Democrats Walk Out Of Hearing On Key Energy Bill

May 16, 2019

Democratic members of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee left during testimony on House Bill 6, calling it a "stunt committee meeting". They returned more than an hour later.
Credit Ohio Public Radio

An Ohio House committee Wednesday heard from supporters of the bill to create a 300 million dollar fund offering credits to both renewable energy and nuclear power plants - while eliminating the state's renewable energry requirements. 

But  there's an apparent partisan split over what supporters call the Clean Air Bill and opponents call a nuclear power plant bailout. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler explains.

With some 50 scheduled witnesses, Chair Nino Vitale said he wanted to keep the committee moving…

“We’re really trying to limit to five minutes, as I stated in the opening, including questions. So.”


So he moved on after allowing questions from two of his fellow Republicans and then not recognizing one from Democratic Representative Kristin Boggs …


“I looked both ways, I’m sorry. So.”

Democrats walked out and called it a “stunt committee meeting”, and returned more than an hour later after talking with Vitale. Boggs said they wanted to fully vet their concerns, and walked out when they felt they couldn’t.


“It’s a shame we had to do that in order to get to the point where we are now.”


Vitale said they had resolved the issue. But Democrats also said they hadn’t seen the changes to the bill, which is a priority for Speaker Larry Householder, who was elected with a split of Republican and Democratic support.