COLUMBUS—State Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) this week introduced and provided sponsorship testimony for Senate Bill 22, which provides legislative oversight of a Governor’s public health orders.
Senate Bill 22 would establish the Ohio Health Oversight and Advisory Committee, a bi-partisan, joint legislative committee that would advise and oversee actions taken by the Governor and the Ohio Department of Health during a statewide public health emergency. The Committee would also have the authority to rescind an executive order issued by the Governor, or a special or standing order or rule issued by the Department of Health for preventing the spread of a contagious disease.
The bill further prohibits the Governor or the Department of Health from reissuing any rescinded executive order, special or standing order, or rule for 90 days. Public health state of emergencies issued by the Governor would also only remain in effect for 30 days unless the General Assembly adopted an extension through concurrent resolution.
“The goal of this piece of legislation is to restore the separation of powers to our government,” McColley said. “I want to highlight that it does not matter how good the intentions are, the constitution and its separation of powers remain in effect during public health emergencies. During an emergency, the executive branch enjoys powers traditionally reserved to the legislature. It is essential that the executive branch be subject to checks and balances to ensure a properly functioning government.“