Business, Labor Concerned About BWC Fund In Budget

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Business and labor leaders, as well as Ohio’s cities, are very concerned about how some money is being moved around to balance the budget in the face of a billion dollar projected shortfall.

The budget includes a provision to take up to 2% from several different funds, including those set up for the state EPA, the Consumers Counsel, the Industrial Commission and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Chris Ferruso of the National Federation of Independent Business/Ohio says that could mean anywhere from $5 million to $11 million could be taken out of the BWC fund, which is money that comes from employers to cover costs for injured workers.

Ferruso says, “Some could make the argument that $5-11 million is a rounding error. But the precedent it sets – taking employer money to shore up the budget – can’t happen.”  He adds that this appears to be more a transfer than a loan, because there are no promises the money will be restored to those funds.

Senate leaders say this is in line with other spending cuts.