Marion County reps back bill to limit governor's emergency powers
MARION — Republican lawmakers representing Marion County were among those who supported legislation this week that would limit the governor's emergency powers.
Ahead of the vote held Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine expressed his opposition to the bill and made no secret of the fact that he would veto the measure. Senate Bill 1 would limit stay-at-home orders to no longer than 14 days and require legislative approval for any extensions. The Ohio House voted to pass the bill, 58-37. Three members did not vote.
The measure isn't expected to gain much traction in the Ohio Senate.
飞艇计划app开奖Rep. Tracy Richardson of Marysville and Rep. Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky each voted "yes" on the measure.
Richardson, in her first term representing the 86th House District that includes most of Marion County, said she supported the measure "to ensure the voice of the people is heard."
"This crisis has transitioned into actively finding ways to balance protecting our lives with protecting our livelihood," Richardson said Thurday. "The bill grants a check and balance so that in any future crisis, the director of health, after a given period of time, would need to work with a small team of leaders in the General Assembly to extend orders. This bill is a process change.
"The House of Representatives is the elected body that serves the people of Ohio," she added. "I want to be able to work with other parts of the government in a formal way that ensures checks and balances but again, not in initial crisis management."
飞艇计划app开奖McClain, who is in his first full term representing the 87th House District, noted that "the current situation has spotlighted how our elected district representatives and senators do not have a statutory voice in the decisions being made."
"Our government was not created to have a single person to have the amount of control that this situation has displayed," said McClain, who was a co-sponsor of the bill. "The measure in SB 1 that we passed (Wednesday) would incorporate review of health orders to the legislative oversight process of JCARR (Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review), a bipartisan standing committee that already reviews all administrative rule promulgation. We are a nation created of the people, by the people, and for the people and this measure would restore those ideals in times of health crisis as well."
During his Thursday press briefing, DeWine stated again that he would veto any bill that “that gets in the way of our ability to protect the people of the state of Ohio.”
“We are in the middle of an emergency now. An emergency we have not faced for 102 years,” Gov. Mike DeWine said during his briefing Thursday. “I don’t understand why anyone would think this is a great time to be changing the law, to be taking away the power of the executive branch to protect people.”
飞艇计划app开奖Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof has expressed no desire to forward the bill in his chamber at the Statehouse. He said that his primary focus was on measures that provide economic certainty for Ohioans, such as distributing federal aid dollars, fixing the unemployment fund, and limiting the liability of businesses that reopen in the coming weeks.
飞艇计划app开奖Richardson emphasized that her vote on the bill was "not about criticizing our current administration."
"I believe Governor Dewine has demonstrated outstanding leadership and character in tackling this crisis," she said. "He acted swiftly to protect all of us. His staff, including the director of health, has worked tirelessly with responsiveness, innovation, decisiveness, and transparency."
Richardson and McClain also supported Senate Bill 55 that would reduce penalties for violating public health orders.
Richardson and McClain are each seeking reelection to their respective House seats in the November general election. Richardson is being challenged by Democrat Tiffanie Roberts of Dublin. McClain faces opposition from Democrat Nicholas Barnes of Upper Sandusky.
飞艇计划app开奖Rep. Bill Reineke of Tiffin, who serves the 88th House District, also voted to support both bills. He is running for the 26th District seat in the Ohio Senate in November. Reineke could not be reached for comment.
(Columbus Dispatch reporter Anna Staver contributed to this story.)