Ohio Senate passes bill to limit orders issued by Ohio Department of Health


The Ohio Senate has passed a bill to limit the scope of the Ohio Department of Health’s orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.Senate President Larry Obhof announced Wednesday that the Senate has passed Senate Bill 311, which establishes “common-sense limitations” on the Ohio Department of Health’s “ability to issue mandatory quarantine or isolation orders during crises,” according to a release from the Ohio Senate.“Senate Bill 311 restores the proper balance between the legislature and the executive branch,” said Obhof, who co-sponsored the bill. “We have seen too many decisions being made by an administrative agency rather than by the Legislature.” The bill would prohibit mandatory statewide quarantine orders, such as stay-at-home orders, for those who have not been directly exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine orders would still apply for those who are sick or have been directly exposed.“This bill clarifies what the intent of the legislature has long been: quarantine and isolation can only be enforced upon people who have been diagnosed with a contagious illness or who have been directly in contact with someone who has the disease,” Obhof said. “Further, the bill enacts reasonable checks and balances to ensure that an administrative agency cannot exercise unchecked control over the state during public health emergencies.”The bill would provide the General Assembly the ability to repeal an order from the health department through the adoption of a concurrent resolution.Senate Bill 311 now heads to the Ohio House of Representatives.

The Ohio Senate has passed a bill to limit the scope of the Ohio Department of Health’s orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate President Larry Obhof announced Wednesday that the Senate has passed Senate Bill 311, which establishes “common-sense limitations” on the Ohio Department of Health’s “ability to issue mandatory quarantine or isolation orders during crises,” according to a release from the Ohio Senate.

“Senate Bill 311 restores the proper balance between the legislature and the executive branch,” said Obhof, who co-sponsored the bill. “We have seen too many decisions being made by an administrative agency rather than by the Legislature.”

The bill would prohibit mandatory statewide quarantine orders, such as stay-at-home orders, for those who have not been directly exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine orders would still apply for those who are sick or have been directly exposed.

“This bill clarifies what the intent of the legislature has long been: quarantine and isolation can only be enforced upon people who have been diagnosed with a contagious illness or who have been directly in contact with someone who has the disease,” Obhof said. “Further, the bill enacts reasonable checks and balances to ensure that an administrative agency cannot exercise unchecked control over the state during public health emergencies.”

The bill would provide the General Assembly the ability to repeal an order from the health department through the adoption of a concurrent resolution.

Senate Bill 311 now heads to the Ohio House of Representatives.

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