INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A group of five people wants a judge to stop Gov. Eric Holcomb from ending expanded pandemic unemployment benefits in Indiana on Saturday.
Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law in March 2020 by President Donald Trump, the extra unemployment benefits were supposed to last through September, but Holcomb has announced that extra money will be cut off next week for Hoosiers.
The two law firms are representing the five people who are unemployed, and worked in different fields and in different parts of the state.
The suit challenges Holcomb’s decision to cut off the extra unemployment benefits.
One of the attorneys who filed the suit, Jeffrey Macey, says that his clients have different reasons for still being out of work: Some are seasonal employees, some still don’t have child care, and others haven’t found jobs in their specific fields.
In April, the statewide unemployment rate was at 4.2% Holcomb recently told News 8 that business owners have told him that they have more jobs open than they can hire people for.
Macey, with the law firm Macey Swanson Hicks & Sauer in Indianapolis, told News 8 by videoconference, “You know, our position isn’t that just that this is unwise for the state to do. Our position is that the state is not allowed to do it. The federal government provided these funds. They put them in an account for the state and, under Indiana law, the state is required to go after the benefits that the federal government provides for folks.”
Macey also expressed concerns about the added unemployment benefits ended in the same month as a federal moratorium on evictions will end.
No court hearing has been set for the lawsuit; it’s unclear if one could be conducted before Sunday.
“The Department of Workforce Development worked with the U.S. Department of Labor to properly complete all required steps to end its participation in federally funded pandemic unemployment insurance programs this month.
“DWD has timely notified impacted claimants about the state’s withdrawal from the federal programs and continues to connect impacted Hoosiers with the resources they need to gain skills and be matched with employment.”
Office of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb