Senate District 1
Rob McColley
McColley Issues Statement Regarding Extension of Stay At Home Order Until May 29
May 1, 2020
We have listened. We have put our faith in the Governor and we have done what he has asked us to do. By the Governor’s own admission, we have flattened the curve. In fact, only 26% of recent cases for the week ending this past Wednesday were cases that occurred in the general public outside of confined, multi-resident environments, such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Ohioans have placed their faith and trust in the Governor and we have done everything we were asked, but, disappointingly, the Governor has not reciprocated that same faith and trust through his recent orders.

We learned earlier this week that the Governor plans to open closed businesses at a slower pace than originally indicated. Our local businesses and our local hospitals have already suffered irreparable damage due to this shutdown. Through this continued delay in reopening many businesses, our economy has been condemned to further decline, particularly in rural areas that had just recently regained the prosperity lost to the great recession of the late 2000s. The Governor’s order effectively declares that it is alright to purchase a bracelet from Wal-Mart, but not your local jeweler, and to purchase a bouquet of flowers from Meijer, but not your local florist. These small businesses had already been fighting to compete with the national chain stores. Now, through this harmful delay, which fails to acknowledge that it is safer to shop in seldom trafficked small businesses than it is to shop in a crowded big-box retail store, many of these small businesses now doubt they will even have the financial ability to reopen. The Governor’s order displays an unfortunate lack of faith and trust that these businesses could open sooner under social distancing guidelines. As a result, the life’s work of these business owners and the communities they support are in jeopardy.

We also learned earlier this week that the Governor is prohibiting in-person graduation ceremonies. Throughout Ohio there are many high schools graduating small classes that could have easily fit on a football field, 10-15 feet apart, with limited attendees in the stands all maintaining safe social distance. In fact, several schools in rural Northwest Ohio were excitedly planning similar ceremonies. The Governor instead decided he did not trust Ohio’s school administrators, parents and students to plan or safely execute such a ceremony. Instead, in an act of remarkable overreach, he took the one last semblance of normalcy and closure away from a group of students who have already had so much taken away from them.

Finally, the Governor extended the stay at home order for another twenty-nine days until May 29. The majority of Ohioans have practiced social distancing guidelines willingly and will continue to do so. Instead of trusting us, the Governor’s order keeps the heavy hand of government over free people and continues to micromanage our lives for another month. The order also threatens Ohioans with arrest, prosecution, jail time and fines if we disobey it. People all over our state have already had their sense of security shattered as a result of this pandemic and now we have had our sense of hope diminished by this recent heavy-handed approach. This combination will have a lasting impact on our ability to restore our economy and the communities it supports.

It appears that the Governor does not share the same faith and trust in Ohioans that many of us have. I know that I and many of my colleagues in the legislature have faith that Ohioans are capable accomplishing remarkable things and trust that they will look out for their friends, family and neighbors, without a government mandate to stay in their homes. Therefore, I am urging President Obhof and the rest of my legislative colleagues to return to Columbus and pass legislation rescinding the Governor’s stay at home order. Rather than micromanaging the lives of Ohioans, we should place the government’s faith and trust in them. I know they are up to the task.
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