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Governor Holcomb’s March 19, 2020, Executive Actions – What does it mean for Hoosiers

Governor Holcomb’s March 19, 2020, Executive Actions – What does it mean for Hoosiers

Earlier this afternoon, Governor Eric J. Holcomb signed several executive orders (“Executive Orders”) in an effort to “protect and support Hoosiers during the COVID-19 outbreak.” A full version of the Executive Orders can be found at the following link: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm.

The following is a summary of the critical actions set forth within the Executive Orders:

State of Emergency Extension

The Governor issued an order extending the state of emergency across the State of Indiana for an additional 30 days to and including May 5, 2020. During that time, all state and local health
officials, law enforcement and emergency response agencies, health care providers, and hospitals are to cooperate with the Indiana State Department of Health in its response to the COVID-19
public health disaster emergency.

K-12 Schools

The Governor ordered that all K-12 public schools remain closed until May 1; all non-public schools are also ordered closed. The order further noted that this date may be revised to extend
through the end of the 2019-2020 school year if circumstances warrant.

The Governor further ordered that all-state mandated assessments will be canceled for the current academic year, and asked the Superintendent of Public Instruction to pursue any federal waivers
needed to cancel the requirements for accountability, chronic absenteeism, and state-mandated assessments.


Regarding state economic actions, the Governor ordered that Indiana will align with the federal government to delay state income tax payments (but not filing of returns) from April 15 to July 15. The U.S. Treasury extended the deadline to pay federal income tax by 90 days. The Governor further ordered that:

  • Penalties will be waived for 60 days for property tax paid after May 11. The state will work with counties that may experience cash flow stress because of the delay;
  • The state will not immediately move forward with using $300 million in reserves to pay for several capital projects approved in the just-concluded legislative session and instead maintain flexibility to utilize the funds as needed for relief efforts and to maintain current services. The state will consider using bonding authority to move forward with the justapproved capital projects;
  • Providers of essential utility services, such as gas and electric, broadband, telecom, water, and wastewater services are prohibited from discontinuing service to any customer during the public health emergency; and
  • The state’s application to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was approved on Wednesday. This program provides targeted, low-interest loans of up to $2 million to help small businesses and nonprofits overcome the temporary loss of revenue as a result
  • of COVID-19. See more at SBA.gov/Disaster.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits

  • The state will interpret Indiana’s unemployment laws to the broadest extent possible to cover Hoosiers who are out of work because of COVID-19;
  • Benefits will be paid to individuals who file their initial unemployment claims late;
  • The Department of Workforce Development (“DWD”) will allow individuals to continue to accrue unemployment eligibility if they take work leave because of COVID-19;
  • DWD will seek federal authorization to provide unemployment benefits for those who are not otherwise eligible for unemployment, such as individuals who have recently started a job; and
  • For employers, DWD will not assess certain experience rate penalties because of employees who receive unemployment benefits because of COVID-19.


  • No residential eviction proceedings or foreclosure actions may be initiated during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This does not relieve the individual from obligations to pay rent or mortgage payments;
  • All public housing authorities are requested to extend deadlines for housing assistance recipients to submit required documentation showing eligibility for housing programs; and
  • The Indiana Department of Financial Institutions and Indiana Community Housing Development Authority are required to work with financial institutions to identify tools to help promote housing stability.

Social Services

  • Participants in the Healthy Indiana Plan (“HIP”) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are not required to make premium payments;
  • Job search requirements are waived for those applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits;
  • The Family and Social Services Administration will seek a federal waiver to extend renewals for existing Medicaid and HIP recipients; and
  • Telehealth services for mental health, substance use disorder, and prescribing for Medicaid covered services will be expanded.


  • The commissioner of the State Department of Insurance will request that insurers institute a 60-day moratorium on policy cancellations for non-payment of premiums. This does not suspend a policyholder’s obligation to make payments;
  • The commissioner will ask health insurers to cover COVID-19 testing without requiring prior authorization; and
  • The commissioner will request that health insurers not increase prices or coverage costs that involve medical care for COVID-19.

Bureau of Motor Vehicles

  • Late fees will be waived for several driver’s licenses and identification card renewals, vehicle registrations, titles, and certain other transactions to limit the number of in-branch transactions; and
  • Other operational changes in branches are being instituted to provide for the safety of employees and customers in branches, such as spacing between terminals and limiting the number of customers in the lobby.


  • Requirements have been relaxed for veterans to qualify for awards from the Military Family Relief Fund; and
  • Awards in excess of $2,500 may be approved by the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs director during a public health emergency.

Health and Professional Licensing

  • Mental health professionals are permitted to practice via telemedicine;
  • Advance Practice Registered Nurses may provide services in multiple locations; and
  • The state health commissioner may waive requirements of the nursing home certificate of need statute to respond to COVID-19 issues for long-term care facilities.

We will continue to update you about this and other major federal and state measures addressing the ever-developing COVID-19 pandemic. For additional information on this or any related topic,
please contact McNeelyLaw’s attorneys by visiting www.mcneelylaw.com or calling our office at 317-825-5110.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

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