Senate District 11
Teresa Fedor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fedor Joins State Elected Officials and Union Leaders to Host Unemployment Roundtable
April 16, 2021
This week, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, state Representative Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and union leaders hosted a virtual roundtable to discuss issues with Ohio’s unemployment compensation system.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen how unemployment insurance provides critical support for jobless workers. Unfortunately, our unemployment system failed Ohioans in many ways, just when they needed it the most,” Fedor said. “Years of underinvestment in the system’s technological infrastructure contributed to the systemic failures that have caused millions of Ohioans to go without any source of income for weeks, and sometimes months, during a public health and economic crisis. Ohio must invest in our system now.”

During the roundtable, elected officials heard testimony from Emily Junker, Shanye Schoched and Matt Curie – Ohioans who have faced challenges with Ohio’s unemployment system. On top of significant processing delays and lengthy hold times on the phone, many have also struggled with navigating the application process itself.

“Most of us in Ohio aren’t attorneys and we shouldn’t have to be required to have a law license to get what is rightfully ours,” Whaley said. “The system is set up to catch people rather than help them, which is what government is supposed to be about. It doesn’t have to be this way.”

While new unemployment claims in Ohio hit a five-month low last week, they continue to be significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. This places an increased strain on Ohio’s unemployment system. 

The Unemployment Modernization and Improvement Council, a legislative committee of which Senator Fedor and Representative Sobecki are members, will hold hearings for members of the public to testify about the issues they’ve faced on April 22 and 29. Ohioans may also submit written testimony. All hearings will be televised on The Ohio Channel.

“As a former worker with Lucas County Jobs and Family Services, I developed an understanding of how the process works and how it should work, and how we need to modernize our unemployment system like we modernized our Medicaid, SNAP, and TANF benefits, along with many others,” Sobecki said. “Throughout the pandemic, my own family and I have had issues with the unemployment system, so you are not alone.”

To watch a full recording of the event, click here. For the opportunity to be part of an upcoming roundtable, fill out this survey. For more information on how to submit testimony in person, or in written form for the Unemployment Modernization and Improvement Council, contact Senator Fedor’s office at fedor@ohiosenate.gov or 614-466-5204.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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