Lawmakers Hold Hearings on Unemployment Insurance Bills

The General Assembly this week held hearings on two unemployment compensation bills that target two very different parts of the system.

On May 12, Reps. Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville) and Mark Fraizer (R-Newark) provided sponsor testimony on House Bill 614, a bill to study and reform the application, processing and administration infrastructure of Ohio’s unemployment compensation system. The sponsors stated that this bill is not focused on the solvency and funding of the system, but instead seeks to dive deep into how the fund is administered and how services are provided.

The Senate heard sponsor testimony from Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Sabina) on Senate Joint Resolution 4, which would create an alternative approach for repaying future state borrowing from the federal government to fund unemployment compensation claims. It would allow the General Assembly to provide for the issuance of bonds to repay outstanding debt of the state’s unemployment compensation program. Several states already permit bonding to fund debt repayment. The OMA previously signaled support for the creation of a bond repayment program. Ohioans would need to approve the measure as a constitutional amendment in a future referendum. 5/14/2020