April 19, 2024

Governor Mike DeWine wearing a mask, also implores Ohioans to wear a mask in public to stop the spread of COVID-19. Submitted image.

Governor Mike DeWine wearing a mask, also implores Ohioans to wear a mask in public to stop the spread of COVID-19. Submitted image.

DeWine vetoes legislation to limit governor’s authority in pandemic

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A bill that would have limited the authority of the governor during the COVID-19 pandemic has been vetoed by Governor Mike DeWine. It is the second time such a bill has passed the Ohio House and Senate and been delivered to the governor’s desk only for him to veto the legislation.

Ohio Governor DeWine vetoed Senate Bill 22, issuing a veto message stating, in part, “Senate Bill 22 jeopardizes the safety of every Ohioan. It goes well beyond the issues that have occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. SB 22 strikes at the heart of local health departments’ ability to move quickly to protect the public from the most serious emergencies Ohio could face.”

SB 22 states in part, “If the department of health issues a special or standing order or rule for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious disease under section 3701.13 of the Revised Code, the general assembly may rescind that special or standing order or rule, in whole or in part, by adopting a concurrent resolution. If the director of health takes an action to control and suppress the cause of disease or illness, including contagious, infectious, epidemic, pandemic, or endemic conditions, under section 3701.14 of the Revised Code, the general assembly may rescind that action, in whole or in part, by adopting a concurrent resolution.”

The entire bill can be read by clicking here. It is uncertain if the state legislature will try to override the veto or not. DeWine has split with members of his own party at times over the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. SB 22 was sponsored by Republicans. This is the second time the state legislature has tried to limit the power of the governor during the pandemic. DeWine previously vetoed that proposed legislation as well and there was no overturn of that veto.

In a lengthy response, DeWine released a letter explaining why he vetoed the bill which can be read in it’s entirety by clicking here.

Additionally, after he vetoed SB 22, DeWine’s office released a list of government entities and organizations in favor of the governor’s action to veto. The letter of support were typical of the one that can be read by clicking here. Listing of those voicing support for the veto are:

  • Ohio State Medical Association
  • Ohio Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Ohio Chapter of American College of Surgeons
  • Ohio Hospital Association
  • Ohio Children’s Hospital Association
  • Ohio Osteopathic Association
  • Association of Ohio Health Commissioners
  • Ohio Nurses Association
  • Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies
  • Ohio Mayors Alliance
  • Inter-University Council of Ohio
  • Franklin County Commissioners
  • Montgomery County Commissioners and Commissioner of Dayton-Montgomery County Public Health
  • Columbus Public Health
  • Cuyahoga County Board of Health
  • Hamilton County Public Health
  • Franklin County Public Health
  • Lucas County Health Department
  • Dayton Children’s Hospital
  • Kettering Health Network
  • Mercy Health
  • Mount Carmel Health
  • Premier Health
  • ProMedica
  • St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
  • Summa Health
  • University Hospitals
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Ohio State University Werner Medical Center & UC Health
  • Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Metro Health
  • Human Service Chamber of Franklin County