|BWC plan could mean rebates for local gov’ts, schools|
|Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:10 AM|
BY NANCY SPENCER
ALLEN COUNTY — Governments and schools in Allen County should see a $1,110,140 rebate following a plan released Monday by Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer.
Kasich’s office released specifics on the plan which would also triple safety grants and reduce the workers’ compensation rate for public employers by four percent. According to a release from Kasich’s office, the rebates and reforms are possible thanks to a larger-than-expected balance at the agency.
“Our goal is to support the health and safety of Ohio workers while maintaining stable workers’ compensation rates for employers, including local governments,” said Buehrer. “This rebate will return nearly $113 million to local governments and schools who are already seeing the lowest rates in 30 years thanks to recent annual rate reductions.”
The total in returns is $112.8 million, with schools getting the largest share at approximately $42.5 million, followed by cities receiving $37 million, counties $16.5 million and townships $7.6 million.
The rebate for the City of Delphos is $301,140; Elida would receive $6,930; and Spencerville Village would receive $3,990.
Delphos City Schools would receive $3,940; Elida would receive $56,390 and Spencerville would receive $19,050.
Also under the proposal, nearby Putnam County would receive $303,650, with Ottoville Village in line for $9,580, Fort Jennings $420 and Kalida $4,530. Ottoville Schools would receive $10,730, Fort Jennings $9,016 and Kalida $9,490.
Van Wert County’s proposed rebate is $312,350, with Van Wert City Schools in line for a $38,930 rebate, Vantage $20,320, Crestview $12,620 and Lincolnview $11,330.
Other parts of the proposal would continue on into the future. Kasich also requested tripling the funding for the Safety Grant Program from $5 million to $15 million. The additional monies would be used to support the administration’s efforts to promote workplace safety and encourage investment in programs and technology that leads to greater protections for Ohio workers.
The plan also calls on the state legislature to change the way the BWC works. Currently, premium collection is done in arrears, meaning businesses and agencies pay their premiums after-the-fact in subsequent periods. If the plan is approved, the premiums would be made in advance. To help facilitate the move, the plan would lower the premium rates for private companies by two percent and public employers by four percent as well as offering multiple time-payment options. It also calls for an additional $900 million to pay for transition costs, putting the total cost of the proposal at $1.9 billion.