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Rep. Click responds to DeWine's veto

Published By The Advertiser-Tribune on January 21, 2021
Gary Click In The News

Earlier in January, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine vetoed Senate Bill 375, which would have overturned an order passed last July that limited the size of all county fairs. Newly elected State Representative Gary Click (R) issued a statement last week expressing his disappointment in the Governor’s decision.

SB 375’s goal was “to void the Director of Health’s order regarding county fairs and create the Agricultural Society Working Group for 2021.” It would’ve voided the Director of Health’s order about county fairs, as well as created an organization including appointed members from the health department, the Ohio Association of Health Commissioners, the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio Fair Managers Association and other stakeholders in the county fair season.

The working group would have been in charge of planning and adapting full-size county fairs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In DeWine’s veto message, he stated that lifting the restrictions on county fairs was “not in the best interest of protecting the health and safety of all Ohioans.” He assured lawmakers and citizens that he would continue to consult with health professionals up until the beginning of fair season in June.

“A blanket rescission of the current Order does not achieve the goal of working together to properly plan the upcoming fair season while ensuring the public health and protection of the people of Ohio,” DeWine said.

Click’s main grievance with DeWine’s decision was a lack of “appropriate checks and balances.”

“Senate Bill 375 was more than the voiding of an order from the Director of Health,” Click said. “It was a call to the governor to be more inclusive and to open the door to the Legislature and stakeholders who care about Ohio’s safety and future.”

Click mentioned stakeholders in his statement multiple times, saying “it is in the best interest of stakeholders to operate a safe, effective and healthy county fair.” He did not mention rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Many Republican lawmakers statewide have criticized and even called for the impeachment of DeWine because of his reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Click said he preferred to work with the governor rather than against him.

“I will continue to advocate for legislation that promotes an appropriate measure of checks and balances,” he said. “The people of Ohio deserve to have their voices heard on these consequential issues.”

Click is currently serving his first term in the Ohio House of Representatives, representing the 88th district that includes Sandusky and Seneca counties. Click’s predecessor, Bill Reineke, as well as 87th district Representative Riordan McClain, both voted yes on the bill.

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