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Governor DeWine Signs House Bill 197

The bill provides emergency relief to Ohioans due to COVID-19

In Ohio there are 1,137 confirmed cases, 107 ICU admissions, 276 hospitalizations, and 19 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  There are confirmed cases in 61 counties across the state.

Today, Governor Mike DeWine signed HB 197, which provides emergency relief to Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 25 associations expressed their support for HB 197.

"On behalf of the hard-working professional men and women making the supply chain in this country possible, we thank Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted for their work," said Tom Balzer, CAE, President & CEO, Ohio Trucking Association. "Together, with the Ohio Legislature, their swift action in passing House Bill 197, keeps America’s professional truck drivers delivering the freight this country needs right now instead of physically waiting in line for a license renewal.”

The bill:

  • Waives state testing requirements for school children this year.
  • Extends professional licenses for those who cannot get them renewed.
  • Allows local governments to hold public meetings remotely and with transparency.
  • Extends the income tax deadline to July 15, 2020. 
  • Extends absentee voting by mail until April 28, 2020. 
  • Provides funding for small businesses, such as day cares and services for the disabled.   

“[Governor DeWine’s] guidance on key reforms contained in HB 197, in tandem with The Ohio General Assembly’s quick and decisive action, will allow the State to push out tax filing and payment deadlines to July 15 without penalty or interest," said Scott D. Wiley, CAE, President & CEO, Ohio Society of CPAs. "These changes will allow Ohioans to use those funds now to purchase essential needs, and to focus their time and energy on keeping their businesses going and families fed.”

“Ohio’s grocers and retail food industry workers are on the front lines of this pandemic and realize this healthcare crisis is unlike anything we have faced in modern times," said Ohio Grocers Association President Kristin Mullins. "Our members are committed to provding the necessary resources for our state and the proactive leadership from the adminstration and legislature continues to provide the necessary tools to do this. OGA applauds the governor and the General Assembly for tackling many of state’s most pressing issues and providing immediate relief for all Ohioans with the passage of House Bill 197.”

DeWine announced that Ohio is launching a website to encourage Ohioans to continue to support local retailers and restaurants by shopping online, choosing local, ordering carryout from restaurants and taking virtual tours of well-known attractions around the state. DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted said the program is called, “Ohio. Find It Here.”

There are currently more than 250 local restaurants, shops, and virtual activities being featured online. To find a local shop or restaurant to support, or to have your business featured, go to

DeWine, Senate President Larry Obhof and House Speaker Larry Householder announced the State of the State Address would be postponed until a later date, after the State of Emergency has concluded. The State of the State was originally scheduled for next Tuesday.

Additionally, President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act today. This stimulus package provides $1,200 to most Americans along with funds for unemployment insurance and small businesses.

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