The Buckeye Institute Files Amicus Brief Urging Ohio Supreme Court to Hear Unemployment Bonus Case

Oct 12, 2021

Columbus, OH – On Friday, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief with the Ohio Supreme Court urging the court to accept Ohio’s appeal in Bowling v. DeWine and affirm that Governor Mike DeWine has the authority to withdraw Ohio from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program, something The Buckeye Institute recommended as part of its Policy Solutions for the Pandemic series.

“While empty streets and darkened businesses typified the early pandemic economy of 2020, the symbol of the 2021 economy is the ubiquitous ‘Help Wanted’ sign,” said Jay Carson, senior litigator for The Buckeye Institute. “The economic literature, as well as common sense, points to enhanced unemployment benefits as a significant factor in slowing the return to work. Since uncertainty is always the enemy of economic growth, The Buckeye Institute is asking the court to take this case and hold that Governor DeWine has the authority to encourage Ohioans to return to work by opting out of the federal program.” 

In July, Candy Bowling sued the state alleging that an Ohio statute first enacted in the 1930s required the governor to accept every federal dollar offered, regardless of strings that might be attached or whether the additional benefits might actually slow Ohio’s economic recovery. While the trial court upheld the governor’s authority to opt out of the program, Ohio’s Tenth District Court of Appeals reversed that decision, essentially ordering that the $300 per week unemployment bonus be reinstated and paid retroactively.

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UPDATE: November 9, 2021, the Ohio Supreme Court announced it will hear the appeal in Bowling v. DeWine.