Indiana Government Actions on COVID-19 – Updated 8/27/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- State staying in Back on Track Stage 4.5
- CARES Act funds being available for Indianapolis music venues
- Marion County launching online tool to help unemployed find work
- Judge’s ruling on mail-in voting
- Free online program for settling landlord/tenant eviction disputes
- Butler University going back to remote learning
- Marion County releasing early voting plans
- Governor Holcomb announced this week that the state will remain in Stage 4.5 of the Indiana Back on Track reopening plan until at least September 25. [Stage 4.5 allows dining-in services at 75% capacity, bar seating at 50% capacity, and bars, nightclubs and other venues (e.g., theaters and bowling alleys) at 50% capacity.] The mask mandate also continues.
- Marion County has designated $100,000 in grants to local Indianapolis music venues affected by the pandemic. The money, which comes from the federal CARES Act funds, will go to 17 venues. While the funding is appreciated by local venues, many will still struggle to remain open if the shutdown continues.
- Marion County has launched an online tool to help unemployed residents search for work. The Rapid Re-employment Response portal is designed to review residents’ qualifications and needs, then connect them with a company searching for employees. More than 120,000 Marion County residents filed for unemployment between March and June.
- As previously updated, there has been an ongoing fight for mail-in voting in the state as Governor Holcomb opposes the idea. Currently, Indiana is one of only six states not allowing mail-in voting due to the pandemic. The fight, however, may be nearing its conclusion as an Indiana judge has ruled the state does not need to expand voting by mail because residents have numerous other options to safely cast a ballot. For example, residents may vote early in October, vote absentee (if they qualify), or have a poll worker bring a ballot to their residence to vote from home.
- Indiana courts have launched a free online program entitled the Landlord and Tenant Settlement Conference Program. The program is designed to facilitate a settlement agreement between a landlord and tenant before an eviction case is filed or before a decision in an eviction case has been reached. The facilitators will be attorneys, mediators, and senior judges, and the conferences will be conducted via Zoom or telephone. Both parties must consent to join.
- The first two weeks of classes for Butler University’s undergraduate students will be held remotely. This decision came after the school’s officials noticed a “lack of compliance with health and safety guidelines among a relatively small proportion of our students.” Officials stated they would take further actions if they observe a continued lack of compliance, an increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate, or an indication of predictive measures from the contract tracing process.
- Marion County has released its early voting plans for the November election. These six locations are considered IndyVOTES Centers.
Indianapolis City County Building
Krannert Park Community Center
MSD Lawrence Admin Building
Perry Township Government Center
St Luke’s UMC
Warren Township Government Center
The deadline to register to vote is October 5. Absentee ballots will be mailed to eligible voters on September 19.