LIMA — State Sens. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, and Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, announced Wednesday the introduction of a new Ohio Senate bill meant to immediately end the Ohio Department of Health’s “Stay Safe Ohio Order” that extends state restrictions until May 29.
“Our government was not set up for one branch to have the authority to disrupt the general public’s lives and businesses for this long without some form or check or balance. The time has come to reflect the will of many Ohioans by restoring balance to our government,” McColley said in a press release. “It is imperative we reopen our state now to try and limit any further societal damage this virus has caused to our state.”
Official bill language is expected to be released today, but the new piece of legislation includes many similar changes pushed forward by an Ohio House amendment passed last week that would have curbed the official powers of ODH Director Dr. Amy Acton if approved.
Gov. Mike DeWine has communicated his plans to veto the amendment.
“Any attempt that gets in the way of our ability to protect the state of Ohio is a bill I will be forced to veto,” DeWine said during last Thursday’s coronavirus briefing. “The actions we have taken under (current) law have been highly successful.”
According press release sent out this week, the new bill to be introduced by McColley, Senate Bill 311, “takes the additional steps of opening Ohio now” by requiring that it goes into effect immediately.
“The bill rescinds any existing order closing state businesses and direction Ohioans to stay at home directly upon passage. Additionally, the bill enables local school districts, in consultation with local health experts, to determine whether or not in-person graduations can be safely conducted on a case-by-case manner that is tailored to the individual circumstances of each district,” the release reads.
McColley is one of a growing number of state legislators that have called for the rescinding of the state’s stay-at-home orders due to larger economic concerns. Since the shutdown started, DeWine and his administration have been committed to a slower reopening to avoid a potential second outbreak.
McColley represents Ohio Senate District 1, which includes Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Williams counties as well as parts of Auglaize, Fulton and Logan counties. Roegner represents parts of Stark and Summit counties and the entirety of Wayne.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.