Today, the Ohio Senate Democrats' campaign arm condemned the ongoing effort by Statehouse Republicans to weaken Ohio's Health Department Director, Dr. Amy Acton, and give more authority to the legislature.
"My Republican colleagues are aiming to take power from Ohio's Health Department during a health crisis and give it themselves. That is troubling enough, but the sheer number of these bills shows that their actions are purely for political gain," said Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko.
There are now at least four separate bills moving through the Statehouse that would severely limit the power of Ohio's Health Department Director to take decisive action during health crises, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"These bills are outrageous, but sadly not surprising. A very small, but very vocal, minority of far right Ohioans seems to have won over our Statehouse colleagues. When a supermajority of one party runs your government, those vocal minorities often assume they will get their way in spite of what’s best for Ohio," said Senator Nickie Antonio, who also serves as the Ohio Senate Democrats' Campaign Chair.
One of the bills to limit Dr. Acton's power, SB 311, is scheduled to receive both a committee assignment and committee hearing today, emphasizing how quickly these bills are moving.
Another bill, SB 1, passed the Ohio House last week. It was voted into Conference committee by the Senate today.
Four of the state reps who voted for SB 1 are running for the Ohio Senate in November:
George Lang - running in SD 4 (Butler County)
Niraj Antani - running in SD 6 (Montgomery County)
Mark Romanchuk - running in SD 22 (Ashland, Holmes, Medina, Richland)
Bill Reineke - running in SD 26 (Crawford, Marion, Morrow, Sandusky, Seneca, Union, Wyandot)
The Ohio Senate Democrats have a full slate of strong candidates running in each of the 16 Senate districts on the ballot in 2020.
It's time to flip several seats and restore balance to Ohio's Statehouse.