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Electricity bill needs to be taken care of now

Unless Ohio legislators change the law very quickly, every consumer of electricity in the Buckeye State will be paying more for power next year, under a plan tainted by allegations of a $60 million bribery scheme.

Former state House of Representatives Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, and several cronies are accused in the scheme, which involves consumers paying to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies for two nuclear power plants and other energy initiatives.

There seems to be widespread agreement among lawmakers that House Bill 6, the subsidy package, should be repealed before it kicks in Jan. 1. Writing a replacement bill appears to be the obstacle to scrapping HB 6.

It may be that the nuclear power subsidies are in the best interests of Ohio consumers. But language in HB 6 clearly needs a major housecleaning.

For example, it has been suggested a replacement bill should include audits to ensure the power plant company needs state support. Incredible as it may sound, no such provision was included in HB 6.

No wonder crafting a new bill is taking so long.

The sooner it can be in place, the better. That said, legislators simply must take enough time to get Version 2.0 of HB 6 right. Whatever time it takes will be worth the difference it could make for consumers.

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