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Appeal Filed After Franklin County Judge Rules Against Reinstating $300 Checks For Jobless Ohioans

 A fast food drive through in Columbus is closed due to a lack of workers.
Karen Kasler
Ohio Public Radio
A fast food drive through in Columbus is closed due to a lack of workers.

A Franklin County judge has ruled against reinstating $300 weekly pandemic unemployment checks for Ohioans out of work. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ended the additional federal assistance prematurely last month.

The judge said the law is clear that DeWine wasn’t obligated to continue the program for around 200,000 Ohioans.

Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, who represents the unemployed workers, said he’s already asked the Tenth District Court of Appeals to review Judge Michael Holbrook’s ruling.

“We think he read the law wrong," Dann said. "We think the Tenth District might read it differently."

Roger Geiger with the National Federation of Independent Business Ohio pushed for the end to the $300 weekly checks, calling them an economic incentive not to come to work when jobs are going unfilled.

“The governor has the responsibility of running our unemployment system," Geiger said. "He was well within his prerogative and the court verified that.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the NFIB filed briefs supporting the state's argument.

DeWine issued a statement after the ruling, which read in part: "We are pleased with the decision. We have heard over and over again from employers who can’t find workers to fill open positions, and this policy helps both employers and workers."

Workers have said they’re having trouble finding child care and are concerned about wages and safety.

Twenty six states, all but one with GOP governors, ended the weekly checks program before it will expire in September.