Ohio’s Workers Will Bear the Burden for Unemployment Compensation System Solvency
Unemployment Compensation (UC) serves a vital purpose in supporting Ohio workers and their families. With UC, workers who lose their job through no fault of their own have access to benefits that provide support while they look for other employment. Without this “bridge” between jobs, many more Ohioans would be unable to afford the basics like housing, transportation, and food.
Unfortunately, House Bill 620, like its predecessor HB 394, threatens the stability of hardworking families by:
- reducing the number of benefits weeks from 26 to 20;
- maxing out the weekly benefits at an estimated $450 a week; and
- replacing the current family dependency allowance system with benefits amounting to no more than $8.00 a week.
“We were hopeful that lawmakers would come back with a more balanced approach to modernize the state’s unemployment-compensation system in a way that reflects the decades-long shift to an economy dependent on low-wage, part-time and temporary jobs. Unfortunately, House Bill 620 is another attempt to achieve system solvency on the backs of working Ohioans,” said William Sundermeyer, State Director of Advocates For Ohio’s Future.
“There is no argument that something has to be done to move our unemployment compensation trust fund to solvency but doing it in the waning days of the lame duck is not the way to do it for long-term sustainability,” warned Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, AOF Co-Chair and Executive Director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.
AOF strongly recommends that HB 620 not be adopted. Instead, any implementation should be delayed and revisited during the next session of the Ohio General Assembly.