Gov. DeWine Signs HB 128 to Partially Repeal HB 6

Gov. Mike DeWine this week signed HB 128, which cancels out the nuclear subsidy provisions of HB 6 (133rd General Assembly), originally targeted to support the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants to the tune of up to $150M/year. Later, of course, it was learned how HB 6 was fatally flawed by scandal. Earlier this year, the OMA testified on HB 128.

HB 128 also removes the costly HB 6 “decoupling” provision, which tied FirstEnergy future profits to record year 2018 regardless of the amount of power sold, about $978M annually. The new law also revokes a change made to the Significantly Excessive Earnings Test, which benefited only FirstEnergy by allowing the company to combine profits across three of its companies to avoid customer refunds from its overly profitable company.

The new bill retains HB 6’s subsidies for utility-scale solar projects and for two coal plants (one in Ohio, one in Indiana), leaving the door open for more corrective action that could cancel these subsidies that work against ratepayers.

The bill was voted unanimously in the Senate 33-0, 86-7 in the House originally, but then the House unanimously (89-0) concurred with the Senate amendments. HB 128 was sponsored by Reps. James Hoops (R-Napoleon) and Dick Stein (R-Norwalk). 3/31/2021