Proposal would give cash rebates to Ohio employers - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Proposal would give cash rebates to Ohio employers

Posted: Updated:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio employers could see $1 billion in cash rebates this summer from the state insurance fund for injured workers under a proposal announced Thursday.

About 210,000 businesses and public employers could see a payout in June or July, should the board of directors at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation approve the plan. Checks could range from $5 to more than $3 million.

Gov. John Kasich outlined the proposal Thursday at a T-shirt store in Columbus, which could get a $4,000 rebate.

"I would call this one of the most significant economic stimulus measures that you could see," Kasich said. "I think being able to give a billion dollars in cash means there's going to be a heck of a lot more money floating around inside the state of Ohio, and it will be of significant benefit to the employers, particularly the small businesspeople."

Kasich said he was confident the board would sign off on the idea, which is expected to be presented to them this month.

Money for the one-time rebate stems from solid investments by the agency, which provides workers' compensation insurance for Ohio employers and covers about two-thirds of the state's workforce. The agency said its net assets have grown to $8.3 billion.

The rebate is separate from a court dispute over employer payments.

The state is appealing a judge's March decision awarding $860 million in repayments from the fund to employers the judge says were charged excessive premiums for nearly a decade.

Thursday's announcement drew criticism from a group representing the workers in the lawsuit.

"Now is the time for the administration and the Bureau to recognize that it continues to hold on to another $860 million that was illegally charged to 270,000 employers and comply with the court order to repay those funds," Earl Stein, president of Pay Us Back Ohio BWC Inc., said in a statement. Stein is also a plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit.

Steve Buehrer, the bureau's administrator and CEO, told reporters the money involved in the lawsuit has been set aside. And, he said, "We believe our arguments are just, and we'll continue appeals as long as we feel fit."

Under Kasich's proposal, the bureau would also increase the amount of money for safety grants to $15 million from $5 million. The bureau's grant program provides matching funds to employers who purchase equipment to reduce injuries or illnesses on the job.

In addition, the bureau is asking the Legislature to approve an overhaul how it bills its employers. And the agency says the changes would result in rate cuts of 2 percent for private employers and 4 percent for public employers.

Employers currently pay their workers' compensation premium for the previous six months of coverage. The agency wants to move to "prospective" billing, so it can collect employer premiums for an upcoming policy period.

The bureau says it would ask its board for a $900 million credit for employers to help with the transition to the new billing system.

  • LocalMore>>

  • 5-foot gator found in creek along Roachton Rd.

    5-foot gator found in creek along Roachton Rd.

    A mother and daughter bike ride for ice cream turned into a close encounter of the "alligator kind." The pair spotted a 5-foot gator in a creek along Roachton Road. But that's not the really weird part of the story.
  • 3 killed when semi flattens car in Fulton Co.

    3 killed when semi flattens car in Fulton Co.

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:08:15 GMT
    Three people are dead after a crash between a semi and a car in Fulton County Thursday evening. It happened around 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of County Road l and State Route 109. Troopers say the semi was headed northbound on State Route 109, when the car ran through a stop sign. Witnesses tell 13abc the semi actually drove over the top of the car. The three people inside were all killed. The semi driver was not injured.
    Three people are dead after a crash between a semi and a car in Fulton County Thursday evening. It happened around 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of County Road l and State Route 109. Troopers say the semi was headed northbound on State Route 109, when the car ran through a stop sign. Witnesses tell 13abc the semi actually drove over the top of the car. The three people inside were all killed. The semi driver was not injured.
  • Muddy the Mudhen up for Best Minor League Mascot

    Muddy the Mudhen up for Best Minor League Mascot

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:51:36 GMT
    It's your chance to show your Toledo Mud Hens pride! You can help make Muddy the Mudhen the top mascot in the minor league. He's facing off against 13 other mascots. You can pick your favorite in the league round until August 4, then in the championship round until August 11. Click here to vote, and you can keep voting as many times as you like.
    It's your chance to show your Toledo Mud Hens pride! You can help make Muddy the Mudhen the top mascot in the minor league. He's facing off against 13 other mascots. You can pick your favorite in the league round until August 4, then in the championship round until August 11. Click here to vote, and you can keep voting as many times as you like.
  • RegionalMore>>

  • Ohio State University fires marching band director

    Ohio State University fires marching band director

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:00 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:00:01 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State University has fired the director of its celebrated marching band amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues" including sexual harassment.Jonathan Waters had led the band since 2012, and served in lesser capacities for a decade.
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State University has fired the director of its celebrated marching band amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues" including sexual harassment.Jonathan Waters had led the band since 2012, and served in lesser capacities for a decade.
  • Insurers owe more than $1.2M in refunds in Ohio

    Insurers owe more than $1.2M in refunds in Ohio

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:12 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:12:33 GMT
    Federal officials say around 35,000 Ohioans will benefit from more than $1.2 million in refunds from insurance companies because of a provision in President Barack Obama's health care law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the figures Thursday.
    Federal officials say around 35,000 Ohioans will benefit from more than $1.2 million in refunds from insurance companies because of a provision in President Barack Obama's health care law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the figures Thursday.
  • Biden urges infrastructure, job training in Ohio

    Biden urges infrastructure, job training in Ohio

    Vice President Joe Biden will speak to another major civil rights organization - this time in Cincinnati - and Republican leaders are around to offer counterpoints.
    Vice President Joe Biden says investment in infrastructure and job training is needed to increase economic opportunities in the nation's cities.
  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • 3 killed when semi flattens car in Fulton Co.

    3 killed when semi flattens car in Fulton Co.

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:08:15 GMT
    Three people are dead after a crash between a semi and a car in Fulton County Thursday evening. It happened around 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of County Road l and State Route 109. Troopers say the semi was headed northbound on State Route 109, when the car ran through a stop sign. Witnesses tell 13abc the semi actually drove over the top of the car. The three people inside were all killed. The semi driver was not injured.
    Three people are dead after a crash between a semi and a car in Fulton County Thursday evening. It happened around 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of County Road l and State Route 109. Troopers say the semi was headed northbound on State Route 109, when the car ran through a stop sign. Witnesses tell 13abc the semi actually drove over the top of the car. The three people inside were all killed. The semi driver was not injured.
  • 5-foot gator found in creek along Roachton Rd.

    5-foot gator found in creek along Roachton Rd.

    A mother and daughter bike ride for ice cream turned into a close encounter of the "alligator kind." The pair spotted a 5-foot gator in a creek along Roachton Road. But that's not the really weird part of the story.
  • Family, friends remember Cory Barron

    Family, friends remember Cory Barron

    Hundreds of candles lit the Fremont Ross football field Thursday night, but friends and family say it was Cory's life and his love that beamed the brightest.

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!