Conference Committee Eliminates Utility Subsidy Amendment


Earlier this week the OMA, together with AARP, NFIB, Ohio Chemistry Technology Council and the Office of Ohio’s Consumers’ Council, urged the state budget conference committee to strike language that would have created a new way for utilities to obtain consumer-paid subsidies. The conference committee did just that, protecting customers from unwarranted electricity cost increases. The Senate had inserted language into the budget bill that would have allowed utilities to increase rates to improve their corporate credit ratings. In a press release OMA president Eric Burkland said: “The OMA commends the Conference Committee for recognizing that enabling Ohio’s electric utilities to raise customers’ electric rates to bolster the utilities’ credit ratings is bad public policy. Eliminating this provision from the budget bill will thwart the utilities’ latest ploy to seek a financial bailout by their customers by shifting ordinary business risk from shareholders to ratepayers.” 6/29/2017