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Hicks-Hudson, DeMora Push to Change Public Utilities Commission

June 12, 2024
Paula Hicks-Hudson News

This week, state Senators Bill DeMora (D-Columbus) and Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) testified in favor of Senate Bill 229, which would change the composition of the Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) nominating council and its nomination process. 

“The House Bill 6 scandal will forever stain Ohio’s history,” said DeMora. “The process must be fixed to ensure an affront like that never happens again. The first step is to make sure the public—the actual consumers—are represented on the PUCO council, not just special interests. This bill would also ensure that any future commissioner not have any previous ties to any entities subject to PUCO regulation. We can’t go back and prevent House Bill 6, but we can make sure it  never happens again.”

S.B. 229 will add three members to the nominating council: a representative of minority communities appointed by the Governor and two public members, one appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and the other by the Minority Leader of the Senate. This bill would prevent nefarious actors from being placed on the Commission and add transparency and accountability to the process.

“This bill will clearly place the consumers' best interests at the forefront," said Hicks-Hudson.  “By including specific recommendations from Ohio consumers, Ohio ratepayers' voices will be heard. Providing a different view to the ratemaking process is a significant improvement on current laws by bringing people to the table and providing a strong solution to prevent future scandals like House Bill 6 and protect Ohioans.”

S.B. 229 now awaits further hearings in the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.