(5-7-20) Yesterday State Representatives in the Ohio House passed two bills (SB55 and SB1) to limit the power of Ohio Health Department Director Dr, Amy Acton. It is an unusual political battle to get these bills passed, a Republican Governor facing off against Republican representatives, while Democrats seem to be siding with Governor DeWine.
Locally Ohio’s 84th State Representative Susan Manchester testified in support of the SB 1.
Manchester posted after the stay at home order was extended that she was disappointed in how the move was made the governor and bypassing the House.
State Representative Nino Vitale for Champaign, Logan and Shelby Counties has been very vocal about the stay at home order and getting the state back open. He wants the power given to a non-elected official in Dr. Amy Acton restricted, that is what these two bills will do if confirmed by the Senate.
Below he posted in detail about the bills and why he wants to see them passed by the Senate.
Vitale’s comments on the two bills and the vote yesterday.
Posting #1 from Facebook today –
There are two bills on the Ohio House floor limiting the powers of Director Acton today.
The first (SB55) has passed. As you know, Director Acton issued criminal penalties and a $750 fine per citation if an Ohioan violates her house arrest lock down orders.
There are 99 members of the House and 50 are needed to pass a bill. Only a handful of Democrats were willing to limit any of Director Actons powers. (5 of 36)
That said, we needed 50 of the 60 Republicans to agree to these bills to pass. So goes the negotiation.
What we were able to pass on the first is THREE fold-
FIRST we remove all criminal penalties for any violation. Nothing can ever go on your record if you are ever cited.
SECOND, you cannot be fined if you happened to actually get cited the first time.
THIRD, the fine on the 2nd offense is $150. (I tried for $ZERO but could not get the votes for that)
Moving on to the second order…..stay tuned.
Posting #2 from Facebook today –
The second bill (SB 1) has passed restricting Director Acton’s powers. While I consider it an imperfect solution, it takes 50 people to pass a bill and the art of negotiation is at work. Many members wanted to do nothing. NOTHING is unacceptable.
So what was passed?
Any future orders by Director Acton will only last 14 days and will expire unless that order is approved by the Ohio House and Senate rules committee called JCARR. JCARR is made up of a group of Democrats and Republicans from both the House and Senate.
The House has taken a firm stand by limiting all future orders and requiring elected representatives to be able to deny those orders. This is called Representative government, not fiat by a Global Health Professor.
Sadly, the Democrats all gave speeches against this bill, refusing to limit or control these orders in any way. Apparently Democrats do not believe in representative government and like rule by one individual. I don’t like dictatorships.
I am pleased with this step, but want more and hope we can have votes by the entire House and Senate. This is a big step and will put a check on the power of Director Acton.
Enough is enough. If we are going to put such broad sweeping measures in place, all members of the House and the Senate should represent you and end the rule of one unelected person on all of Ohio.
The Governor responded earlier today to the amendments.