As a conservative Republican, one of the guiding principles behind my decisions regarding policy changes and reforms is smaller government and less government intervention. One of the founding theories that constitutes that belief is laissez-faire, or the philosophy of minimal governmental interference in the economy. In the Ohio House, I support initiatives that encourage economic growth without burdening the marketplace with mandates and other government regulations.

Recently, by voting yes on House Bill 114, I supported an endeavor that does just that. This legislation promotes free markets in Ohio’s energy sector, reiterating the policy perspective that business decisions are better directed by the market and not by the government. The main provision in House Bill 114 replaces renewable energy mandates with goals. By removing these burdensome mandates, we can prevent companies from being weighed down with extra costs, which are often transferred onto the customer.

These goals still keep benchmarks—which were reduced from approximately 22 percent to 17 percent in the bill—in place for energy companies looking to increase their production of renewable energy. Many utility companies are already moving in the direction of renewable energy without mandates, so I believe these goals will help facilitate the development of the industry without dictating certain requirements. Furthermore, through the bill, all customers and businesses will be able to opt out of the goals without facing penalties for not meeting the benchmarks when purchasing renewable energy.

Simply put, House Bill 114 is not about being against renewable energy, it is about being against mandates. The renewable energy industry is expanding as it is, and mandates would only stifle that growth. We should put business decisions back into the hands of our companies and allow them to choose the right avenue regarding the purchase of energy without facing consequences from the government. Additionally, a system of goals and incentives, rather than mandates, has potential to attract out-of-state companies to do business in Ohio, where the market is unencumbered.

I will continue to champion legislation that keeps government out of Ohioans’ personal lives, including our business owners. I believe it is more effective to allow Ohio’s economy to flourish in a free market system, trusting our industries to make sound business decisions for themselves. The role of government is not to intervene in the economy, but to institute policies that make it easier for individuals to find jobs, contribute to their local community, and establish businesses—which will ensure economic stability.


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John Becker Sworn In As State Representative Of The 65th House District


State Representative John Becker (R-Union Township – Clermont Co.) yesterday was sworn in as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 130th General Assembly. He represents the 65th Ohio House District, which includes portions of northwest Clermont County.