Fighting for our voice to be heard


State Representative Jena Powell - Guest Columnist



When I go to Columbus, I go to represent my community in Miami and Southern Darke County. We want to do everything we can to protect everyone in our community, including the elderly and the immunocompromised.

Back in March, we had limited data with regard to COVID-19. Governor DeWine made a decision with the data he had at that point.

Businesses, families, and nonprofits rose to the challenge of flattening the curve.

As we’ve looked at COVID-19 and the current data, we have a growing concern and frustration.

We worked tirelessly to flatten the curve and we protected the vulnerable… now, the data from the virus has shown us that it is not as deadly or as contagious as once thought back in March.

In our communities, we are seeing:

• Suicide rates increase

• Child abuse increase

• Small businesses fall apart

• Unemployment skyrocket

This is unacceptable with the data we now have.

When our community urged the Governor to open Ohio safely, the Governor instead extended the Stay Safe order through the month of May.

While bureaucrats can sit in their million dollar condos in Columbus and sign the Stay at Home order, my community doesn’t have the luxury of doing that. We have to get back to work and we can do it safely.

That is why Substitute Senate Bill 1 is crucial.

We have three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial – none of which is more important than the others. Checks and balances in government are crucial as we move forward.

We have to make sure that everyone’s voice is being heard. That is what Sub. S.B. 1 does.

Today, I voted yes on Sub. S.B. 1 to allow a legislative checks and balances on Dr. Acton’s power. All orders issued by the Director of the Department of Health will cease after 14 days unless the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review votes for an extension.

In addition, Sub. S.B. 1 will reduce government regulation and cut red tape by requiring state agencies to reduce their regulatory restrictions by 30% by 2022 and by prohibiting an agency from adopting new regulatory restrictions that increase their restriction percentage of rules.

I also voted yes on S.B. 55, which included an amendment to decriminalize violations of health department orders related to the pandemic.

This is a step in the right direction to ensure your voice is being heard in Columbus.

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State Representative Jena Powell

Guest Columnist

State Representative Jena Powell represents Ohio’s 80th House District. She can be reached at Rep80@ohiohouse.gov or (614) 466-8114.

State Representative Jena Powell represents Ohio’s 80th House District. She can be reached at Rep80@ohiohouse.gov or (614) 466-8114.