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Bill To Keep Workers' Comp Benefits From Undocumented Immigrants Clears House

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A bill to deny workers’ compensation benefits for undocumented immigrants is headed to the Ohio Senate after winning approval in the House on Tuesday.

Republican House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says excluding undocumented immigrants from receiving workers’ comp benefits is just another step to bring uniformity among benefit policies for those who are in the country illegally.

“It’s not a bad idea to standardize what we have across the state of Ohio like what we do with the unemployment, you can’t do it there, you shouldn’t be able to do it in the BWC, either,” Rosenberger said.

But House Democrats say this does not fix the problem of illegal immigration. They argue it denies help for people who are injured on the job, and excuses liability for poor workplace conditions.

Some have also argued it effectively encourages business owners to employ undocumented immigrants.

The bill passed the House 60-32, mostly along party lines. It now goes to the Senate, where a similar measure was stripped out of the budget earlier this year.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.