Three Republican governors opposed efforts this year to absolve businesses for violating public health orders during the coronavirus pandemicBy HOLLY RAMER Associated PressJuly 21, 2021, 1:11 PM• 5 min readCONCORD, N.H. — Three Republican governors opposed efforts this year to absolve businesses for violating public health orders during the coronavirus pandemic. But only in the “Live Free or Die” state have the scofflaws been set free of the fines.In March, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed legislation requiring the state to refund about $38,000 in fines imposed on businesses for violating coronavirus safety rules, and a subsequent effort to override the veto failed.“The only message sent by this bill is that the rule of law does not matter,” Hutchinson said in a letter to legislative leaders. “It is an affront to those citizens who diligently followed health and safety directives to protect themselves and their fellow Arkansans.”On July 1, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine likewise pushed back against fellow GOP lawmakers when he vetoed a budget provision that would have stopped disciplinary action against such businesses and would have resulted in about $100,000 in refunds.“To say to them there’s no consequences for what you did — that would simply not be right.


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