Ohio lawmakers override DeWine veto to curb governor’s emergency powers

Ohio lawmakers override DeWine veto to curb governor’s emergency powers

State lawmakers overrode Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of Senate Bill 22, putting limits on the governor’s emergency powers.

Lawmakers in Ohio’s General Assembly voted Wednesday to override Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that would curb his emergency powers.

Senate Bill 22, sponsored by state Sens. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, and Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, was vetoed March 23 by DeWine. Less than 24 hours later, the Senate voted 23-10 to override DeWine’s veto, and the House followed within the same hour with a 62-35 vote to override. The law will take effect in June.

Speaking in favor of the override vote, Johnson held up a binder of people who testified in support of SB 22 – highlighting the grassroots effort to pass the bill curbing the governor’s emergency powers.

“It’s time for us to stand up for the legislative branch,” McColley said in support of the override vote. “It’s time for us to reassert ourselves as a separate and co-equal branch of government here in the state of Ohio.”

SB 22 includes several provisions that chip away at the governor’s emergency powers, including:

  • Limiting state of emergency declarations to 30 days in duration and requiring lawmaker approval for extensions.
  • Empowering the General Assembly to pass a concurrent resolution to rescind public health orders, state of emergency declarations and any other executive branch order issued as part of an emergency declaration. Lawmakers will have the ability to rescind such orders as early as same day as they are issued.
  • If an order has been rescinded, the executive branch would not be able to reissue the order for at least 60 days.

SB 22 also limits local boards of health from broad public health orders – specifically widespread quarantine orders and any other orders that broadly impact school and businesses. Moreover, the bill also allows any Ohioan to sue over the constitutionality of state emergency orders in their home county.

“We need to stand up and finish this for all the Ohioans who have been asking us to be their voice at the table,” McColley added.

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