COLUMBUS—State Senators Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) announced today the passage of Senate Bill 311 out of the Ohio House. The bill would clarify the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) ability to issue mandatory quarantine or isolation orders during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
"By voting for Senate Bill 311 the House voted to restore checks and balances and the natural separation of powers in our state government, while still acknowledging the executive branch has a role to play in public health emergencies." McColley said. "I thank my colleagues in the House for their support of this bill."
Senate Bill 311 would still allow ODH to issue quarantine and isolation orders to protect Ohioans during times of a pandemic, but the orders would only apply to those who are sick or who have been directly exposed to the disease.
"Quarantine and isolation are extremely serious actions with far reaching ramifications and should be used as intended, only for people who have been diagnosed with a particular disease or those directly exposed to a disease," Roegner said. "Furthermore, the Department of Health was granted its power long ago by the General Assembly and it is appropriate for the members of Ohio’s General Assembly, elected by the citizens of Ohio, to weigh in when actions taken by the state have such powerful consequences. I would like to thank Chairman Wiggam, Speaker Cupp and the members of the Ohio House of Representatives for their passage of S.B. 311."
Senate Bill 311 also provides additional legislative oversight over ODH quarantine and isolation orders by giving the General Assembly the ability to rescind the orders through the adoption of a concurrent resolution.