On Tuesday, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator Stephanie McCloud provided testimony in support of the bureau’s biennium budget to the Ohio House Insurance Committee. The BWC budget bill, HB80, will fund the bureau and their initiatives for fiscal year 2020 and 2021.
In the budget bill, the bureau has proposed spending a total of $644,628,855 dollars over the next two fiscal years with most of the funding coming from the State Insurance Fund. Because employer premiums make up a large portion of the State Insurance Fund, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce is closely monitoring the bureau’s proposal, which is an 8.7 percent increase from the last biennium budget.
The BWC’s proposed budget does provide resources for programs that employers who are seeking to lower their workers’ compensation premiums can utilize to make their workplaces safer and their employees healthier. One program, the Safety Intervention Grant Program, is expected to receive $40 million dollars in funding that will be available to state funded employers who wish to purchase equipment to substantially reduce or eliminate injuries or illness associated with employment.
An employer can apply for the grant by clicking here.
The members of the House Insurance Committee followed Administrator McCloud’s testimony with wide ranging questions. Several members of the committee expressed a desire to see more pro-business policies included in the final version of the budget because they recognize how important an adaptive workers’ compensation system is for Ohio’s business climate.
As the legislative process moves forward, the Ohio Chamber will be working with members of the Ohio General Assembly and the bureau to advance our workers’ compensation public policy priorities in the context of the pending BWC budget bill. The Ohio Chamber’s Workers’ Compensation Committee played an integral part in developing these priorities, so these policies reflect the position of Ohio’s leading companies and workers’ compensation experts.