Proposed bill to limit ability to issue orders during health emergency ‘is a disaster,’ Gov. DeWine says

Proposed bill to limit ability to issue orders during health emergency ‘is a disaster,’ Gov. DeWine says
FILE - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at the governor's residence in Columbus (Source: AP)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine took time out of Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing to speak against Senate Bill 311, a bill that would limit the authority to issue orders in time of crisis.

“SB 311 is a disaster,” the governor remarked. “I know it’s well-intended by the General Assembly, but when you look at the ramifications, this is not a bill that can become law.”

The governor said if Senate Bill 311, which is sponsored by Republican State Sens. Rob McColley and Kristina Roegner, reached his desk, he would veto it.

Gov. DeWine cited several examples of why the legislation, which would prevent the Ohio Department of Health from issuing orders that could help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, would be a hinderance rather than beneficial.

The governor said he takes advice from scientists and medical experts on a regular basis regarding the coronavirus pandemic and handlings of similar situations.

“These experts are telling me this is a dangerous idea,” Gov. DeWine said. “Doctors, nurses, and scientists have all advised me that this bill would do great harm if it became law.”

Senate Bill 311 passed the Ohio Senate in September and has now been referred to a House committee.

“I believe that Ohioans, if given the freedom, will rise to the occasion and take the necessary steps to keep their families, employees and customers safe, while conducting the commerce that is so critical to our economy,” State Sen. Roegner said at the time of the bill’s introduction.

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