STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Judge: Indiana must continue federal unemployment benefits

A Marion County judge ordered Friday that Indiana must continue the federal government’s unemployment benefits, putting a temporary stop to Gov. Eric Holcomb's move to drop the state from the program.

Posted: Jun 25, 2021 5:33 PM
Updated: Jun 25, 2021 5:49 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Marion County judge ordered Friday that Indiana must continue the federal government’s unemployment benefits, putting a temporary stop to Gov. Eric Holcomb's move to drop the state from the program.

Marion Superior Court Judge John Hanley granted the preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed June 14 by two legal organizations, which argues that Indiana law requires the state to procure federal insurance benefits to residents.

The lawsuit emphasizes that the Republican governor’s actions to withdraw Indiana from the expanded unemployment benefits before the Sept. 6 expiration of those benefits will hurt thousands.

Indiana's decision to leave the federal program early violates state law, Hanley wrote in his court order, adding that the unemployment benefits are “instrumental in allowing Hoosiers to regain financial stability at an individual level while the state continues to face challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic during its return to normalcy.”

The decision requires the state to continue the extra $300 weekly payments to unemployed workers and remain in other programs that expanded unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holcomb announced last month that Indiana would reinstate a requirement that those receiving unemployment benefits will again have to show they are actively searching for work as of June 1 and that the state would leave the federal programs effective June 19.

Indiana also ended its participation in a federal program that made gig workers and the self-employed eligible for assistance for the first time and another that provides extra weeks of aid.

The governor's office did not immediately comment on the court's ruling Friday.

The decision to withdraw the state from the federal programs came as many businesses blame the extra $300 weekly payment and the ease of obtaining unemployment benefits with making it more difficult to fill job openings. Republican legislative leaders additionally urged Holcomb to withdraw Indiana from those federal programs.

The $300 payments have more than doubled Indiana’s average $280 weekly unemployment payment, which has a maximum of $390 a week, according to the state Department of Workforce Development. The changes could cut off or reduce unemployment benefits to more than 220,000 people in the state.

Holcomb said jobs are available around the state and pointed to Indiana’s 3.9% unemployment rate for April, which was down from the pandemic peak of 16.9% a year earlier. Ending the benefits early will also help Indiana businesses find and hire qualified employees for thousands of open positions, he said.

___

Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

West Lafayette
Mostly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 30°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 31°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 20°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 30°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 25°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 27°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 27°
Delphi
Mostly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 24°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 24°
Logansport
Mostly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 27°
A windy and chilly day is expected. Tonight could be the coldest night of the season so far.
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events