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Appeals Court to Decide Whether to Restore $300 Weekly Unemployment Checks

a photo of cash and a gov't check
J.J. Gouin
An attorney says if his side prevails, as many as 200,000 Ohioans could get additional unemployment.

Three appeals court judges will decide whether unemployed Ohioans should get $300 in additional weekly checks – a benefit Gov. Mike DeWine ended last month, though the federal program runs through September 6.

Three judges – Democrats Michael Mentel and Terri Jamison and Republican Lisa Sadler – on the 10th District Court of Appeals heard from a group that claimed state law requires that DeWine accept that federal assistance or that lawmakers vote to reject it.

The panel also heard from the state’s assistant attorney general, who said there’s nothing in state or federal law that entitled unemployed Ohioans to those weekly checks.

A Republican Franklin County judge wrote last month he was sympathetic to the unemployed workers, but there was no obligation on DeWine to accept the money.

Former Attorney General Marc Dann represents the group, and says as many as 200,000 Ohioans could get the checks if his side prevails.

Dann wasn’t in court for the hearing – he tested positive for COVID.

No word on when a decision might come down.

Ohio is among the 26 states ending the program early, and most of them are run by Republicans.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.