The Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC) is supportive of the recent action to repay the nearly $1.5 billion borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits to eligible Ohioans during the pandemic. State officials said that paying off the loan will allow Ohio to avoid paying 2.3% interest. The payoff also means Ohio employers won't see increases in their unemployment insurance premiums that would have cost them $650 million over the next three years.
Governor DeWine recommended to the Ohio General Assembly in April that American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds be used to repay the loan before the accrual of interest to prevent the increase in unemployment taxes. The General Assembly included the repayment provision in House Bill 168, sponsored by Rep. Mark Fraizer (R-Newark) and Rep. Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta), and Governor DeWine signed the bill into law on June 28, 2021.
OCTC is also supportive of an effort to rebalance the state's unemployment compensation system, in order to prevent the need for similar loans in the future. Ohio's unemployment compensation fund has been structurally insolvent for years. Ohio borrowed a total of $3.39 billion from the federal government between 2009 and 2014, resulting in paid interest totaling $257.7 million, all of which was paid by Ohio job creators.