Today, members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statements after the Senate voted to override Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of Senate Bill 22, legislation that puts Ohioans’ lives at risk by preventing future administrations from being able to swiftly respond to deadly pandemics and other public health crises:
“I was very glad that the governor decided to veto Senate Bill 22 and I am quite disappointed that my Republican colleagues voted to override it. It’s an extremely dangerous bill that will put Ohioans’ lives at risk during future public health crises,” said Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights).
“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-Lakewood).
“This bill makes Ohioans less safe and weakens our ability to effectively respond to the next health crisis. Elected officials should protect Ohioans’ health from possible threats. This legislation puts lives in danger instead,” said Minority Whip Senator Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester).
“Ohio surpassed one million Covid-19 cases this week, but I truly believe that without the swift interventions of Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health, we would have reached this devasting mark earlier. Ohioans are dying and our businesses are struggling. It wasn’t the health orders that hurt businesses – it was the pandemic. The legislature should focus on helping workers and families as well as supporting local businesses and communities across Ohio and not take away the authority of the governor and health director to make decisions to protect human lives during a pandemic,” said Assistant Minority Whip Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus).
“Once again, the Majority’s actions show just how out of touch they are. Imagine if we saw this much determination and tenacity from the General Assembly to pass legislation that actually helps people. We should prioritize bills that support Ohio’s families, businesses and schools as they recover from the pandemic, not these continual power grabs,” said Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo).
“We commend Governor DeWine’s leadership and strongly applaud and support his action to veto Senate Bill 22. My colleagues in the majority are overlooking the ramifications of suppressing the executive branch’s ability to respond to future health crises. S. B. 22 will have a dangerous and long-lasting impact on Ohioans,” said Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron).
“The governor gave many reasons for vetoing Senate Bill 22, including protecting Ohioans during public health emergencies. That’s why I voted against overriding his veto. We cannot play politics when Ohioans’ lives are at stake,” said Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Avondale).