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Committee Proposed To Oversee Governor's Health Orders

Jan 27, 2021

Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) in a November 2019 press conference with Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson). In 2020, the two sponsored Senate Bill 311 on business shutdowns, which Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed.
Credit Ohio Senate

State lawmakers are starting their new session with an issue that dominated much of last year – the governor’s power to issue health orders that legislators might not like.

A  bill sponsored by a Senate Republican whose health orders bill was vetoed last year is now under consdieration. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

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Republican Senator Rob McColley says his bill creates a bipartisan committee of lawmakers which could strike down an order from the governor or his health department after 10 days, and limit state of emergency orders to 30 days. Those orders couldn’t be reissued for 90 days.

“One branch of government is not meant to have this breadth of authority for this long without some sort of check or balance on it. And so that's really what this is seeking to put in place.”

McColley says 23 other states already allow limits. He says he takes COVID seriously but admits he differs with Governor Mike DeWine on some of his actions. McColley’s bill on business shutdowns was one of two DeWine vetoed last year. More were proposed but didn’t pass both chambers.