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Government & Politics

Ohio Supreme Court Injunction Marks Another Legal Win for HB6 Opponents

Former Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder outside of federal courthouse in Columbus
Andy Chow
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Larry Householder (R-Glenford), then speaker of the Ohio House, walks out of the federal courthouse in Columbus last summer, after making an initial appearance by video. He was arrested shortly before as a result of the investigation into his alleged role in the HB6 scandal, as were former Ohio GOP Chair Matt Borges, Householder's advisor and two lobbyists.

The Ohio Supreme Court issued a ruling that blocks new charges set to appear on electric bills through a nuclear power plant bailout, which compliments a separate lower court order issued December 21.

The Ohio Manufacturers' Association asked the Supreme Court to stop the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio from attaching new fees onto electric bills that would fund a nuclear power plant bailout. 

If this sounds familiar, it's because the injunction is similar to the one Franklin County Judge Chris Brown ordered a week ago.  

There are several cases that have been filed to block the energy law created through HB6, which has been linked to a bribery scandal still under investigation. 

Former House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) is accused of playing a role in a $61 million bribery scheme. Federal investigators say a utility, believed to be FirstEnergy, funneled money to a dark money group controlled by Householder called "Generation Now." That money, according to investigators, would be used to elevate Householder to become speaker, and in return he would pass HB6.

HB6 creates a new $0.85 monthly charge on electric bills that generates $170 million a year, $150 million going to nuclear power plants and the other $20 million going to existing solar farms.

The bill also allows for a charge of up to $1.50 a month for two coal plants owned by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

Opponents of HB6 say Ohioans shouldn't pay the extra charges on electric bills until the federal investigation plays out. 

Republican lawmakers considered a repeal of the law, but leadership decided against it. 
Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit statenews.org.