GiaQuinta touts House Democrats’ ideas adopted by governor to provide economic relief and health security to Hoosiers impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS — House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) is pleased Governor Eric Holcomb embraced ideas from House Democrats to support Hoosiers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor signed executive orders that will provide economic relief for Hoosiers, small businesses and expand unemployment insurance benefits for those impacted by job loss.

“House Democrats were successful in their efforts to advocate for Hoosiers and get them the economic relief they will need over the coming months as we face the impacts of this virus, GiaQuinta said.

“We will keep fighting for the economic security, food security and health security of every Hoosier during this uncertain and difficult time.”

Here is a summary of the proposals that the governor adopted from GiaQuinta, State Representative Lisa Beck (D-Lakes of the Four Seasons), and State Representative Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis):

Economy

This morning, Porter called on the governor to use the $291 million budget surplus to support the economic security, food security and health security of Hoosiers during this pandemic. Today, the governor announced that he will not move forward at this time with using $291 million in reserves to pay cash for college and university building projects approved by Republicans during the recently-concluded legislative session. Instead, the governor will consider using these funds for relief efforts and to maintain current services.

On Tuesday, GiaQuinta sent a letter to the governor requesting that he take immediate and deliberate action to provide Hoosiers economic relief by: not allowing key utilities to turn off or disrupt service to customers, expanding the eligibility for unemployment insurance, and preventing evictions and foreclosures during this public health emergency. Today, the governor signed an executive order prohibiting essential utility services, including — gas; electric; water; wastewater; broadband; and telecom services from discontinuing service to any customer during this pandemic. He also expanded the eligibility for unemployment insurance through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and mandated no residential evictions or foreclosures until further notice.

On Monday, Beck sent a letter to the governor urging him to apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program. Today, the governor announced that the state’s loan application to SBA was approved yesterday. This program provides low-interest loans of up to $2 million to help small business and nonprofits through their economic hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Care

On Tuesday, GiaQuinta also included in his letter a request that participants in the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) are not required to make premium payments during this public health crisis. Today, the governor announced that he will not be requiring the over 400,000 low-income families on HIP to pay their premiums as we treat people for this virus.

“I want to thank the governor for this important first step to serve Hoosiers first during this public health emergency,” GiaQuinta concluded.

To read a copy of GiaQuinta’s letter, click here.  

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