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Ohio Supreme Court Agrees to Decide on HB 6 Referendum

Ohio Statehouse
The Ohio Statehouse stands in the fading hours of the afternoon in downtown Columbus.

The battle over the energy law that starts providing subsidies to Ohio’s two nuclear power plants in 2021 might not be over. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed to decide whether opponents of the law can take it to voters.

Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts had said it was denied a full 90 days to gather signatures for a referendum. The group claims it was delayed after Attorney General Dave Yost rejected its first attempt at petition language and when people hired by the law’s supporters followed and blocked petition circulators, such as Rachael Belz from Ohio Citizen Action.

"Friends of mine, allies, people that would normally have signed it weeks ago, but they haven't been able to find it because of all these tactics," Belz said.

The groups supporting the law say monitors were employed to educate people.

Neither supporters nor opponents have revealed their donors. The court will decide whether opponents should get an extra 38 days, which they say will allow them to get 44,000 more signatures to take the law to the ballot next year.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.