HB 6: Bill opponents file second petition

Larry Limpf

Opponents of House Bill 6 have submitted a second summary petition to the Ohio Attorney General and Secretary of State.
A previous summary petition was rejected by the attorney general, David Yost, who said he found
21 inaccuracies or omissions of required statutory language.
Each office now has 10 business days to certify or reject the petition. Upon approval, the referendum campaign would begin collecting the roughly 265,000 signatures of Ohio voters needed to place the issue on the November, 2020 ballot.
The deadline for the signatures is October 21, 2019.
"Ohio voters have a constitutionally guaranteed process to weigh in on this shameful corporate bailout for FirstEnergy Solutions and the dismantling of Ohio's renewable energy standards," said Gene Pierce. President of Pierce Communications. "We intend to give voters that opportunity and wholeheartedly believe Ohioans will put a stop to it,"
His firm has been retained by Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, a political action committee, which is organizing the petition drive.
House Bill 6 was passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine last month. It has drawn criticism from environmentalists and others who see it as little more than a bailout of coal and nuclear power plants in the state.
FirstEnergy Solutions announced in 2018 it planned to deactivate the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station by May 2020. The Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry O. is scheduled to be deactivated by May 2021 and units 1 and 2 of the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pa. are to be deactivated by
May 2021 and October 2021 respectively.
John Zeiger, a Columbus attorney, in an Aug. 1 letter to the secretary of state office contends HB 6 is a “law providing for a tax levy” that is exempted from a referendum under the state constitution.
“The Secretary of State therefore has a clear legal duty pursuant to …..reject the referendum petition on HB 6,” the letter says.


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