The Buckeye Institute Files Brief Urging Ohio Supreme Court to Uphold Ohio’s Right to End Unemployment Bonus Program

Jan 10, 2022

Columbus, OH – On Monday, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief with the Ohio Supreme Court in Bowling v. DeWine urging to the court to 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.

“The employment data show what everyone knows instinctively—government incentives matter,” said Jay R. Carson, senior litigator at The Buckeye Institute. “Governor DeWine was well within his authority under Ohio law to opt-out of the extended pandemic benefits which were slowing Ohio’s economic recovery.”

“Ohio law does not require the governor to participate in this program,” said Larry Obhof, partner at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick and counsel of record for The Buckeye Institute in this case. “In any event, the data show that Ohio made the right choice and helped move people back into the workforce.”   

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. The Buckeye Institute urged the Ohio Supreme Court to hear the case, and in November 2021, the Ohio Supreme Court announced it would hear the appeal in Bowling v. DeWine.

# # #

UPDATE: On November 22, 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed Bowling v. DeWine as moot.