COLUMBUS – On Thursday,State Representative Joe Miller (D-Amherst) introduced legislation that would extend the temporary authority for public bodies to meet via electronic technology. This temporary authority was made effective on March 27, 2020 through the passage of House Bill (HB) 197, the General Assembly’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the temporary authority set to expire on Dec. 1, 2020, Rep. Miller introduced this legislation to ensure that public bodies will be able to meet virtually until June 30, 2021.
“We are seeing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, with our number of available medical staff declining. It will take a few months to stem this third wave of the virus spread and to implement a vaccine. During this time, public bodies should have the option to continue to hold their meetings virtually,” said Rep. Miller.
On Thursday, 68 of 88 counties in Ohio had reached “Level Red” COVID-19 status, and the Ohio Department of Health reported 7,101 new cases. On Wednesday night, Gov. DeWine gave an address calling this time “the most dangerous phase of the pandemic.”