Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) joined House Democrats today to vote opposition to a motion to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill (SB) 22, controversial Republican legislation that would threaten the health and safety of Ohioans by curbing authority from the governor and health director during public health crises.
“Simply put, Senate Bill 22 threatens public health and puts politics over the safety and well-being of Ohioans. Under this law, the Governor’s ability to enact emergency measures that protect all Ohioans is severely limited by giving the legislature ultimate authority over public health policy. Medical professionals across the state have consistently and vocally opposed this legislation. Furthermore, Senate Bill 22 violates several portions of the Ohio Constitution, including the separation of powers clause by letting the legislature create laws through resolutions. The Coronavirus pandemic has not been easy for anyone, but limiting the state’s ability to respond to crises will only hurt Ohioans in the future,” said Rep. Sheehy.
Proponents of SB 22 made a number of false, inaccurate and misleading claims about the virus and the state’s response. Similarly, YouTube pulled down a recording of testimony from a Feb. 17 House committee hearing on House Bill (HB) 90, legislation that mirrors many of the same provisions of SB 22, for violating the site’s terms of service for spreading COVID-19 misinformation.
Opponents of both SB 22 and HB 90 include top state public health officials, who said the effort to roll back health orders would slow the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Statehouse researchers also called into question the constitutionality of the effort to strip executive authority from the governor.