COLUMBUS – State Representative John Becker (R-Union Township, Clermont County) today announced the introduction of House Bill 618.  It speeds up the process of reopening Ohio by limiting the authority of the Governor and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to issue certain orders for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases.


“HB 618 is necessary to reopen Ohio NOW and prevent any future statewide shutdowns of our society and economy,” said Becker.  


Under the bill, the Ohio General Assembly must approve any draconian orders from the Governor or Ohio Department of Health that shuts down our economy and society. Without General Assembly approval, any past or future orders issued by the Governor or Ohio Department of Health regarding contagious or infectious disease will be advisory and not have the force of law.


HB 618 does not change the current authority of any local boards of health, except that they shall no longer have the authority to close polling locations tantamount to cancelling an election.


Becker continued, “It’s time to stop the madness and reopen Ohio. This bill is named, ‘Need Ohio Working- NOW Act’ because we must act now to mitigate the ongoing economic catastrophe that has crippled our job market. People tell me overwhelmingly that they want to get back to work and reopen society.  Many businesses such as bars, gyms, pet groomers, and restaurants could have implemented social distancing and strict cleanliness procedures.  Instead, most businesses remain shut down while chain stores continue to operate.  Small businesses comprise most of Ohio’s workforce, and many of their hardworking employees are among the 1 million individuals unemployed in our state.  This figure exceeds the previous amount of unemployed Ohioans on record by nearly 30%.”


Becker concluded, “Ohio’s executive branch has relied on incredibly vague power to mandate unconscionable actions upon a free people.  As one of the first states west of the Appalachians, Ohioans have always stepped boldly into the future.  It is essential that this General Assembly restore the Constitutionally-protected rights of our constituents to exercise their freedoms.”


The bill was formally introduced today as House Bill 618 and is expected to be referred to a standing committee for further consideration.


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For more information, contact Rep. Becker’s office at 614-466-8134 or rep65@ohiohouse.gov.

 
 
 
  
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