Ohio House Bill 2 signed into law

Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio House Bill (H.B.) 2 into law on Monday, May 17, 2021. H.B. 2 was drafted similarly to H.B. 13 from the last general assembly. H.B. 2 creates the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program. The grant program will be housed under the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA), which is likely to become the Ohio Department of Development again under H.B. 110, the budget bill. DSA will receive and review applications for program grants and send completed applications to the Broadband Expansion Program Authority. The Authority will consist of the Director of Development Services (DSA Director) and the Director of InnovateOhio or their designees, along with three appointed members, to serve four-year terms with reappointments permitted, with the Speaker of the House, the Senate President and the Governor making one appointment each. For more, read the full article.

Ethics, General News

Ohio’s COVID-19 health order to be removed June 2

On May 12, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine addressed Ohioans regarding Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders, stating that with the vaccine as a weapon to combat COVID-19, he is confident that it is time to rescind Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders. Therefore, the Department of Health will rescind all COVID-19 related health orders on June 2, 2021, except those relating to congregate living centers and nursing homes. The delay will allow individuals to get vaccinated before the health orders are removed. For more, read the full article.  

General News

Federal Election Commission confirms three new Commissioners; Elects Chair and Vice Chair

Shana M. Broussard, Sean J. Cooksey and Allen Dickerson were sworn in as members of the Federal Election Commission, Friday, December 18, after having been nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate on December 9. On Tuesday, December 22, Broussard was elected by the Commission to serve as Chair, while Dickerson was elected as Vice Chair. The Federal Election Commission now has quorum to conduct business. The Commission lacked quorum for most of 2020. Read the press release.

Election Law, General News

Ohio Governor DeWine issues three-week statewide curfew

On November 17, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the administration is issuing a statewide curfew that takes effect on Thursday, November 19, 2020. Under the curfew, individuals are to be at home from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. The curfew lasts for 21 days. The Governor previously signaled he was considering closing in-person dining at bars and restaurants as daily case counts crept up over 8,000 per day. For a summary of the state-wide and county-specific orders, read the full article. 

General News

Governor signs qualified immunity bill for COVID-19 related lawsuits

On September 14, 2020, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 606, a measure that provides widespread qualified immunity to Ohio’s healthcare providers and others, including Ohio businesses, for liability related to COVID-19. The new law will become effective on December 13, 2020. H.B. 606 recognizes the difficult decisions health care providers face as they care for patients during the pandemic, and accounts for the impact of the government’s orders on non-emergency medical procedures. It also recognizes the importance of reopening Ohio’s businesses and the business community’s concerns. For a summary of H.B. 606, read the full article

General News

DeWine announces new county-specific mask requirements, general business and social distancing and industry specific orders extended

At his July 7, 2020, press conference, Governor DeWine announced that the administration is taking additional steps to curb the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases. Utilizing the public health advisory alert system announced the week prior, DeWine said that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a new mask requirement for counties that reach Level 3 or higher. For more, read the full article.

General News

Ohio Governor and General Assembly updates

The Bricker & Eckler government relations team has compiled a comprehensive review of Governor DeWine’s latest announcements, including the surprise resignation of Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, General Assembly actions, including a marathon floor session by the Ohio House, and a look ahead through the end of June 2020 and into the summer. For more, read the full article.

General News

Ohioans Protecting Ohioans order issued

On May 20, 2020, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued a revised Director’s Order that rescinded or amended parts of the “Stay Safe Ohio Order” that has been in effect since April 30. Dr. Acton also signed an “Urgent Health Advisory: Ohioans Protecting Ohioans.”

Governor Mike DeWine, while previewing these actions in his May 19 press conference, stated, “we are now moving from orders to strong recommendations. This is a new phase in our battle against the virus.” For a summary of the impact of collective actions taken by the administration, read the full article

General News

DeWine announces more Ohio reopenings

On May 14, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced that childcare providers may reopen on May 31. Childcare providers will have increased cleaning and sanitizing requirements, and class sizes will be reduced. Playground and outdoor activities will be permitted, but field trips will not be allowed. Additionally, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted announced several other reopenings, including that day camps are permitted to open on May 31, with new safety guidelines and protocols being announced on May 15. Ohio BMVs will reopen on May 26, but the administration is still urging Ohioans to utilize online BMV services. Campgrounds may reopen on May 21. Horse racing may resume on May 22, but spectators are prohibited. However, the administration noted that racinos and casinos cannot yet reopen. For more, read the full article

General News

RestartOhio in full swing

RestartOhio, the state’s reopening plan during the COVID-19 pandemic, is in full swing, and Governor DeWine announced reopening dates for restaurants, bars, hair salons, nail salons and barber shops. In addition, the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate held session on May 6, 2020, and continue to introduce COVID-19-related legislation. Read the full article for some highlights of recent announcements.

General News
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