It was Tuesday, December 22, the day many in favor of a veto override on Senate Bill 311 (SB311) believed to be the last day for the Ohio Senate to consider and vote on the bill that would restore power to the legislature and check the authority of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and its director to quarantine and isolate healthy people.
A group assembled atop the steps leading into the Senate Chamber. Senate President Larry Obhof (R-22) stepped into the space between doors just outside the entrance to the Senate Chamber and was peppered with shouts. “Get 311 on the floor!” “Hold the override vote Obhof!”
The Senate President looked at the citizens and repeated the talking point Ohioans had heard from the Senate for over a week – “the House doesn’t have the votes.”
In an effort that Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof said was four years in the making, the Ohio Senate voted Thursday to trim government regulations to help businesses across the state.
The Senate voted to agree with House changes to Senate Bill 1, legislation that Obhof, R-Medina, said has been worked on by himself, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and state Sens. Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, and Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, for years.
Senate Bill 311 (SB311), a bill to limit the Director of Health order-issuing authority, will be vetoed by Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine. The Governor has 10 days with which to exercise that right – speculation is he will take all 10.
However, SB311 is not dead.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, affiliated with the Republican party, has made no bones about the fact that masks, distancing, testing and tracing (a mantra driven deeply into the minds of Ohioans over the past eight months) will be the norm until there is a vaccine – with a significant uptake.
On Tuesday The Ohio Star asked the governor if it was his position to mandate vaccines and immunity certificates in order for buckeyes to return to normal life. The Star also asked if he intended to use backdoor mandates to force compliance with his wish for Ohioans to vaccinate.