COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Two state representatives say they will be introducing legislation Wednesday to repeal 2019’s House Bill 6.
House Bill 6 is the bill federal officials say Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and associates were bribed with $60 million to pass and prevent a referendum to funnel state funds to two failing nuclear power plants managed by FirstEnergy.
There was a controversial effort to block it from going into effect that included accusations of assault on petitioners, bribery, and scare ads involving China. The bill eventually passed through the statehouse and was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine last summer.
The bill is slated to be introduced by State Representative Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Rep. Michael O’Brien (D-Warren), the two announced in a press release.
“Corruption has no place in our government, regardless of political party. When corruption is revealed, it is important we act quickly to fix what has been broken,” said Rep. Skindell. “Ohio has been under a one-party rule for decades and what we are seeing are the consequences of that undemocratic arrangement. With deeply gerrymandered districts, Republican politicians feel invincible and are more beholden to special interest groups and corporations than they are to their own constituents. HB 6 was the manifestation of this alleged corruption.”
State Senator Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta) also announced Wednesday that he will soon introduce legislation to repeal House Bill 6.
“Yesterday’s corruption charges revealed a direct link to the passage of H.B. 6 last year,” said O’Brien. “H.B. 6 included subsidized payments totaling more than $1 billion to Ohio’s two nuclear facilities owned and operated by FirstEnergy Solutions, now operating under the name of Energy Harbor. Policies enacted under the umbrella of bribery and corruption are inherently harmful to our state. My office is currently working on legislation to repeal these corrupt laws. We cannot in good faith keep laws in place that financially benefit any company engaging in pay-to-play. I am asking the entire General Assembly to quickly get behind this effort and roll back these policies that will only erode our integrity as an elected body if these policies remain in place.”
The bill is set to be introduced early next week with Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) as a joint sponsor. Sen. O’Brien hopes for the bill’s swift movement through the legislature.