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.
“Corruption has no place in our government, regardless of political party. When corruption is revealed, it is important we act quickly to fix what has been broken,” said Rep. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood), one of the bill’s joint sponsors. “With deeply gerrymandered districts, Republican politicians feel invincible and are more beholden to special interest groups and corporations than they are to their own constituents. HB 6 was the manifestation of this alleged corruption.”
“House Bill 6, whether good policy or not, was founded on and funded by a scheme to defraud taxpayers and circumvent the will of the people of our state. It should be repealed,” said Rep. Michael O’Brien (D-Warren), the repeal bill’s other Democratic joint sponsor. “Recent events have been a black eye for our institution, and our legislation is the first step toward repairing the damage to the public trust caused by Republican leaders in the Ohio House.”
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.