Maharath, Ohio Senate Dems Applaud DeWine's Decision to Veto S. B. 22
Today, members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus sent a letter to Governor Mike DeWine commending his decision to veto Senate Bill 22, a dangerous piece of legislation that “would put Ohioans’ lives at risk and prevent future administrations from being able to swiftly respond to deadly pandemics or other public health crises.”
“We fear that eliminating the ability of local health departments to timely respond to public health issues will have far-reaching consequences well beyond this current pandemic,” they said in the letter.
The senators challenged the constitutionality of the bill, noting that it would allow legislators to take an action with legal effect without passing a bill. They also highlighted problems that could result from changes made to the bill in the Ohio House of Representatives, which would prevent local health boards from isolating or quarantining individuals unless they were exposed or in the case of medical diagnosis.
“Such a critical change in local authority deserved thoughtful consideration, but local stakeholders were not given the opportunity to review the proposal or provide public testimony,” they said.
S. B. 22 was opposed by health experts and government officials – including the Ohio State Medical Association and several county health departments. DeWine, who received the bill yesterday, has until March 23 to veto the legislation.
The full letter can be found here