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Governor Proposes Billion-Dollar Workers Comp Rebate

Friday, May 3, 2013 at 5:34 PM

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Though his small business tax cut was stripped from the House and Senate versions of the budget, Gov. John Kasich is still trying to get more money to employers. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

210,000 Ohio employers large and small will be getting checks – from large to small – from the Bureau of Workers Compensation, the state’s insurance fund for injured workers. Gov. Kasich says the rebates will run from about $5 to several million dollars.

KASICH:  “I would call this one of the most significant economic stimulus measures that you can see. We are actually going to do cash rebates so we will take a billion dollars and we will distribute it across the state.”

Kasich says the money comes from cost savings at the BWC offices and good management of the fund, which saw an 11 percent return on investment last year. But Democratic lawmakers are concerned about a judgment from a Cuyahoga County judge in March, awarding 860 million dollars in repayments of overcharges to 270,000 employers. Tom Letson is a state representative from Warren.

LETSON:  “If we were going to appeal that and post a bond – bonds are supposed to be twice what the judgment is. I don’t think we have the money do that at the moment.”

And Letson says it’s “troubling” that Kasich is doing as other Republican governors have done in ordering cash rebates using BWC funds immediately before an election year. 

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