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State Agency Proposes Reform To Unemployment Benefits System

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A committee of state lawmakers has held its first of five meetings aimed at determining whether Ohio's jobless benefits system for workers is sustainable and whether any solvency issues need to be addressed.

The state Department of Job and Family Services warned the panel of six Republicans and two Democrats Thursday that even a small recession would "render us insolvent."

The agency says the state could increase employer taxes, levy a surcharge on businesses or suspend or lower benefit amounts.

Other possible reforms include lengthening benefit wait periods or shortening the amount of time benefits can be received.

The panel was created this year after a bill stalled that aimed at resolving the challenges facing the state's unemployment compensation system.