State Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) has introduced companion legislation to Senate Bill 22, under House Bill 90, which seeks to add legislative transparency and oversight into the process of health orders. The announcement comes as outcry from constituents has continued due to the unchecked, restrictive health orders that were initiated from the administration.
While the bills are similar, the House version expands the ability to rescind the orders from any department within the administration related to a public health crisis. Additionally, the House bill establishes that a public health crisis order expires 60 days after being issued, unless extended by the General Assembly. If the General Assembly does not extend the order, it cannot be reissued for a period of 90 days.
Other provisions laid out within the legislation include:
· Establishing the Joint Ohio Health Oversight and Advisory Committee, which would have the authority to oversee actions of the administration.
· Removing the word ultimate from “The department of health shall have supervision of all matters relating to the preservation of the life and health of the people and have ultimate authority in matters of quarantine and isolation” in 3701.13.
“Ohioans’ lives and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by this pandemic,” said Wiggam. “Since the beginning, every decision that impacts everyone’s life in Ohio has been made behind closed doors by individuals with little or no accountability to the people of Ohio. It is time that we bring light to these decisions and allow them to be debated in public committees where experts from all fields and concerned citizens can make their voices heard and every Ohioan can be a part of the process.”
The bill has been cosponsored by 25 members alongside Wiggam and his joint sponsor State Rep. Jay Edwards. The legislation currently awaits its first committee action.