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Indiana files formal appeal in unemployment restart case

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana filed its formal appeal overnight of a Marion County judge’s order to restart federal unemployment benefits.

The state argues the five citizens who filed the suit have no legal right to sue over the expanded unemployment insurance program, and that even if they did, state law doesn’t require Indiana to participate in the CARES Act extension of unemployment.

Governor Eric Holcomb and Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Frederick Payne are listed as appellant-defendants in the case.

“The Governor made a quintessential policy determination that continued participation in federal CARES Act programs was now harming Indiana’s economy more than those programs were benefitting it,” the appeal reads. “The Governor reasonably determined that CARES Act benefits, while at one time useful, were stunting Indiana’s recovery from the pandemic by incentivizing some people not to reenter the workforce.

On May 17, Holcomb announced that federal unemployment benefits in Indiana would be discontinued on June 19. Five Hoosiers then filed suit.

On June 25, a Marion County judge ordered the state to resume expanded federal unemployment benefits. The order meant Indiana would have to resume offering an additional $300 per week to unemployed Hoosiers, along with other programs.