Ohio Gov. DeWine calls for repeal of House Bill 6 at center of bribery probe

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Two Ohio lawmakers announced plans to introduce legislation to repeal House Bill 6 during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Hours later, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine changed course on his view of the bill. On Wednesday, he said he didn’t not support its repeal, then on Thursday, he called for its repeal and replacement.

While the governor said he supports the underlying policy, he said the process in which it was passed is not acceptable. He said the bill saved jobs and provided an alternative to carbon energy.

“As I thought about this and let this whole story sink in,” DeWine said, “It was clear to me that this policy, however good I think it is, will be tainted.”

HB6 is at the center of the alleged $60 million bribery scheme that led to the arrests of Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four associates. They were each charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering.

Federal investigators said the group was involved in the plan to pass the $1.5 billion bailout of FirstEnergy Solutions’ Perry and Davis-Bessie nuclear power plants in exchange for millions.

“We’ve heard from several individuals who say there is some good in House Bill 6 and we should try to preserve that good. Given the criminal charges that are associated with House Bill 6, I think it’s best we start fresh with a clean bill that has not been tainted by all of these allegations,” said Ohio Rep. Laura Lanese (R-Grove City), during the news conference.

“All of those good things that are out there can either be put into separate legislation or they can be part of this new bill. But I think that we need to essentially sanitize this legislation and start anew.”

On Wednesday, State Sen. Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta), Rep. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) Rep. Michael O’Brien (D-Warren) Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) and Rep. Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) all announced plans Wednesday to introduce legislation to repeal HB6.

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