State Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) helped lead the initiative in the House of passing Sub. Senate Bill 22, which establishes legislative oversight and transparency over orders issued during a state of emergency. Wiggam spoke to the legislation on the House floor.
“Let me share with you a few closing thoughts. If you believe in freedom…this is the bill for you. If you believe the people of Ohio should have a voice…this bill is for you. If you believe in the checks and balances, this is the bill for you. This bill is about empowering people. It’s about empowering parents, empowering small businesses, empowering all Ohioans. It’s about ensuring they have a voice in their government. This bill is about ‘We the People,’” Wiggam said.
Provisions in the bill give the Legislature the ability to oversee orders issued by any department under the administration in response to public health emergencies. Orders may be extended or rescinded by the General Assembly through a concurrent resolution.
The bill also ensures that local communities may determine the course of local health orders. As a result, the bill provides parameters for local boards of health in which they must operate when issuing county and district wide orders.
Last month, Wiggam introduced House Bill 90 that called for more oversight and transparency on health orders. Both House Bill 90 and Senate Bill 22 were similar pieces of legislation on this issue and many parts of House Bill 90 were amended into Senate Bill 22. Now, after working through the legislative process, Senate Bill 22 has advanced through the House.
Senate Bill 22 now heads back to the Senate for concurrence.