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Ohio Senate Adjourns Without Overidding Veto Of Bill Limiting Public Health Orders

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof
Ohio Senate
Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof

The Ohio Senate adjourned Tuesday without overriding Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that restricted his ability to issue health orders to shut down businesses.

Senate President Larry Obhof says his members have been working out differences with DeWine, a fellow Republican. Obhof also says another bill (Sub HB609) the Senate passed late Tuesday night does include language that health orders must apply equally to all businesses.

“So that you can’t have the situation we had last spring where small businesses get closed but larger ones, because they are deemed essential, get to stay open," Obhof says.

Following the statewide shutdown last spring, aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, there was an outcry from many Ohioans and businesses that wanted to limit the governor's health orders. There have been protests at the Statehouse over the issue and most recently, outside Obhof's Medina home.

DeWine vetoed the bill in early December, saying it would add even more pressure to the state's overloaded hospital system as COVID-19 cases surge once again.

"Having essential strategies to protect the public against the spread of infectious, contagious disease is not only important in our efforts to eradicate COVID-19, but it is also necessary to help stop the spread of all infectious diseases and prevent future health crises in Ohio," DeWine wrote in his veto message.

Republican lawmakers in both chambers also ran into another problem when trying to come up with enough votes to override the veto, since some of them have been out due to COVID-19.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.