He had vetoed a similar bill in December. That veto failed to garner enough votes in the Assembly to be overturned.

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