Governor Mike DeWine was scored a “C” on his plan to reopen Ohio by The Committee to Unleash Prosperity and Freedom Works.
Governors were graded on how they have responded and continue to respond to the coronavirus. The scorecards were released on Monday.
Governors with “A” and “B” grades have already moved toward restoring freedom and economic opportunity and are trusting their citizens to follow best practices or to isolate themselves based on their own risk assessments, said the report.
Taking into account the severity of the virus in each state and the need to keep their citizens safe and healthy, the report assesses how measured or damaging their actions have been with respect to safeguarding the economic well-being of their citizens.
“The premise of the report is that, with a few exceptions in some metropolitan areas, the time is long past for every state to reopen safely, smartly and judiciously so as to end the economic destruction and despair from the lockdowns,” said Steve Moore, President of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia and New Jersey received failing marks.
The state of Ohio is already suffering the economic consequences of the shutdown, with DeWine announcing Tuesday that Ohio has lost nearly a billion dollars in tax revenue. Meanwhile, much of the state’s economy is still shuttered.
To make up for the lost revenue, state agencies will undergo budget cuts, with Medicaid, K-12 education and higher education taking the biggest cuts.
“If we don’t make these cuts now, the cuts we will have to make next year will be more dramatic,” said DeWine. The prison system is the only budget that will not be reduced.
Ohio was ranked number 30 on the list released by the Committee to Release Prosperity and Freedom Works.
The groups examined lockdown orders, business closures, hospital and outdoor activity orders, and the degree of punitive actions on enforcing these measures. Most importantly, the report measures the start dates for reopening in each state as the evidence is very strong that states with late start dates will have much more severe recessions than states that open earlier.
“There must be appropriate urgency to the task of reopening the country, because there are significant direct and indirect health and economic consequences of delay,” it was stated in the report.
DeWine said previously that the rate of reopening is being determined by Ohioans, but that he was also speaking with other states in the region.
“We’re [going to] do it. You know, it’s going to be an Ohio decision made by Ohioans. But you can always learn something by talking to other governors, other people who are in similar circumstances,” DeWine said. “You know, we’re not going to go lockstep.”
“So as I told the people of Ohio yesterday, the monster is still loose and it’s going to be out there in Ohio and across the country until we get, you know, the shot that will take care of and will protect us,” DeWine said on “Bill Hemmer Reports.”
Some have expressed opposition to the state reopening the economy and think it is too soon.
David Pepper, Chairman of the Ohio Democrats, tweeted on Monday, “Ohio needs to reconsider what it’s doing now. Forecasts are going up. Testing is not.”
A full copy of the report, including an analysis of each governor’s plans to reopen their state, can be found here.