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Ohio Senate Leader Promises To Override Veto Of Bill Limiting Public Health Orders

Ohio Senate president Larry Obhof is defending income tax cuts in their version of the budget, which must be finalized by this weekend.
Paul Vernon
Associated Press

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof says he has the votes to override a threatened veto of a bill restricting the health department's powers during a health emergency.

Obhof said Wednesday he will hold the vote if fellow Republican Gov. Mike DeWine makes good on his promise to veto the measure by week's end.

The bill would allow the legislature to adopt resolutions to rescind health department orders aimed at preventing the spread of contagious diseases. The goal is to prevent future statewide shutdown like the one issued by the Ohio Department of Health in March, which was designed to keep people at home and not interacting with others at the start of COVID-19 pandemic. 

DeWine has called such bills reckless at a time when the state is struggling to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“This is a direct attack on public health," DeWine said last month. "It’s a direct attack on the safety of the people of the state of Ohio. It’s very sad. It’s very, very sad."

The governor has already vetoed one bill that would lower penalties for violating health orders. He did sign a law that bans any state shutdown of houses of worship, which hasn't happened in Ohio.