Porter urges Holcomb to provide $100 state unemployment match

IBLC, News & Media

INDIANAPOLIS – On Aug. 19, the Holcomb administration decided to opt out of a $100 per person state unemployment match unlike several other states, including Indiana's neighboring Kentucky. Instead, they settled for only the additional unemployment payment of $300 per person through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) program.

State Representative Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis) today urged Governor Holcomb to reconsider this decision as the Hoosiers facing high rates of unemployment and lost wages stand to greatly benefit from state intervention.

Current federal eligibility guidelines may exclude some from receiving these additional unemployment benefits. The $300 payment will only go to those already receiving $100 or more in state or federal benefits, further penalizing those most in need. However, if the Holcomb administration had applied for the $100 match as well, at least that unemployment money would have been guaranteed to struggling Hoosiers.

“Indiana has proudly dubbed itself as 'A State That Works,' touting the slogan on marketing campaigns and even state buildings,” Porter said. “However, I often find myself wondering who this state is working for. It is not a state that works for the estimated 720,000 Hoosiers at risk of eviction. It is not a state that works for those individuals now facing utilities disconnections. It is not a state that works for struggling small business owners and their employees. It is not a state that works for those wondering how they will put food on the table. Indiana is failing so many while sitting on billions of unspent Coronavirus Relief Fund (CVRF) dollars, regardless of our slogan this is still somehow a state that is not working.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Porter has been an advocate for getting funding out the door to Hoosiers who need it most with bold proposals for rental assistance, student borrower relief and funding for the upcoming election.

“Indiana has the money to provide an additional $100 in weekly relief, now it only needs to find the will to distribute it,” Porter continued. “These are taxpayer dollars and should be used to benefit the taxpayers in their times of greatest need. Additionally, a $100 payment from the state would satisfy the eligibility requirement for more Hoosiers to receive the $300 federal unemployment benefit. A state supplement would better assist and better cover struggling workers.”

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