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Ohio workers comp bureau proposes 9.1% cut in local government rates

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Ohio’s cities and school districts are catching a break, thanks to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

The BWC said Thursday, that it will propose to its board of directors a 9.1% reduction in compensation rates that would save the 3,800 public agencies $19.1 million in 2015, providing relief in the face of rising costs elsewhere.

“Public employers are already paying the lowest rates in at least 30 years, and this additional reduction would go a long way for these employers that are closely monitoring each dollar,” said BWC CEO Steve Buehrer in a news release. “We encourage public employers to utilize these savings to invest in workplace safety to protect their workers and further reduce workers’ compensation costs.”

This reduction for public employers is on top of a $1 billion rebate to all 200,000-plus employers in the BWC system announced in August. That rebate is expected to return $126 million to public employers.

What the bureau is calling “Another Billion Back” is possible because the BWC’s investment portfolio is showing a return on investment of 8.9% over the last three years, including 13.3% for the first six months of 2014.

The first $1 billion rebate was offered last year.

The BWC board will meet Oct. 24 to consider the rebates.

Jay Miller writes for Crain’s Cleveland Business, a sister publication of Business Insurance.