Ohio borrows $3.1 billion to pay unemployment benefits

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– The state of Ohio requested $3.1 billion in borrowing authority from the U.S. Department of Labor, Gov. Mike DeWine announced during his coronavirus news conference on Tuesday. That money will be used to meet the state’s unemployment obligation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeWine said that total exceeds what the state thinks it will need to pay out benefits just in case it’s needed.

According to the governor, the federal government is not charging Ohio interest on the line of credit.

DeWine said the problems with the state’s unemployment system existed before the pandemic and the downturn in the economy.

“We’ve got a long-term structural problem that needed to be fixed prior to the coronavirus problem,” DeWine said.

On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported an additional 35,430 people filed for unemployment last week in the Buckeye State, bringing the 12-week total to more than 1.3 million. ODJFS said it is more than the combined total filed in the last three years.

Other states, including California and Texas, have also had to borrow for their unemployment insurance obligation, according to the governor.

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