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Indiana asks appeals court to block expanded federal unemployment ruling

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The state of Indiana is asking an appeals court to block federal expanded unemployment payments from resuming in Indiana.

The Attorney General’s Office filed a motion late Monday night, asking the Court of Appeals to stay a Marion County judge’s order.

That order, issued last week, requires Indiana to immediately rejoin the federal pandemic unemployment programs, including the $300 weekly payments.

Judge John Hanley ruled that Governor Holcomb violated Indiana law when he ordered the state to end its participation in the federal unemployment expansion June 19.

Five Indiana residents and Concerned Clergy of Indiana sued over the decision.

In the filing Monday night, the state claims those five people did not have standing to file the lawsuit, and that Indiana law doesn’t mandate participation in the program.

“The Governor has determined that CARES Act benefits are now contributing to a labor shortage and stunted Indiana’s recovery from the pandemic by making it easier for people to delay returning to the workforce,” state lawyers wrote. “Consequently, employers have been, and are, struggling to fill open positions.”

The state has also filed its notice that it will appeal the Marion County ruling.

The Department of Workforce Development has not resumed the federal payments.