House committee to hold 1st hearing on repeal of bailout law

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — House lawmakers planned a Thursday hearing to begin repealing and replacing a nuclear plant bailout law now at the center of a $60 million federal bribery probe that led to the ouster of the former GOP House speaker.

Newly elected House Speaker Bob Cupp, a Lima Republican, created the House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight to consider a GOP-backed proposal to repeal House Bill 6 and revive the law it replaced.

The repeal movement began almost as soon as federal prosecutors in July accused former speaker Rep. Larry Householder and four others of shepherding energy company money for personal and political use as part of an effort to pass the legislation, then kill any attempt to repeal it at the ballot.

Householder was removed from his leadership post in a unanimous vote following his arrest. He was one of the driving forces behind the energy law, which would add a fee to every electricity bill in the state and direct over $150 million a year, through 2026, to the nuclear plants near Cleveland and Toledo.

GOP Reps. Laura Lanese and Mark Romanchuk introduced the repeal bill on July 23 — two days after a federal affidavit outlining the allegations against Householder and the others was released.

Householder has pleaded not guilty to a corruption charge and says he’s innocent and will fight the charge.

The bailout law must be repealed not only because it “was bad policy from the start, but because we need to reassure Ohioans that their representatives, Democrat or Republican, are truly working in their interest,” Lanese said when the bill was introduced.

Cupp and Republican committee chairman Rep. Jim Hoops have promised a deliberate approach to the repeal but one which won’t replicate the hours of testimony that led to the energy bailout. Democrats want a speedy repeal and say Republicans are unnecessarily delaying the process.


Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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