GOP lawmaker files bill to halt collection of bailout money
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Legislation filed Tuesday would delay the collection of nuclear subsidies under the law at the center of a $60 million federal bribery probe as Ohio Republican lawmakers struggled to find common ground on a repeal effort.
Republican Rep. Jim Hoops introduced a bill to halt the collection of at least $170 million in nuclear and solar subsidies for one year.
The $1 billion nuclear bailout will add a fee to every electricity bill in the state starting Jan. 1 unless the Legislature takes an emergency vote to repeal the law by year’s end.
Hoops is the chairman of the select committee tasked with overseeing the future of the now-tainted legislation. The Napoleon lawmaker told Gongwer News Service he has the support of House leadership on the new bill and plans to hold hearings Wednesday and Thursday on its potential passage.
The eleventh-hour bill follows months of infighting within the majority party on what action to take on the nuclear bailout legislation that led to the downfall of their former speaker.
Attorney General Dave Yost, also a Republican, filed a lawsuit in September to delay Energy Harbor from collecting the subsidies.
The cities of Columbus and Cincinnati followed suit shortly after by requesting a court injunction to block the 85-cent fee that will be added. The cities cited the need to save the state’s electric consumers “from the crushing monetary payments,” the now-tainted legislation would impose on them.
Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.