Lawmakers Continue to Block COVID Restrictions

Ohio Lawmakers are keeping up the pressure on Gov. Mike DeWine.

His unpopular health orders are being targeted by DeWine’s fellow Republicans who have launched multiple bills to lift or modify those restrictions. One that passed very early Friday morning after a marathon House session lifts restrictions on county fairs.

An order from the state health department under Gov. DeWine’s direction limited county fairs to permit only Junior fairs for kids.

It prohibited full county fairs complete with large competitions, exhibits, concerts, food, rides and a festival atmosphere.

Supporters of the bill, including Rep. Kyle Koehler, R- Springfield, said it would allow for local communities to get ready for next year.

“So county fair boards can begin to plan and implement the protocols needed to have full safe fairs in 2021,” Koehler said.

It follows a battle between conservative lawmakers and DeWine over another restriction limitation plan.

That bill would require any health order lasting more than two weeks to be approved by a legislative panel.

A standing legislative committee already reviews other state government rules and regulations.

Rep. Jena Powell, R- Arcanum said it would give the public a voice at the Statehouse on the governor’s restrictions.

“Governor DeWine has no regards for the thoughts of people and no regards for what we’re trying to do,” Powell said.

The bill to limit those long-running health orders may immediately effect DeWine’s statewide mask mandate and the 10 pm curfew. It already passed the Ohio House and Senate but was vetoed by the governor.

On Tuesday of next week the House and Senate will consider over-riding that veto.

DeWine has been negotiating with legislative leaders on the bill, so a compromise may be in the works.