Ohio GOP lawmakers push to repeal energy bill amid scandal
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Mirroring their Democratic colleagues, House Republicans on Thursday launched an effort to repeal a nuclear bailout law and “sanitize” legislative activity as a bribery scandal unfolds over the law’s passage.
Rep. Laura Lanese of suburban Columbus said repealing the bill and starting over is the only way to address state energy policy issues and restore trust following the arrests of Republican House speaker Larry Householder and four associates in the $60 million case. The state should be encouraging renewable energy development in Ohio as part of its overall energy plan, Lanese said.
“(The House) needs to reassure Ohioans, whether Democrat or Republican, that we are working in their honor,” she said.
Despite the move, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who signed the original bill, opposes repealing the law, saying the policy it contains is good regardless of how it was enacted.
But Lanese and Republican Rep. Rick Carfagna believe the whole bill has been “tainted” by the criminal investigation revealed Wednesday.
The Republican lawmakers were joined at the press conference by Republican Sen. Stephanie Kunze, who came to show her support for the plan to repeal.
"From the beginning, this bill and the intention of this bill were not for Ohio but for a select group," Kunze said Thursday. “It was not about the jobs, it was really a scheme to rip off the taxpayers of Ohio.”
Democratic Reps. Michael O’Brien and Michael Skindell also announced their plans to repeal House Bill 6 on Wednesday while calling for Householder to resign.
Skindell blamed the state's one-party rule for allowing Republican politicians like Householder to “feel invincible" and beholden to special interest groups over their own constituents.
“HB 6 was the...