Ohio lawmakers override Gov. DeWine‘s veto on Senate Bill 22

Alexandria Manthey TV2 Reporter

Throughout the pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine has issued a stay at home orders, mask mandates, regulations on restaurants and more. Ohio legislators are now looking to take that power away. As of Wednesday, the state legislature voted to override Gov. DeWine’s veto of Senate Bill 22, a bill that would limit the governor’s powers regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ohio Senate Bill 22 looks to change the way the state responds during a public health emergency, giving state lawmakers more power in checking executive orders issued by the governor. Andrew Povtak, adjunct political science professor, said, “Legislators who are supporting it are arguing that this is just a necessary check on the power of the governor so that he doesn’t abuse the emergency orders that he is able to issue or issue to the Health Department.” 

As of Wednesday, Ohio lawmakers voted to override Gov. DeWine’s veto. The Senate voted 23-10 and the House voted 62-35 mostly along party lines. 

DeWine said he vetoed the bill for concern for public safety. Povtak said, “Gov. DeWine is vetoing the bill because he views it as, first of all, a safety risk as impeding the ability of the state government to respond to actual emergencies like COVID or anything else that may pop up down the road.” 

Several Ohio health organizations including Akron Children’s Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic wrote to lawmakers in support of the veto. Others give reasons to support the override in an effort to loosen restrictions and to support Ohio businesses. Povtak said “in the short term they’re going to stay open” and “the current people who are in the legislature, very hostile to that kind of thing, are probably going to immediately vote to rescind those orders and then will kind of leave it up to businesses themselves.” 

As of now, the new law is set to go into effect in 90 days

Alexandria Manthey is a TV2 reporter. Contact her at [email protected]