COLUMBUS—On a call with statehouse media today, House Democratic leadership outlined their recommendations for a “responsible restart” for Ohio. This is based on the testimony they heard during the OHIO 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force proceedings, coupled with the feedback they received from constituents and local experts.
House Dems have identified 10 main areas of focus for the eventual “re-opening” of Ohio:
5. Vulnerable populations
6. Worker protections
7. Consumer Confidence
8. Support for business
9. General Election
10. Public Awareness
“As we begin this incremental process of “re-opening” our state, we must proceed with caution,” Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) said. “As Governor DeWine said, ‘We save our economy by first saving lives and we do it in that order.’ While Ohioans have successfully flattened the curve by staying home, there is a very real risk for a second spike if we are not cautious moving forward. There is proof that countries who have not put in place adequate procedures have found themselves in a second surge where illness and deaths spiked.
House Democrats are committed to getting Ohioans back to work, but maintain that relaxing of social distancing measures without proper precautions will lead to more death. As a result, we believe the state should follow the federal Center for Disease Control Guidelines for Reopening America. We must follow the advice of medical experts which suggest to maintain social distancing until there are 14 consecutive days of decreasing incidences of infection before starting the process to “re-open”. We must ensure that everyone feels safe re-engaging in society by ensuring that there’s a clear plan and everyone knows what to expect from the business they patronize and the places where they are employed.
Based on the testimony heard during the task force proceedings, coupled with the feedback we are receiving from our own constituents and local experts, we have identified 10 main areas that Ohioans need to hear clear plans if we are to ‘re-open.’ We welcome the opportunity to work with our legislative colleagues on the other side of the aisle as well as the governor to create a framework for a responsible restart for Ohio.”
Meanwhile, progress continues with the six workgroups created by Leader Sykes and led by members of the House Democratic Caucus.
- Education Workgroup
- Working Family Support Workgroup
- Healthcare Workgroup
- Tax and Finance Workgroup
- Voting and Election Workgroup
- Government Functions Workgroup
From the onset of this crisis, Democrats have been working collaboratively with local officials and listening to constituents and business leaders on short and long-term solutions to provide needed relief to those affected by coronavirus. On April 1, House Democrats called on legislative leaders in both chambers to reconvene the General Assembly to address outstanding issues Democrats says cannot wait until after the pandemic subsides. They renew this call today.
Editor’s note: a copy of House Democrats’ “Responsible Restart for Ohio” is attached.