The General Assembly backed off a controversial plan to slash unemployment compensation benefits (HB 620) during the 2016 lame duck session after encountering broad-based opposition from labor and advocacy groups. State leaders announced a compromise measure (SB 235) that would temporarily freeze maximum unemployment benefits and raise employer taxes slightly for two years. In the meantime, business and labor groups have agreed to work together to produce a long-term plan to strengthen Ohio’s UC system by April 1, 2017.
Earlier this year COHHIO was part of a coalition that fought a drastic proposal (HB 394) to cut benefits and make it harder for laid off workers – especially low-wage, part-time and intermittent employees – to qualify for unemployment benefits, thereby dismantling one of Ohio’s most effective poverty prevention programs. COHHIO and our allies will stay engaged in discussions to ensure that the UC system serves a bridge to the next job to help laid-off workers and their families get back on their feet and avoid long-term poverty. Any changes to the system must recognize the realities of the new low-wage economy and get laid-off workers on track to securing their next job.
State Leaders Reach Deal on Unemployment Compensation, Toledo Blade, 12/6/16
Advocates for Ohio’s Future Response and Recommendations
Bill to Overhaul Unemployment Compensation to be Reworked, Columbus Dispatch, 2/12/16