CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio House and Senate voted on Wednesday to override Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto.
Senate Bill 22 will become law in 90 days, and the legislature has the ability to restrict the Governor’s power and that of his administration, including the Director of the Ohio Department of Health when issuing orders during the pandemic.
But while many Republican lawmakers feel the change is needed, some Democrats feel the new law sets a dangerous precedent when it comes to a state emergency or crisis.
Democratic State Senator and Assistant Minority Leader Nickie Antonio tells 19 News, “I really believe had this been in place we would have seen more deaths in the state of Ohio. More people would have died.
Senator Antonio says she feels Republican Governor Mike DeWine did the right thing when he instituted a mask mandate, social distancing, and other measures in an effort to save lives.
“I believe he will appeal this finding by the legislature and I think he’s on solid ground with the challenge both constitutionally – and look frankly at the end of the day it’s bad policy,” Senator Antonio said.
But while many Democrats call Senate Bill 22 a dangerous decision, many Republican lawmakers believe that giving a legislative committee the power to cancel any of the Governor’s health orders or other measures that last longer than 30 days is the right move.
Republican State Senator Theresa Gavarone is from Bowling Green, “There have been some businesses may be small specialty shops that have been forced to close while larger scale shops that sell the same things have been allowed to open.”
Senator Gavarone and her husband are restaurant owners and know the struggle of small businesses trying to stay afloat after being shut down temporarily or operating under restricted hours. “So, it’s about listening and giving our constituents a voice. Reestablishing the checks and balances and the balance of power in the government.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s office tells 19 News in part, “Governor DeWine remains focused every single day on doing all he can to ensure every Ohioan who wants a COVID-19 vaccine can get one in the coming weeks, which is truly what will help Ohio put this pandemic behind us.”