COLUMBUS — A summary of petition language for a proposed ballot referendum to repeal Ohio's nuclear power plant bailout law was rejected as flawed on Monday by Attorney General Dave Yost.

The ruling by Yost, a first-year Republican, means opponents of House Bill 6 must recraft the language and again gather at least 1,000 valid voter signatures to revive their bid to make the November 2020 ballot.

Yost said the summary of the language, which must be approved before signatures are sought on petitions, was not "fair and truthful" as required by law. In his letter to the petitioners, Yost identified 21 inaccuracies and omissions of needed language.

Time is dwindling for Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, the group behind the bid to set aside the law in which electricity ratepayers subsidize a pair of nuclear power plants owned by Akron-based FirstEnergy Solutions.

"Our campaign will immediately revise our summary to address the attorney general's concerns and submit a new draft for reconsideration within the next several days," said Gene Pierce, spokesman for the group.

Once it gets a legal OK of petition language, the group would need to obtain the valid signatures of 265,774 registered voters in at least 44 of the state’s 88 counties within 90 days of the bill’s July 23 signing to make the ballot.

An 85-cent monthly charge on residential electricity bills would generate $150 million a year to subsidize the Lake Erie plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions, which had threatened to close the plants without a subsidy. The bill also extends a charge to electricity customers to support a pair of coal-burning power plants owned by a consortium of Ohio utilities.

Generation Now, a dark-money group that supported passage of House Bill 6 by the Republican-ruled legislature, submitted arguments to Yost claiming the summary of the petition was inaccurate and misleading and must be rejected.

Yost must approve a summary of the petition wording before it advances to the office of Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican.

A lawyer representing an undisclosed client — but whose firm was hired in late June by FirstEnergy Solutions — claims that LaRose cannot legally place the measure on the ballot because the fees it imposes on consumers constitute a tax. Laws imposing taxes are not subject to referendum under the Ohio Constitution, the lawyer claims.

In an interview with the editorial board of the Akron Beacon Journal on Monday morning, Yost said his office was looking at the constitutional argument "in anticipation of the question being asked."

Yost said if the referendum does not make the ballot, "another door may be open" in which opponents of House Bill 6 could instead pursue an initiated statute.

That process would requiring obtaining the valid signatures of at least 132,887 voters on a petition seeking to alter House Bill 6. If the General Assembly refused to approve the proposed statute within four months, the collection of another 132,887 signatures within 90 days would send it to the ballot.

Legislative approval of House Bill 6, which also reduced green-energy standards, came following a multimillion-dollar statewide TV commercial blitz, largely from supporters, and nearly $1 million in political contributions by FirstEnergy Corp., the one-time parent company of bankrupt FirstEnergy Solutions.