An Ohio state representative introduced a bill on Wednesday to repeal previous legislation that allows the state legislature to establish oversight over a governor’s executive orders during a health emergency.
Ohio state Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-5-Akron) announced that she had introduced House Bill 269, aimed at overturning Senate Bill 22.
SB 22 was passed in March after originally being vetoed by Gov. Mike DeWine. The law, set to take effect later this year, establishes an advisory committee overseeing actions taken by the governor and state health department during a health emergency, giving the committee power to override executive orders made by either the governor or the Ohio Department of Health.
Galonski’s bill would repeal that law.
“SB 22 was an error. The legislature made an attempt at curtailing the authority of the governor and local officials to make good decisions for our health in the middle of a global pandemic,” Galonski said in a statement. “The repeal of SB 22 will help put Ohio back on the correct track by making the health and safety of all Ohioans our highest priority.”
The bill has 19 co-sponsors, all Democrats.
Democrats strongly opposed the original Senate bill.
“My concern lies with the safety, health and wellbeing of the people of Ohio – during an emergency, decisions need to be made quickly and leadership needs to be able to make the tough calls. We do not need deliberation by committee during a crisis. Ohio lives are at risk if we do not let health departments and the governor’s office exercise leadership,” said Assistant Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-23-Lakewood) in a statement after the bill was originally vetoed.
Sen. Terry Johnson (R-13-McDermott), the original sponsor of the Senate bill, has not yet publicly responded to the introduction of the House bill.
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