Governor vetoes bill limiting health order penalties

    Gov. Mike DeWine is seen during a COVID-19 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy OhioChannel)

    Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine officially vetoed a bill Friday that included an amendment reducing the penalties for violating COVID-19 health orders.

    DeWine said he agreed with the original intent of the bill, to enhance drug trafficking laws around state rehabilitation centers, but couldn’t sign the bill with the amendments to take away the chance of prison time and lower the fine for those defying coronavirus-related health orders from the Ohio Department of Health.

    “In the midst of this pandemic, now is not the time to change tactics and impede local health officials’ ability to protect all Ohioans,” DeWine wrote in a statement explaining the veto.

    The House and Senate have enough Republicans to override the veto, but it is not clear whether they are in agreement about doing so.

    Susan Tebben
    Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.