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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

DeWine: I'll Veto Any Bill That Would Limit Public Health Orders

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signs an extension of the state's Stay At Home Order on April 2, 2020. [Office of Gov. Mike DeWine]
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signs an extension of the state's Stay At Home Order on April 2, 2020.

Gov. Mike DeWine confirmed again that he would veto a bill that passed the House yesterday that seeks to limit the power he and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton have to issue new public health orders.

The bill, put forward by his fellow Republicans in the House, would have to pass the GOP-dominated Senate first.

DeWine said he knows he has critics, but said public health is historically the concern of the executive, and he’ll veto anything that gets in the way of that – including the bill that would limit future orders to 14 days unless a panel of lawmakers vote to extend them.

“It would be nothing but chaos, and I don’t quite understand it. We have a lot of things to deal with in Ohio. We’re in the middle of a crisis," said DeWine.

The bill also would give any Ohioan the legal right, or standing, to sue over an order without having to prove they’ve been irreparably harmed. DeWine said that could put courts in control over orders.

And he said it could work the other way – that people could sue over orders to reopen if they don’t like them.

The bill passed in a party line vote in the Ohio House, with two Republicans joining all Democrats in opposing it. It didn't pass by a three-fifths margin, which would be needed to override a veto. The Senate would have to agree to the changes in the bill before it would come to DeWine.

On Thursday, Householder responded to DeWine's comments with a tweet, saying: "The Ohio House will continue passing legislation that protects Ohioans regardless of threats."

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