Clash Over Bill Cutting Jobless Benefits Erupts

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State lawmakers are considering a bill to cut jobless benefits from 26 weeks to between 12 and 20 weeks, which backers say will shore up the state’s unemployment compensation fund. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

The bill would cut the length of time most could receive benefits, and Amy Hanauer with Policy Matters Ohio says it also changes the rules under which workers can receive unemployment checks.  

“This bill would make it harder for Ohioans to qualify for unemployment compensation than almost any other state,” Hanauer said. 

But Greg Lawson with the conservative Buckeye Institute says businesses have been paying extra while Ohio pays back federal loans to pay benefits during the recession, and reform is needed.

“You can’t just necessarily jack up the rates on the employers and expect that there’s not going to be an adverse impact on their ability to hire,” Lawson said. 

The bill would also make Ohio first in the country to allow an employee’s jobless benefits to be reduced by the amount of Social Security they’re getting.

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