Ohio Senate unanimously rejects bill calling to limit health director’s authority


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WJW) — The GOP-controlled Ohio Senate on Wednesday rejected an effort by House Republicans to limit the health director’s public health orders to 14 days, after which the Legislature would have to review them for renewal.

House lawmakers approved the measure earlier this month out of frustration at the economic devastation experienced by many Ohio businesses as a result of the coronavirus shutdown orders.

Senate Bill 1 aimed to restrict the authority of Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. Its goal was to establish “common-sense limitations” on the Director of Health’s discretion to issue orders such as stay-at-home or stay-safe directives during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The House approved Senate Bill 1 on May 6, adding an amendment that would require all orders issued by the Department of Health on or after April 29, 2020 to last no longer than 14 days unless approved for an extension from a bi-partisan committee, which is made up of members from the House and Senate. The committee would then decide how long it would last.

**Watch the video above for our past report on the House approving SB 1**

Governor Mike DeWine had previously said he would veto the measure if it reached his desk.

FOX 8 reached out the Governor’s Office requesting a statement on the Senate rejecting the measure. DeWine’s office says they have “no additional comment at this time.”

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