COLUMBUS -- The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in the postponement of Gov. Mike DeWine's annual "State of the State" address.
DeWine, Senate President Larry Obhof (R–Medina), and House Speaker Larry Householder (R–Glenford) on Thursday issued a joint statement delaying the address.
DeWine was initially scheduled to deliver the 2020 State of the State address in the House Chamber on March 31. The governor is constitutionally-required to communicate the condition of the state to the General Assembly at least once every session.
The statement said:
“Over the past several weeks, Ohio has taken unprecedented steps in response to the global coronavirus crisis -- all aimed at keeping our fellow citizens safe. The world’s leading medical experts recommend the continued practice of “social distancing” to slow the spread of the virus and 'flatten the curve’ to prevent overwhelming our healthcare facilities.
“We have taken steps to ensure that the business of our state is carried out in a safe and careful manner to protect our many public servants, their families, and anyone with whom they come into contact.
"In keeping with those ongoing goals, we will not bring together the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Governor’s Cabinet, and the entire General Assembly in the same place at the same time for the State of the State Address until a later date, after the State of Emergency has concluded.
“Just yesterday, the General Assembly gave unanimous support for the state’s coronavirus response legislation. The temporary changes made through this legislation will give much-needed relief to Ohio’s businesses and our workforce to support our families and our economy during this difficult time. We will continue to work together throughout this crisis to serve the best interests of every Ohioan. We are in this together, and we will make it through this together.”