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BWC fixes will boost economy

Published 9:56am Friday, May 3, 2013

Proposed changes to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation could go a long way toward reinvigorating the state’s economy and making Ohio more competitive with its neighbors.

Gov. John Kasich has initiated reform of the BWC that is essentially a $1.9 billion proposal built on three tiers.

First, approximately $1 billion in rebates would be provided to the more than 210,000 private and public sector employers who pay into the bureau.

Secondly, it would triple the state’s Safety and Wellness Grant program from $5 million to $15 million, as well as implement a new safety education campaign.

Lastly, the proposal would lower rates 2 percent for private employers and 4 percent for public employers, paid for in part by changing the payment system to eliminate fraud.

Here in Lawrence County, where economic development officials compete with two neighboring states as well as nationally and globally, having an affordable and efficient worker’s compensation system is vital to growth.

Ohio has long been viewed as behind the curve on these much-needed changes. Plus, giving back more than $1 billion to Ohio’s businesses and employers that will in turn be injected into the economy is a smart move will certainly result in job creation and retention.

However, as the old saying goes, “The devil is in the details.” Some of Kasich’s proposals have looked good on paper but the final results painted a different picture.

Hopefully that isn’t the case here and this can be yet another tool toward making Ohio a key choice for business development.

 

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