As the coronavirus continues to spread, it’s important that the State of Indiana take measures to ensure our workers do not lose the ability to support their families. Just this week, the Governor of Illinois announced that workers displaced by COVID-19 can qualify for Unemployment Insurance benefits as allowed by federal law.

I have fought for years in the General Assembly for a statewide paid family leave program. Now, many Hoosiers may need to choose between being exposed to and potentially spreading the virus or being able to pay their bills. This is not a choice that our state government should force people to make. It is now the responsibility of Governor Holcomb to do everything he can to both keep the public safe and keep our families afloat.

I call on Governor Holcomb to ensure that Hoosier workers receive the same protections as our neighbors, and file emergency administrative rules directing the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to implement this program to help stop the spread of this pandemic. If workers feel sick or know they’ve been exposed to this virus, they should be able to stay home, get well and protect public health without losing their paycheck.