The state still owes the federal government more than $775 million that it borrowed to pay unemployment benefits during the recession. One lawmaker told Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow that she has a plan to prepare the state for the next economic downturn.
Republican Representative Barbara Sears of the Toledo area has proposed some big changes to the state’s unemployment compensation program. That includes cutting off jobless benefits after 12 weeks instead of the current maximum of 26 weeks.
“If we don’t get our minimum safe level back up to where it should be -- then we subject ourselves to borrowing again which means that again our employers are paying penalties because we’re not aptly prepared," said Sears.
The liberal-leaning group, Policy Matters Ohio, says Sears’ plan is unbalanced and only relies on cuts to worker benefits.
But Sears says her plan would attract more businesses and therefore more jobs.
Andy Chow at the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau.