A Franklin County judge rejected the plaintiffs attempt to have the $300 jobless benefit reinstated while a lawsuit made its way through the court system.
In addition to their broader complaint, the plaintiffs had requested relief in the form of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, which was denied.
The judge ruled that the laws referenced by the plaintiffs do not place an obligation on the state government to continue participation in the program, nor did Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine act outside the scope of his authority. Therefore, the plaintiffs did not meet their burden of proving a substantial likelihood of success, the judge wrote.
In a statement on Thursday night, DeWine and Ohio’s Lt. Gov Jon Husted said that they were pleased with the decision.
"We have heard over and over again from employers who can’t find workers to fill open positions, and this policy helps both employers and workers," the state’s leaders said. "Our administration has focused on opportunities to help Ohioans find quality, well-paying jobs."
The court also noted that decisions made in favor of plaintiffs in similar cases in other states did not alter its decision. The judge did, however, say that the termination of benefits may result in significant and irreparable injury, as alleged by the plaintiffs – a fact that was not enough to override the other considerations of the case.
DeWine said in May the state would end its participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program on June 26, which offered an additional $300 to qualifying individuals. The state’s regular unemployment benefit remains available.
Husted told FOX Business in May that the state’s economy had been rebounding nicely – with an unemployment rate below the national average – but returning people to work remained an "impediment."
Husted noted at the time that the federal boost was intended as a temporary benefit while jobs were scarce and the vaccine was not widely available – but now both jobs and vaccines are plentiful in Ohio.
When the state ended the $300 federal unemployment bump on June 26 there were 435,046 people on unemployment benefits, according to Husted’s office. In the four weeks since 63,766 people left the unemployment rolls, which marks a 14.6% reduction.
Several other states have been sued for ending the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
In Arkansas, Indiana and Maryland, judges ruled that the extra benefits needed to be reinstated while the lawsuits worked through the court system.