Ohio House Leader Says FEMA Camp Rumor Could Happen Under Broad State Powers

Sep 14, 2020

Republican Bill Seitz speaking on the Ohio House floor in March 2018.
Credit Ohio House of Representatives

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has shot down as “ridiculous” and “crazy” internet rumors about the state’s plans for federal emergency management money.

But a Republican Ohio House leader who’s thought to be a possible candidate for Speaker says he’s still concerned. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

House Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz railed against the order on non-congregate sheltering in an interview.

“This order was worded far too broadly and gives the governor and the health director power to say to Karen Kasler: ‘OK, we don't think you're going to quarantine at home like we're asking you to - off to the internment camp you go’.”

DeWine called that rumor “crazy”, saying the order does not set up camps for involuntary detainment, but creates a way for federal funds to help pay for people who need to quarantine but can’t at home – for instance, to buy hotel rooms for medical workers with families. Seitz says the language could have been clearer to quell suspicion, but he’s satisfied that DeWine doesn’t intend to use the power that he says the order confers on him.