Ohio lawmakers have approved legislation to repeal at least two parts of the scandal-plagued House Bill 6.

House Bill 128, which Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign, was the first bill to clear the Legislature that repeals any part of House Bill 6.

Lawmakers repealed the $1 billion financial bailout of two Ohio nuclear power plants. They also repealed a “decoupling” provision that would have allowed FirstEnergy Corp. to collect a considerable amount of money from customers even in years when demand is down.

AARP Ohio, the state’s largest consumer advocacy organization representing more than 1.5 million members in Ohio, released the following statement by AARP Ohio State Director Holly Holtzen: “House Bill 128 represents a significant win for Ohio’s electric customers,
who were being asked to bailout power plants with unfair surcharges. We opposed HB 6 throughout the legislative process and continued to work with our 1.5 million members to ensure that their voices were heard on this issue. This legislation, which will refund more than $20 million in unfair charges directly to the impacted customers and permanently end the collection of more than $150 million per year for all Ohioans, is long overdue. Now the Legislature needs to finish the job by passing SB 117.”

House Bill 6, passed in 2019, has been at the center of a federal investigation for almost a year. Charges were filed against then-Speaker of the House Larry Householder; lobbyist Mathew Borges, 48, of Bexley; Householder’s longtime campaign and political strategist Jeffrey Longstreth, 44, of Columbus; Juan Cespedes, 40, of Columbus, a multi-client lobbyist; and Neil Clark, 67, of Columbus, a lobbyist who owned and operated Grant Street Consultants and previously served as budget director for the Ohio Republican Caucus. Generation Now, a corporate entity registered as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, was also charged.

Longstreth and Cespedes each entered guilty pleas last fall, and Generation Now, through Longstreth, also pleaded guilty in February.

Clark was found dead in Collier County, Fla. on March 15. A preliminary report from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office says he was found with a handgun and a gunshot wound to the head. Clark had pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Litkovitz on Aug. 6, 2020.

House Bill 6 was cosponsored by Republican Reps. Jamie Callender of Lake County and Shane Wilkin of Hillsboro, who represents the 91st House District.

Read the complaint