Ohio Senate Rejects House Attempt To Limit Public Health Orders

May 21, 2020

The Ohio Senate unanimously rejected an Ohio House measure that would've scaled back the power of state public health orders. Senators blasted the House amendment, saying it undermined health experts and created too many unintended consequences.

Both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate criticized the House amendment, which would have made every public health order expire after 14 days then be subject to legislative review. The amendment was added to a Senate bill on reducing regulations.

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) says the amendment raised too many questions and wasn't well vetted.

"The House, very quickly with no process, took some amendments that really didn't work right, put them in a bill and dropped them in our lap," says Obhof.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) defended the amendment and says he'd like to negotiate it further in conference committee.

Gov. Mike DeWine said he would veto the measure if it landed on his desk. The Ohio House did not pass the bill with enough votes to override a veto.