State Rep. Marilyn John’s (R-Richland County) legislation allowing more flexibility for counties and assisting them against rising energy costs passed unanimously in the Ohio House earlier this week. John spoke to the bipartisan bill on the House floor.
“It establishes an exemption for utility supply contracts entered into under a joint purchasing program,” said John. “Currently, county utility supply contracts are limited to 10 years. This legislation would exempt contracts from the 10 year limit. Additionally, this limitation does not apply to the state, municipalities, and townships; it only applies to counties.”
John noted that these agreements will allow counties to lock in a portion of their energy loads for county facilities and aggregation programs. Moreover, the legislation could serve as a long-term constraint against rising energy costs and can produce savings for both counties and customers alike.
Before being passed this week, House Bill 87 had three hearings and passed unanimously in the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee; one of the supporters of the bill that gave testimony on it included the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.
Along with John, State Rep. Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) serves as a joint sponsor of the bill in addition to nearly 30 other cosponsors.
The legislation now heads to the Senate for further consideration.