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Lawmakers Freeze Unemployment Benefits; Delay Overhaul Plans

State lawmakers will freeze benefits for unemployed workers at current levels while putting plans for a major overhaul of Ohio's unemployment compensation system on hold

Republican leaders in Columbus said Tuesday that they'll take another shot next year at completing the overhaul of the state's unemployment fund.

They hope freezing the current rates will give them time to craft a broad solution.

There's been growing concern about how the system is structured and how long the state's fund that pays unemployment benefits could be sustained. Ohio and other states were forced to borrow from a federal loan fund to keep paying benefits during the recession that began in 2007.

One proposal being looked at would have temporarily increased employer contribution levels and reduced the number of weeks of benefit payouts.