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Ohio Still Hasn't Fixed Its Unemployment Fund, Which Could be a Big Problem in a downturn

Unemployment Compensation fund graphic
Unemployment Compensation fund graphic

If the state went into a recession now, the unemployment compensation fund may not be able to pay laid-off workers for very long. But there’s been no progress on a bill touted as a way to fix that.

Hearings on House Bill 382have become routine with many people waiting for action.

A House committee held its 20th hearing on the bill that would try to bring the state’s unemployment compensation fund to solvency.

The measure has been criticized by business and labor groups, but so far there have been no changes.

Don Boyd with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce says the bill puts too much burden on employers to pay into the pot while not doing enough to cut from the spending side.

“If nothing gets done, if nothing gets passed, benefits will stay exactly the same and at the end of the day that doesn’t provide a whole lot of incentive for the other side to negotiate on a lot of these issues.”

But the AFL-CIO contends that, while the bill raises employer taxes, it still sits far below the national average of what businesses pay and says benefit costs are not the main contributor to the fund’s insolvency.

Correction:  A typo in the headline has been fixed.

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.