Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) 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.
“This decision to override the Governor’s veto on SB 22 is incredibly dangerous, both now and for the future,” said Rep. West. “No good will come from limiting the ability of our state and local health departments to respond to public health emergencies. SB 22 is not about restoring checks and balances; it’s about playing political games, not about good public policy. People’s lives will now be at risk as a result.”
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.