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State House representatives split on when Ohio businesses should reopen

More than 30 Republican lawmakers have signed a proposal that would open businesses in May. Democrats' plan recommends "caution."

COLUMBUS, Ohio — House Republicans in Ohio are ready to open up the state's businesses. Governor Mike DeWine's stay at home order goes through May 1, this Friday, and a new proposal from Rep. Paul Zeltwanger of Warren County aims to help keep it that way.

The proposal, called the Open Ohio Responsibly Framework would open all Ohio businesses closed from the coronavirus on Friday. As of this writing, 32 state Republican representatives have signed the initiative.

"We respect past concerns regarding not overwhelming our hospitals, health systems, front-line healthcare workers and first responders as well as ensuring there is an adequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment for them," it reads. "In Ohio, we believe we are now past that stage of concern."

Under the proposal, the Governor would assign reopening guidelines to local governing bodies, such as county commissioners or Boards of Health, though Representatives also recommend adhering to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Meanwhile, House Democrats want to take a slower approach. The House Democratic Caucus unveiled their reopening proposal this afternoon, called A Responsible Restart for Ohio.. The plan focuses on 10 areas, including coronavirus contact tracing, hygiene and childcare.

"Relaxing of social distancing measures without proper precautions will lead to more death," the proposal's summary reads. "We must follow the advice of medical experts which suggest to maintain social distancing until there are 14 consecutive days of decreasing incidences of infection before starting the process to 're-open.'"

You can read the full proposal from the Ohio House Democratic Caucus here, as well as in the tweet below.

Governor DeWine is expected to announce the details of his state reopening plan today at 2 p.m. during his daily coronavirus briefing, which you can watch on wkyc.com and through our app.

You can view the list of representatives who've signed the initiative here. The document will update as potentially more representatives sign. 

The full proposal can also be read here.

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