UC Reforms Under Gun From Labor


Ohio’s insolvent unemployment compensation system received two shots of new life this week against the backdrop of labor outcries.  Representative Schuring (R-Canton) and Senator Peterson (R-Washington Court House) introduced new unemployment solvency companion legislation. House Bill 620 and Senate Bill 374 are balanced approaches that better align benefits and contributions.  They are intended to build a balance in the state’s trust fund before the next recession. These provisions to address solvency include: 1) freeze the maximum weekly benefit amounts, 2) increase the taxable wage base which employers pay and adjust the minimum safe level (MSL) tax rate, 3) establish a reasonable minimum safe level for the UI trust fund, 4) adjust the number of potential weeks of unemployment compensation, and 5) modernize Ohio’s dependency provision which provides benefits unequally for qualified unemployed workers. The OMA’s Rob Brundrett provided proponent testimony for both House Bill 620 and Senate Bill 347, along with other allied business groups.  Both business groups and newspapers approve of the balanced and reasonable approach taken by Representative Schuring and Senator Peterson. As time winds down on the legislative session, it is imperative that the legislature pass either of the bills.  Organized labor has mobilized to kill these bills in the final weeks of the General Assembly. OMA members are urged to contact their senators and representatives right away to ensure that unemployment compensation solvency is addressed next week.  We make it easy.  Go to the OMA Manufacturing Advocacy Center and let your elected officials hear your voice.  12/1/2016