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DeWine: Ohio will opt out of extra $300 federal unemployment

Gov. Mike DeWine announces Ohio will opt out of $300 federal unemployment program starting June 26

The supplement has been available since last year, part of the package of pandemic stimulus measures passed by Congress.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — During his COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the state will be opting out of the federal government’s $300 pandemic unemployment program effective on June 26. 

The supplement has been available since last year, part of the package of pandemic stimulus measures passed by Congress.

“When this program was put in place, it was a lifeline for many Americans at a time when the only weapon we had in fighting the virus was to slow it’s spread through social distancing, masking, and sanitization,” DeWine noted. “That is no longer the case. That is no longer our only tool in this fight. This assistance was always intended to be temporary.”

DeWine noted that in some cases, the $300 supplement has been discouraging Ohioans from going back to work.

In addition to Ohio, at least 11 other states are opting out of federal unemployment benefits programs in June or July, a few months before the Sept. 6 expiration. 

Thursday’s news about the unemployment opt-out comes on the heels of DeWine’s announcement on Wednesday that the state’s COVID-19 health orders will end on June 2, with the exception of those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 

Among the measures being removed are facial covering protocols, social distancing guidelines, and capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor events. DeWine says the three-week timeline will allow any Ohioan who has not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine to obtain one.

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DeWine also announced that as an incentive for Ohioans to get their vaccines, there will be several lucrative promotional opportunities. Starting on May 26th, adults in Ohio who have received at least one dose of the vaccine will be entered into a weekly drawing with a prize of up to $1 million.

A total of five weekly drawings for each prize will take place. 

Ohioans under the age of 18 who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be entered into a drawing for a four-year full scholarship to any of Ohio’s state colleges and universities, including full tuition, room, and board. The drawing will also be held on May 26 and continue for five straight Wednesdays — each time randomly selecting one student to receive the full, four-year scholarship. 

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