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Ohio Statehouse Vote Nears on Big Cuts in Unemployment

Ohio Bureau of Unemployment

The bill that makes changes in Ohio’s unemployment compensation systemhas another committee hearing this week and could soon get a vote. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

The bill is touted as a way to bring the state’s unemployment insurance fund to solvency but cuts benefits to jobless workers.

Renew Ohio, a new-to-the-scene, conservative-leaning policy group, is strongly backing the changes. Executive Director Mike McGuire says it overhauls a flawed system and helps the state avoid massive federal debt in the future.

“So I’d say to someone who is looking at this bill and saying, 'Man, why should I support this bill if I’m unemployed?' is that we want to help you find a new job. We want to make sure the system is there to protect people while they look for a new job.”

Opponents say this bill delivers a big blow to people who can least afford it.

The state is still paying off a $770 million debt it owes the federal government after borrowing money for its unemployment fund during the Great Recession. 

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.