After more than a year of negotiations, a fix to shore up the fund that Ohio uses to pay benefits to jobless workers is no closer to reality.
For months, Republican leaders said they hoped to bring the bill to at least a committee vote, but they’ve recessed for the holidays without taking action on it. But House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger said the situation with the unemployment compensation fund is growing critical. “I don’t think we can even cover a month of where we need to before we go start having issues where we’re looking to have to go out and start borrowing again,” Rosenberger said.
Employers were hit with a penalty when the state failed to repay within two years the more than $3 billion it borrowed from the federal government during the last recession. The current bill would raise the taxable wage paid by employers and would cut the number of weeks workers can get benefits and require them to pay into the fund as well. Both labor and business say they have serious concerns.