Inside Ohio Republicans’ 10-month war on the state health department over COVID-19

BY: - March 8, 2021

Ohioans were living with the coronavirus for about two months before GOP lawmakers initiated what would be a nearly yearlong effort to squash the state health department’s ability to issue public health orders. The earliest version of the idea was to limit any order issued by the Ohio Department of Health to a two-week window. […]

DeWine vetoes anti-health department bill; lawmakers double down

BY: - December 3, 2020

For the second time during the new coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine has vetoed legislation from fellow Republicans seeking to undercut the Ohio Department of Health’s legal authority to stymie the virus’ spread. The nixed proposal, Senate Bill 311, would give the state legislature the ability to vote down any public health orders. It would […]

Ice cream. Guns. Grocery bags. Ohio legislature gets to work

BY: - September 24, 2020

In what could be the last full legislative day before November elections, boozy ice cream, grocery bags and gun stores drove the Ohio General Assembly’s agenda. House Republicans, who generally do not wear masks and have skipped on COVID-19 social distancing accommodations in the chamber, passed legislation Wednesday to ban local governments from imposing any […]

House bill would require written consent for COVID-19 contact tracing, likely slowing process

BY: - June 2, 2020

Ohio House Republicans voted Thursday to add an administrative step in the contact tracing process likely to slow down one of the most effective tools known to combat the spread of COVID-19. On a party line vote, House lawmakers passed Senate Bill 31, which requires health officials to obtain written consent from a person before […]

As pandemic rages and uncertainty looms, Ohio legislature takes the backseat

BY: and - May 4, 2020

For nearly two months now, Gov. Mike DeWine has pulled the levers of government power via executive orders, announced in real time at televised briefings every afternoon. Ohio’s chief executive and his health director have blocked mass gatherings of people, canceled in-person learning at K-12 schools, and shuttered “non-essential” businesses. The General Assembly, meanwhile, has […]

Chamber of Commerce rep warns of ‘unintended consequences’ in supermajority tax reform bill

BY: - March 4, 2020

A lobbyist for an influential Ohio business advocacy group Tuesday warned Senators against legislation to require a supermajority vote before raising Ohio’s income tax rates. Tony Long, director of tax and economic policy for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, said Senate Joint Resolution 3 could yield “unintended consequences” for Ohio businesses down the line. “The […]