Gov. DeWine: fines to remain for COVID-19 rule-breaking businesses in Ohio

The measure included in the budget by fellow Republican lawmakers would have stopped disciplinary actions against companies and refunded payment of any fines.

Posted: Jul 1, 2021 4:37 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Refunding fines to Ohio businesses cited for violating public health orders during the coronavirus pandemic would send a “horrible” message to the vast majority of companies that followed the rules, GOP Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday as he explained why he voted the budget provision.

The measure included in the budget by fellow Republican lawmakers would have stopped disciplinary actions against companies and refunded payment of any fines.

The move was one of several pushed by GOP legislators challenging actions DeWine took to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Total fines were only estimated at about $100,000.

DeWine said he was grateful to most businesses who “did phenomenally well” working under restrictions during the pandemic.

By contrast, he said, a small number of firms were cited by state liquor control agents, sometimes repeatedly, for violating health orders.

Such orders included the statewide mask mandate, limits on crowd size, and required social distancing.

To tell those businesses there are no consequences for their actions “would send a horrible, horrible, horrible message,” DeWine said.

DeWine also vetoed a Republican measure that would have allowed the House speaker and Senate president to intervene in legal challenges to the upcoming process of creating new, more representative legislative districts.

DeWine called this an unprecedented violation of the separation of powers.

“It is virtually unheard of for state or federal courts to permit members of the General Assembly to intervene in lawsuits,” DeWine said, noting that Republican Attorney General Dave Yost, who represents the state in court, had asked for the veto.

The two-year, $75 billion budget that went into effect Thursday includes a new system for funding K-12 education that both Democrats and Republicans believe will create a fairer and more reliable long-term payment system.

For the first time, the Fair School Funding Plan sets the base amount of money spent on each child on the total per pupil cost of an education, from the transportation budget needed to bring children to school to the computers they’re issued to do homework on at the end of the day.

Going forward, that base amount is about $7,200 per child, up from $6,020 in current law.

The new system will also do away with a guarantee that districts don’t receive less money from budget cycle to budget cycle, regardless of their actual expenses.

It also eliminates what are known as caps, which limit how much additional money districts can receive year over year, regardless of their need.

The new school funding plan also allows direct state payments to charter schools, rather than the money coming from districts.

DeWine called it a budget “that invests in Ohio, a budget that invests in the people of Ohio, and a budget that invests particularly, particularly in our children.

He also noted the budget passed by wide bipartisan measures in the GOP-controlled House and Senate.

“This budget speaks to what pulls us together, and reminds us that we have so much more in common than the things that pull us apart,” the governor said.

Among other spending measures, the budget provides $250 million for grants to help deliver broadband access to underserved and rural communities, and $170 million for the state’s clean water initiative meant to reduce runoff into lakes that can create toxic algae blooms.

The budget also spends $10 million to help local police departments buy or boost body-worn camera systems, and $8 million in grants meant to help communities reduce violent crime.

In addition, the budget enacts a 3% personal income tax cut, and also raises to $25,000 the minimum amount Ohioans must earn before they have to pay state income taxes. Critics say the tax cut benefits mainly wealthy Ohioans.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
Clark17150224
Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
Bartholomew10341167
Floyd10200202
Wayne9690218
Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
Dearborn745187
Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
Huntington591891
Montgomery5706102
DeKalb563591
Knox537599
Miami531983
Clinton527164
Putnam525367
Whitley516251
Steuben486367
Wabash477492
Jasper471961
Jefferson461991
Ripley444175
Adams439365
Daviess4064106
Scott394963
White386257
Clay382356
Greene380189
Wells379683
Decatur379595
Fayette367176
Posey354941
Jennings346356
Washington325847
LaGrange315774
Spencer313034
Fountain309753
Randolph305487
Sullivan299447
Owen279161
Starke272761
Orange272659
Fulton268851
Jay250634
Perry247451
Carroll241127
Franklin233637
Vermillion229750
Rush228930
Parke215220
Tipton206754
Pike202538
Blackford165634
Pulaski158751
Crawford142818
Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1342777

Reported Deaths: 21471
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1502191556
Cuyahoga1327732318
Hamilton962791318
Montgomery659161136
Summit555141045
Lucas50248862
Butler46732653
Stark40741974
Lorain31004529
Warren29609328
Mahoning26462637
Clermont25206287
Lake24339416
Delaware22014143
Licking20180241
Fairfield20139221
Greene19955268
Trumbull19500508
Medina19478286
Clark17565325
Richland15949231
Portage15851228
Wood15438208
Allen13875256
Miami13549249
Muskingum12261149
Wayne11647237
Columbiana11344239
Tuscarawas10657265
Marion10509148
Pickaway10301128
Scioto10082126
Erie9618171
Ross9209174
Lawrence8516116
Hancock8298141
Ashtabula8180185
Geauga8066155
Belmont7966184
Jefferson7324168
Huron7253127
Union717849
Washington7037119
Athens681064
Sandusky6734133
Darke6559136
Knox6475121
Seneca6237137
Ashland5808112
Auglaize580488
Shelby5654101
Mercer552190
Brown551068
Defiance5361100
Madison535170
Crawford5299114
Highland527581
Fulton520082
Clinton515980
Logan503182
Preble4902110
Putnam4778106
Guernsey454661
Williams448281
Champaign436264
Perry432152
Ottawa431184
Jackson413260
Pike378941
Morrow369150
Fayette367652
Coshocton359466
Hardin350069
Adams348069
Gallia338054
Holmes3197108
Henry318868
Van Wert307170
Hocking291669
Wyandot276158
Carroll256752
Paulding236442
Meigs205242
Monroe185049
Noble164840
Morgan159228
Harrison151940
Vinton133918
Unassigned05
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