Ohio House Speaker Supports Plan To Limit Health Orders

Feb 23, 2021

The Ohio House is looking over a bill passed by the Senate that would limit Gov. Mike DeWine’s power to issue public health orders by allowing lawmakers to take a bigger role.

The bill, SB22, would limit states of emergency to 90 days, and allow the House and Senate to vote to rescind states of emergency after 30 days and health orders after 11 days. DeWine said he may veto the legislation, calling it ill-timed and likely unconstitutional.

Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) said he likes the idea.

“Ohio is one of the very few states that does not have some legislative oversight in emergency orders of this of this type, and I think it's essential that Ohio joins the rest of the country in having some reasonable legislative oversight," Cuop said.

But Cupps said he’d like to find out what those other states do with those orders and that’s worked.

DeWine said the Senate's changes have improved the original bill, which created a panel of lawmakers to review and potentially rescind orders. However, DeWine said he doesn’t want to take away power from a future governor.

The bill passed the Senate along party lines on February 17.

What lingering questions do you have about COVID-19 and Ohio's response? Tell us below, and WOSU may report the answer for a future story.