The Ohio Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it would not hear the case of whether House Bill 6 violates the state’s Constitution.
Ohio’s highest court did not give an official opinion on the issue. However, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Justice Michael Donnelly, Justice Sharon Kennedy and Justice Melody Stewart believed the case should be “dismissed for lack of a justiciable controversy.”
This ruling does not affect a separate request made by a federal judge asking the United States Supreme Court to decide if people opposing HB 6 can get more time to gather signatures even after the law was implemented in July, Cleveland.com reports.
FirstEnergy Solutions filed a motion to Ohio’s Supreme Court in September asking it to stop a referendum that could overturn HB 6, which bailed out the two nuclear power plants in the state.
Its motion argues the bill can’t be overturned because it is an approved tax, which Ohio’s Constitution prevents from being annulled by a public referendum.
HB 6 raises Ohioans’ monthly electric payments by 85 cents and FirstEnergy Solutions’ two nuclear power plants get $150 million annually in government assistance for 7 years. Also, the coal industry and solar farms are subsidized under this bill.
In August, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts (OACB) started to gather signatures for a referendum to overturn the nuclear power plant bailout. However,they did not get the required 265,774 signatures by the October 21 deadline.
The group said it ran into problems while collecting signatures for the referendum. Of the many obstacles OACB claimed happened to them include HB 6 supporters hiring blockers to interfere with petitioners, circulating bogus petitions and bribing petition circulators.
Back in September, an OACB petitioner had his phone smacked out of his hand and someone blocked him as he gathered signatures.
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