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Wiggam Leads Legislation Bringing Real Oversight to State Health Orders

The legislation passed out of the Ohio House, Heads to Governor
November 19, 2020
Scott Wiggam News

State Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) led the effort within the Ohio House in passing Senate Bill 311, which clarifies the authority of the Department of Health in its quarantine and isolation health orders on Ohioans. Wiggam testified to the bill on the House floor earlier today.

“For nearly nine months, we have seen one branch of government imposing government order, after order, after order on Ohioans without consulting with the actual branch of government whose job it is to draft true legislation and actual law,” said Wiggam. “Sadly, as you have all witnessed, the administration is acting as two branches of government – this is not the way our democracy is enshrined. We are three co-equal branches of government, and we in this chamber are the Legislature, the branch that actively represents the needs of the people of Ohio on a day-to-day basis.”

Specifically, the legislation clarifies the Department of Health’s authority to quarantine and isolate the people of Ohio in two ways:

  1. The bill specifies that state quarantine and isolation orders may only be issued in situations when an individual has been either directly exposed or has been medically diagnosed with the relevant disease. It’s key to note, this is consistent with the definitions of quarantine and isolation according to the CDC.
  2. The legislation allows the General Assembly to rescind quarantine and isolation orders issued pertaining to 3701.13 or 3701.14 by passing a concurrent resolution.

Wiggam noted that these provisions ensure no orders will be issued under the health director’s quarantine and isolation authority to restrict freedoms of healthy Ohioans who have not been exposed. Additionally, it will allow the General Assembly to have a say in representation of their constituents across Ohio when it comes to protecting their rights and liberties against government overreach.

“As a Legislature now, we must make it loud and clear to Ohioans that under this branch of government, we hear you and we are taking action to make your voices heard again during this crisis,” Wiggam added.

Back in September, the Senate passed the legislation 20-13. With today’s House passage, the bill now heads to the governor and awaits further action.