Battle Between DeWine, Legislature Over Health Orders Is Set With Pending Veto

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) plans to veto a bill that would limit the scope of any state of emergency coming out of the governor’s office. This sets up a battle between DeWine and a possible override by the legislature.

Gov. Mike DeWine gives a coronavirus update from his home on August 20, 2020.
Gov. Mike DeWine gives a coronavirus update from his home on August 20, 2020. [Office of Gov. Mike DeWine]

DeWine said the bill that would allow Ohio lawmakers to rescind states of emergency or health orders is unconstitutional and violates separation of powers.

DeWine adds that limiting the authority hampers a statewide response to a health crisis.

“I will have to veto the bill, there’s no governor that I can think of in Ohio who would not veto this bill,” DeWine said. “I’m very concerned about the future and health departments around the state not having the tools they need to keep the people in this state, safe.”

Supporters of the measure say it allows lawmakers to represent their constituents.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate said they have the votes to override a governor’s veto.

The Legislative Service Commission, which researches and drafts bills for lawmakers, said in its analysis that there are constitutional questions about rescinding a governor’s order by concurrent resolution, and the bill could violate separation of powers if it is attempting to give the General Assembly a legislative veto authority.