Gov. Mike DeWine wants to use COVID relief funds to pay off state’s unemployment loan

Updated: Apr. 8, 2021 at 5:09 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - Gov. Mike DeWine is recommending that the General Assembly use a portion of the state’s COVID relief and recovery dollars to pay off $1.46 billion owed to the federal government for loans to help pay Ohioans’ unemployment benefits.

“This loan was caused by the global pandemic, and paying it off now will free Ohio employers from this burden so they can instead focus on getting employees across our state back to work,” DeWine said.

The state’s Unemployment Trust Fund hasn’t been solvent since 1974 and was unable to pay out benefits during the pandemic.

Because the federal government deemed the fund insolvent, Ohio has to pay back the loan with interest.

The same thing happened during the Great Depression and Ohio had to pay $258 million in interest alone with employers footing the bill.

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