COLUMBUS—State Senators Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) and Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) today applauded the Ohio House of Representatives for passing Senate Bill 1, a bill they sponsored to reduce the regulatory burden on Ohio businesses. S.B. 1 requires state agencies to reduce regulatory restrictions by 30% by 2022 and to establish inventories outlining all restrictions established by state agencies. If the required reductions are not achieved, the bill specifies that they must eliminate two regulatory restrictions for each new restriction they create.
“As one of the most highly regulated states in the nation, passing Senate Bill 1 would drastically improve Ohio’s economy and job growth by eliminating unnecessary and burdensome administrative rules. Cutting this red tape will positively impact businesses in our community, many of which are struggling because of the pandemic,” said McColley.
The bill was passed out of the Ohio House State and Local Government committee Wednesday morning with an additional amendment. The changes to the bill establish common-sense limitations on the Director of Health’s discretion to issue orders such as stay-at-home or stay-safe directives during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel the House amendment addressing the Director of Health’s ability to issue an order is appropriate given the circumstances. Our government was not set up for one branch to have the authority to disrupt the general public’s lives and businesses for this long without some form of check or balance. The time has come to reflect the will of many Ohioans by restoring balance to our government,” said Roegner. “The amendment added to Senate Bill 1 in the House supports the spirit of the underlying bill, which is to control big government overreach. I am fully supportive of these changes and hope my Senate colleagues will concur.”
While current law prescribes no limit to the length of such directives, the amendment caps the duration at 14 days. If necessary to protect the public safety, the Director of Health can request that the legislature, through the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, extend the order as needed. The House passed the amended bill during Wednesday afternoon’s session.
“This has gone on long enough. Ohioans came together to flatten the curve of this pandemic and we did it successfully. Now we need to open our state before the damage is irreparable,” Roegner added. “I believe that Ohioans, if given the freedom, will rise to the occasion and take the necessary steps to keep their families, employees and customers safe, while conducting the commerce that is so critical to our economy.”
Senate Bill 1 now awaits Senate approval to changes made in the House.