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Gov. DeWine calls on state legislature to repeal and replace H.B. 6 following Householder arrest

DeWine said that while he supports the bill, the manner in which is was created "stinks."
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 2:52 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - Gov. Mike DeWine is calling on the Ohio state legislature to repeal and replace House Bill 6, the piece of legislation at the center of a recent federal bribery investigation that led to the arrest of Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four of his associates. This position is a reversal for the governor, who supported the bill as a means of keeping nuclear energy viable in the state.

During his bi-weekly press conference to update the public on the state of the coronavirus pandemic in Ohio, the governor began by addressing the arrests and investigation, saying that “while the policy, in my opinion, is good, the process in which it was created stinks.” The governor went on to stress his belief that nuclear energy is the way forward for green energy solutions in Ohio but that the only way to fix what had been broken due to the scandal was to go back and start again.

The governor went on to reiterate his belief that, due to his arrest and the substance of the investigation, Speaker Householder is no longer capable of serving in his appointed role and he requested that the sitting legislators work to replace him in that role.

House Bill 6, which was passed in October 2019, allowed for FirstEnegery to apply a surcharge to customer bills to assist in the operation of nuclear plants like Davis Besse, among other measures.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, along with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the arrest of Speaker Householder and his associates on allegations the speaker accepted more than $61 million in bribes to get the legislation passed and to launch an initiative to squash opposition to the bill.

In speaking to the press on the day of the arrests, U.S. Attorney David DeVillers, called it the “largest money-laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the citizens of Ohio.”

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