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Ohio Lawmakers Question Agency Leader Over Problems With Unemployment System

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The woman in charge of the state agency that administers the unemployment system was on the hot seat yesterday as a panel of state lawmakers questioned her about inefficiencies in the system. 

Ohio Job and Family Services Director Kim Hall was peppered with questions from lawmakers on the House Ways and Means committee. Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) asked why so many Ohioans have had problems with the state’s unemployment system…everything from not getting checks due to them and not getting through to anyone in the state office to help them.

"You know, we are in the year 2020. How do we not have a phone system that properly works?," Merrin asked.

Hall said the unemployment system was not equipped to deal with the high call volume and stress caused by the COVID19 pandemic.

“I wholeheartedly agree that our current system is antiquated and does not serve Ohioans to any degree of the level that we need for service," Hall said.

Hall explained the state is in the multi-year process of installing an $86 million system but said it won’t be fully operating until 2022. Hall said her office has processed more than 92% of the claims submitted but about 7% of the claims affecting more than 83,000 people are pending.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.
Jo Ingles
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.