by Todd DeFeo
House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, has named lawmakers to serve on a new committee tasked with repealing and replacing House Bill 6, a ratepayer-funded bailout of two Ohio nuclear plants that led to a federal corruption probe.
Democrats said they were prepared to take action when the House met on Tuesday.
State Rep. Jim Hoops, R-Napoleon, will chair the committee, while state Rep. Cindy Abrams, R-Harrison, will serve as its vice-chair; state Rep. David Leland, D-Columbus, is the ranking minority member. The committee will hold its first hearing next week.
The formation of the House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight is the latest fallout in the wake of the arrest of former House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford. A federal grand jury indicted the former speaker and four others as part of a $60 million “public corruption racketeering conspiracy” to pass the legislation, a ratepayer bailout of two Ohio nuclear plants.
“Our plan is to work expeditiously through these complex issues,” Cupp said in a statement. “It’s important that we get this done and get it done right in a fair and open process.”
Several high-profile Republicans, including Gov. Mike DeWine, have called for the repeal of the legislation. The state Senate is also expected to consider a move to repeal HB6.
Last week, House Democrats threatened to use a discharge petition, “a seldom-used parliamentary maneuver,” to force action on a bill to repeal the measure.
“House Democrats showed up to work for our constituents,” House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, said in a statement. “We were ready to address the rent and mortgage crisis, unemployment compensation and recovery from both COVID-19 and the economic crisis that followed. We were also ready to start the process to repeal House Bill 6 as the Republicans have said publicly over and over again that they too are ready to do.”
Other members of the committee are state Reps. Brian Baldridge, R-Winchester; Rick Carfagna, R-Genoa Township; Phil Plummer, R-Dayton; Mark Romanchuk, R-Ontario; Dick Stein, R-Norwalk; Jason Stephens, R-Kitts Hill; Scott Wiggam, R-Wooster; Kristin Boggs, D-Columbus; Sedrick Denson, D-Cincinnati; Michael O’Brien, D-Warren; Kent Smith, D-Euclid; Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson.
“I’m looking forward to a robust and thorough discussion,” Hoops said in a news release. “It’s important have sound energy policy that works for Ohio.”
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Todd DeFeo is a contributor to The Center Square.