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Governor, State Lawmakers Square Off Over Public Health Orders

Jul 13, 2020

Gov. Mike DeWine (center) begins his first State of the State speech on March 5, 2019, flanked by Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) and House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford).
Credit OHIO GOVERNMENT TELECOMMUNICATIONS

A potential showdown is coming between state lawmakers and Gov. Mike DeWine, over a bill passed last month that hits at the power and reach of public health orders issued during the pandemic. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

DeWine says he’ll veto a bill that started out as a measure to increase penalties for drug trafficking near rehab facilities. Lawmakers tacked on a provision reducing fines and prohibiting jail and criminal convictions for violating state or local health departments orders. DeWine says the bill can’t become law as it is.

 

“It would be a tragic mistake. And I'm not going to let it happen for us to give up the opportunity to try to keep Ohioans safe.”
 

There were enough Republican and Democratic votes for the bill to override a veto in the House, but not in the Senate. It would be DeWine’s first veto, beyond the 25 items he struck from the budget last year.