Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 269, legislation to repeal Senate Bill (SB) 22, controversial legislation that Democrats say threatens the health and safety of Ohioans by curbing authority from the governor and health director during public health crises.
“SB 22 was an error. The legislature made an attempt at curtailing the authority of the governor and local officials to make good decisions for our health in the middle of a global pandemic. The repeal of SB 22 will help put Ohio back on the correct track by making the health and safety of all Ohioans our highest priority,” said Rep. Galonski.
Democrats voted in opposition to SB 22 on the House floor March 10 and urged the bill’s veto that same day. Democrats also voted against the Republican veto override, which they called “dangerous for Ohioans.” On April 14, Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) sent letters to the House Speaker and Senate President urging reconsideration of the provisions within SB 22, citing unintended consequences of the new law that could jeopardize millions of dollars in coronavirus relief funding to the state, as well as direct federal funds to aid working people and families impacted by pandemic.
Other opponents of SB 22 include top state public health officials, who have said rolling back health orders would slow the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Statehouse researchers have also called into question the constitutionality of the new law.
HB 269 now awaits referral to a House committee.