INDIANAPOLIS — The state of Indiana has asked the Court of Appeals to block a Marion Co. judge's ruling requiring them to resume expanded unemployment payments.
The motion was filed late Monday evening by the Indiana Attorney General's Office.
The federal unemployment program is currently set to expire in September, but Indiana chose to end it early.
The order issued last week by a judge in Marion Co. requires Indiana to "immediately rejoin" the federal pandemic unemployment program and continue the $300 weekly expanded payments to Hoosiers who are currently drawing unemployment.
The order stated that Governor Holcomb violated Indiana law when he ended the state's participation in the federal programs on June 19.
Five people have filed a lawsuit against the state of Indiana over its decision, but the AG's motion claims that those five people did not have the standing to file the lawsuit and that Indiana is not legally required to participate in the program.
“Governor Holcomb determined that continued participation in the CARES Act programs is harming Indiana's recovery from the economic and social havoc wreaked by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic because the optional federal benefits are dissuading people from returning to the workforce, resulting in a significant labor shortage," the state wrote in its appeal. "He thus withdrew Indiana from those programs effective June 19, 2021, in accordance with the required 30-day notice to the United States Department of Labor 9USDOL)."
The appeal filed by the state of Indiana claims that the program was ended June 19, with full written 30-day notice from the state, and re-instating it is not an easy process. It would require the state to enter into a new agreement with the USDOL, which would effectively mean they would be required to participate in the program for a minimum of 30 days, assuming the 30-day notice that would be required to end the agreement a second time.
As of June 21, roughly 174,000 Hoosiers were still collecting unemployment benefits in Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development issued the following statement:
"DWD is determining how to proceed because the federal programs in Indiana no longer exist after their termination on June 19. There is no action that a claimant needs to take right now. Updated information will be provided on DWD's website."