Bill Blocking Dr. Amy Acton’s Orders Passes House, Heads to Senate
On Wednesday, May 6, the Ohio House of Representatives passed amendments that would limit the orders issued by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and any order going forward.
The House approved an amendment to Senate Bill 1, which would require all orders issued by the Department of Health on or after April 29, 2020, to last no longer than 14 days.
An exception would be given if a bipartisan Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review approves extensions of those orders.
An amendment to Senate Bill 55 also passed the Ohio House on Wednesday, which would decriminalize the health department’s orders regarding the pandemic. It proposes a $100 to $150 civil fine for local and state health department order violations. Currently, violations are a criminal misdemeanor.
DeWine, who has condemned previous attacks on Dr. Acton and said the director’s orders are the result of his policy decisions, released this statement on Wednesday regarding the amendment:
My administration is focused on the important things we need to do to help businesses responsibly reopen while protecting Ohioans’ health and safety. This week alone, this included increasing coronavirus testing and tracing, balancing Ohio’s budget, and working on plans to move Ohio’s economy forward. Ohioans need their legislators focused on these important issues. Creating more uncertainty regarding public health and employee safety is the last thing we need as we work to restore consumer confidence in Ohio’s economy.
SB1 and SB55 will go back to the Senate for approval. Both the House and Senate have Republican majorities.