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Reps. Miranda, Kelly, Denson issue statement on lawsuit to stop HB 6

October 28, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

COLUMBUS- State Reps. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park), Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati), and Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) issued the following statements in response to yesterday’s lawsuit filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

“I voted against House Bill 6, and I fully support its repeal.  This corporate bailout, fueled up by the largest public bribery scandal in Ohio’s history, has been an absolute disservice to the Ohio taxpayer. While the supermajority secured millions in political contributions from First Energy, they sought to raise the costs on Ohio’s ratepayers to fund this corporate welfare. At the end of the day Ohioans deserve better,” said Rep. Miranda.

“From the start, HB 6 put profits over people,” said Rep. Kelly. “HB 6 failed ratepayers, failed the environment, and failed workers. I support the cities taking action to stop this rate increase, especially since the legislature has failed to repeal HB 6.”

“"I support action being taken to stop this rate increase from happening," said Rep Denson. ”However, the bottom line is we owe it to Ohioans to repeal House Bill 6 now. That remains my focus, anything short of a full repeal is not enough.”  

Since normal legislation takes 90 days after being signed to become law, October 1st was the last day to pass a bill without an emergency clause to prevent the increased charges House Bill 6 adds to ratepayer utility bills beginning January 1st, 2021. The increased charges are expected to cost residential ratepayers over $50 million per year.

Republican leadership have engaged in a long line of tactics to ensure a timely repeal of House Bill 6 is impossible:

  • On August 31st, Speaker Cupp created the Select Committee on Energy Policy & Oversight to further study House Bill 6, even though it was studied extensively last year. Rep. Leland was named its Ranking Member.
  • On September 1st, Speaker Cupp abruptly adjourned session to avoid a vote on amendments to repeal House Bill 6.
  • On September 10th, during the first meeting of the Select Committee, Republicans voted to kill a motion to vote House Bill 746 out of committee.
  • On September 16th, during the second meeting of the Select Committee, Chairman Hoops ruled a motion to move House Bill 746 out of committee out of order and adjourned the meeting.
  • On September 22nd, following the third meeting of the Select Committee, Rep. Leland accused Republicans of “running out the clock” and “doing everything in their power to keep HB 6 on the books.”
  • On Wednesday, September 23rd, the first House session since it was abruptly adjourned on September 1st, the only bills scheduled for consideration on the floor were concurrence votes from the Senate, which are not able to be amended.

Republican leadership has refused to allow public testimony, which is customarily allowed, and are instead only allowing invited testimony. Not one organization has yet given testimony before the Select Committee that didn’t also provide testimony when House Bill 6 was in Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year.

Right now, 80 percent of voters statewide want to repeal House Bill 6, and 58 of 99 House members have signed on to cosponsor bills that would repeal House Bill 6.House Bill 6 was heard six times in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year, and over 300 testimonies were submitted during that process.