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Republicans Propose Committee To Oversee, Strike Down Public Health Orders

A closed sign is posted at Pins Mechanical duckpin bowling alley and bar in downtown Columbus in March 2020.
Karen Kasler
/
Ohio Public Radio
A closed sign is posted at Pins Mechanical duckpin bowling alley and bar in downtown Columbus at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

State lawmakers are starting their new session with an issue that dominated much of last year, the governor’s power to issue health orders that legislators might not like.

Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) said his bill creates a bipartisan committee of lawmakers which could strike down an order from the governor or his health department after 10 days, and limit state of emergency orders to 30 days. Those orders couldn’t be reissued for 90 days.

“One branch of government is not meant to have this breadth of authority for this long without some sort of check or balance on it. And so that's really what this is seeking to put in place," McColley said.

McColley said 23 other states already have similar limits in place.

McColley said he takes COVID seriously but admits he differs with Gov. Mike DeWine on some of his actions. McColley’s bill on business shutdowns was one of two DeWine vetoed last year.

More bills restricting public health orders have been proposed but didn’t pass both chambers.