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.