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Rep. Lepore-Hagan issues statement as GOP fast tracks bill to strip power from State Health Director during public health crises

November 20, 2020
Michele Lepore-Hagan News

Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today issued a statement as House GOP lawmakers voted Thursday to fast track Senate Bill (SB) 311, which would curb executive authority from the state health director to issue orders during public health emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Governor is going to veto this. Republicans are calling us to the Statehouse but not to help Ohioans with unemployment, rent payments, making schools safer, or anything else that would get our state back on track. The only thing they’re interested in doing is creating further disruptions,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “There is no bipartisanship and no reasonableness. The majority of Republicans refuse to wear masks in committee or session. The only thing Democrats and Ohioans are going to get out of the majority, ruling party is more COVID exposure.” 

Republican lawmakers Thursday also rejected a Democratic motion to require facial coverings in the Statehouse to protect the public, legislative staff, members of the press and elected officials amid the worst spike in cases in Ohio since the onset of the pandemic.

Franklin County, home to the Ohio Statehouse, Thursday became the first Ohio county to enter Level 4, the state’s highest-level rating which indicates severe spread and exposure of COVID-19. In anticipation of the rating, the City of Columbus and Franklin County Wednesday issued a stay-at-home advisory beginning Friday, urging residents to only leave home for essential purposes.