The Greater Cleveland Partnership and more than 20 chambers of commerce statewide continue to strongly advocate for passing a comprehensive unemployment compensation reform package before lawmakers adjourn in December that would allow the unemployment fund to achieve long-term solvency.
Several years ago, the nation’s unemployment rate was on the rise and the unemployment fund was ill-prepared to cover the costs. Ohio paid the price and the burden was placed squarely on Ohio employers who were forced to pay a loan off from the federal government (resulting in annual increases in costs for employers) to continue paying jobless benefits. Under recently passed legislation that GCP supported and helped secure, the state paid off the federal debt a year ahead of schedule, saving Ohio job creators millions of dollars in 2017.
GCP has a keen interest in making sure that any unemployment compensation reforms to be implemented in the future are done in a fashion that protects businesses operating in the state and provides a safety net for the employees of those businesses. GCP was the first to testify on the issue before a newly-appointed legislative panel that convened over the summer and we are committed to ensuring history does not repeat itself due to a future downturn in the economy.
We support a common-sense approach and ask that the General Assembly consider our members’ views as legislation is being crafted and debated in the coming days:
• Ohio should strive to achieve a balance in the unemployment fund that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Labor’s suggested solvency level.
• We also recognize that changes to the number of weeks that claimants can collect unemployment benefits could have a negative impact on specific industries like construction—for both employers and employees—and we look forward to working towards a solution on that issue.