State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) today applauded the approval of a plan to pay off Ohio's lingering unemployment-compensation debt accrued during the state's recession years ago, saving hundreds of millions of dollars that Ohio employers would face in penalties if the debt remained unpaid. 

"Employers across the state will benefit greatly from the reduction and elimination of fees that have been placing an undue burden on businesses in Ohio for far too long," said Peterson.

Ohio has gone from losing 351,000 jobs when it borrowed the federal funds during the depths of the recession, to creating more than 425,000 new private sector jobs. 

In an effort to pay down the original loan amount, Ohio businesses have faced increased federal unemployment taxes for the last 5 five years. The plan will make use of $250 million in Ohio's unclaimed funds in order to pay back the loan this November and will save Ohio businesses $81 per employee, amounting to millions in overall savings. The Senate-backed repayment initiative has been widely praised by the business community. 

"This a major step toward continued job growth and economic development in our state as job creators will now have the flexibility to expand and hire more Ohioans."

As unemployment-compensation claims drastically increased during the recession era, the federal government loaned the state billions of dollars to cover the costs. The debt balance is currently just over $300 million and penalties would have increased by the end of the year had the legislature not taken action to zero out the debt entirely.

The plan also accelerates repayment of loans acquired in the future, increases equity and fairness within the repayment system and works to give greater balance and stability to the state's overall finances. 

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