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Senate Public Utilities Committee Chairman Bill Seitz continued hearings this week on Senate Bill 58, his controversial legislation to amend Ohio’s energy efficiency and renewable energy mandates.

The hearing included both proponent and opponent testimony, with supporters continuing to tout the cost savings they believe consumers will realize as a result of the proposed changes to what they deem are ineffective state mandates. The bill's detractors, however, continue to point to the fact that it has only been five years since the current law was passed. The detractors assert it is not enough time to make an accurate assessment of how the law is working.

Meanwhile, the House Public Utilities Committee also met this week to begin hearings on companion legislation, House Bill 302, sponsored by Chairman Peter Stautberg. The bill is identical to Senator Seitz's legislation.

“My goal in introducing House Bill 302 is to begin the hearing process in the House in preparation for the arrival of Senate Bill 58, so that we are not starting from scratch when that day arrives,” stated Stautberg in his sponsor testimony.

An additional hearing has been scheduled for Senate Bill 58 next week, however, no timetable or action plan has been announced for either bill. Senator Seitz has announced that changes are on the horizon for his legislation and amendments are likely to be offered in the coming weeks. While Seitz would like his legislation to pass the Senate by November, it is uncertain if the legislation will move forward.

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