Ohio needs action against corruption now

During a House committee hearing today, state Representative Michael J. Skindell again advocated repeal of House Bill 6, the multi-billion-dollar corporate bailout bill at the center of an ongoing FBI criminal investigation into an alleged bribery scheme.

“Legislation adopted by means of corruption is in itself corrupt. We must restore public trust in the legislature by repealing this bill,” said Skindell.

During the meeting, Skindell and Michael O’Brien (D-Warren) offered sponsor testimony on HB 738, their bill to repeal HB 6.

Rep. Skindell also offered sponsor testimony on HB 740 with Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati). That bill repeals a provision in state law allowing First Energy to keep excessive profits rather than returning the money to electric customers through a rate adjustment.

“House Bill 6 increases costs on Ohio families, puts good energy jobs at risk and was bad policy for Ohio’s energy future,” said Skindell. “It is often referred to as the worst energy policy legislation passed by any state and is the quintessential example of how a corrupted system can pass legislation that hurts the average working family to benefit large corporations.”

Skindell and other House Democrats have sustained multiple efforts to quickly repeal HB 6 in order to help restore the public’s trust in the legislature, and have called the creation of this Select Committee an unnecessary stall tactic by House Republicans.

On Aug. 28, Skindell began work on a discharge petition to bring bipartisan legislation to repeal HB 6 to the floor for a vote. House Republicans aggressively worked to thwart the effort by requiring that signatures be done in person and not electronically like all other legislation in an attempt to keep the bill from being brought to the floor in a timely manner.

Republican attempts to block the repeal of HB 6 came to a head on Sept. 1 when Speaker Robert Cupp (R-Lima) and House Republicans abruptly ended House session as Democrats readied to offer several amendments to repeal HB 6 on the floor. The session ended before making it even halfway through the scheduled calendar—an unprecedented move intended to block repeal of HB 6.