COLUMBUS—Ohio House Democrats today introduced House Bill (HB) 738 – legislation to repeal HB 6, a controversial corporate bailout legislation at the center of an FBI investigation into an alleged $60 million public corruption scheme led by Republican Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), the largest corruption and money-laundering scheme ever in Ohio. Democrats began calling for Householder’s resignation as news broke last week.
The Democratic legislation would repeal HB 6, a $1 billion bailout for Ohio's two nuclear power plants, which was signed into law in July 2019. Speaker Larry Householder and several associates were allegedly paid tens of millions of dollars to pass HB 6 and to prevent a referendum against the law from coming before Ohio voters. Householder was arrested last week for his role in the alleged racketeering scheme. The FBI investigation into the situation is ongoing.
“The integrity of the legislature is compromised so long as HB 6 remains law. It was a bad bill that never should’ve become law,” said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “Repealing HB 6 is a small measure in comparison to the harm done, but it’s a needed one. We need to drain the Ohio Statehouse of corruption, including every dirty dollar still floating in Republican coffers.”
Several House Democrats had initially also signed on, in good faith, to the Republican version of the HB 6 repeal, but many have since removed their names as co-sponsors following an email sent to the entire House July 23 from Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) discouraging members to support such a measure. House Democrats are willing to work with the GOP caucus on a HB 6 repeal, but are currently concerned with the chaos and inconsistencies among the Republican members on this issue.