Over a promised veto from Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio House approved legislation Thursday that would block state health officials’ quarantine orders for residents who have not been exposed to or diagnosed with disease, the latest effort by lawmakers to place limits on the authority of the governor’s administration during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
Senate Bill 311 also would enable lawmakers to rescind certain Ohio Department of Health orders or rules aimed at stopping the spread of infectious disease.
Backers say the proposed law changes would provide a needed check on wider orders that impact residents’ civil liberties, lives and livelihoods.
Opponents counter that the legislation would harmfully limit health officials’ ability to effectively address infectious diseases and outbreaks.
The bill passed the Ohio House’s State and Local Government Committee Thursday morning and was OK’d by the full chamber later in the day by a vote of 58-32.