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COVID-19 response memo, 7/24/20

A wave of Evictions Could Be Coming For Nation's Renters

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COVID-19 response memo, 7/24/20

We made it to the weekend. Local, state and federal highlights in today’s memo include:

  • Governor’s Mask Order Carries No Penalties For Non-Compliance, Reveals End Date

  • Pence in Indianapolis: ‘We have to open up America’s schools’

  • GOP Differences Delay Stimulus

  • The $600 Benefit Actually Expires Tomorrow

  • House Approves $259.5B Spending Package

  • CDC Releases Updated Guidelines in Favor of Reopening Schools

  • Wave of Evictions Could Be Coming For Nation's Renters

  • Indiana Nuns Want Safe Voting Options

  • Important Dates

  • Daily Numbers

    Let’s dive in.


Governor’s Mask Order Carries No Penalties For Non-Compliance, Reveals End Date


Breaking:  Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s statewide mask mandate does not include criminal penalties for violations, after concerns were raised about whether he had the legal authority to take that action.

The executive order, which Holcomb signed Friday, requires face coverings for anyone who is 8 years and older in indoor public places, businesses, transportation services or in outside public spaces when social distancing isn’t possible.

The requirement takes effect Monday. The order also contains a possible end date—Aug. 26, unless extended by Holcomb. When the governor announced the requirement on Wednesday, he said he wouldn’t be setting an end date. (Indianapolis Business Journal)


Pence in Indianapolis: ‘We have to open up America’s schools’


Breaking: White House officials visiting Indianapolis on Friday said it’s imperative students return to school this fall and encouraged decision-makers to consider all aspects of a child’s health.

Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos and Dr. Deborah Birx, a leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, joined Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and leaders of Marian University for a discussion about how to safely reopen K-12 schools and universities. The roundtable was held in Indianapolis at Marian University, which plans to reopen for on-campus classes this fall.

Pence, Indiana’s former governor, commended Holcomb and Hoosiers for the work they’ve done to try to combat the coronavirus, then emphasized the importance of open schools. (IBJ)


GOP Differences Delay Stimulus


What’s New:  Senate Republicans opted to postpone the release of their proposal for the next Covid-19 stimulus bill due to continued differences with the White House on unemployment insurance and direct cash payments. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated the proposal will include an extension of enhanced jobless benefits, albeit at a lower level. Republican senators and the White House are also still ironing out an agreement on another round of direct stimulus checks.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated he would unveil text of the legislation early next week. Please note that Monday, the late civil rights icon Representative John Lewis (D-GA) will lie in state in the United States Capitol Rotunda. A private ceremony will be held in his honor at 1:30 PM EST. It is unclear whether this will impact negotiations or consideration of other items on the calendar.


The $600 Benefit Actually Expires Tomorrow


What’s New: The Cares Act authorized the additional benefit through July 31, but because of the structure of the week, it actually expires tomorrow.

Why: Because tomorrow is the last Saturday of the month, the benefit won’t be paid the following week.

The longer explanation: “The U.S. Labor Department says that states can pay unemployment benefits no later than the week ending one week before July 31, 2020. Since July 31 is not a Saturday or Sunday, this means the week prior becomes the end date of these supplemental benefits.” More from Forbes:


House Approves $259.5B Spending Package


What’s New: The House on Friday approved a $259.5 billion four-bill package of spending bills for the 2021 fiscal year. The package included the bills for state and foreign operations; agriculture; interior and environment; and military construction and veterans affairs.

The legislative package passed in a largely party-line 224-189 vote. Seven Democrats and the chamber's sole Independent joined every Republican in voting against the measure.

Lawmakers rejected deep cuts proposed by President Trump to the State Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The foreign operations bill provides billions in foreign assistance to countries such as Israel, Egypt and Ukraine and money for counternarcotics operations in a number of Latin American countries. The agriculture bill includes over $1 billion to expand rural broadband, funds a slew of nutritional assistance programs and would give the Federal Drug Administration mandatory recall authority for prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

The interior bill also funds arts and humanities programs and museums, including funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which Trump sought to eliminate in his budget. It also funds the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (The Hill)


CDC Releases Updated Guidelines in Favor of Reopening Schools


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) late Thursday released new guidelines with a heavy focus on reopening schools in the fall, saying children are less likely to experience severe symptoms or spread the virus in schools. Under the new guidelines, the CDC recommends that schools follow a certain level of precautions based on the amount of community transmission in their area. The CDC advises that unless there is substantial, uncontrolled community transmission in an area, schools should reopen to some extent. (The Hill)


A wave of Evictions Could Be Coming For Nation's Renters


What’s New: The federal moratorium on evictions signed into law in March as part of the CARES Act is set to expire Friday night at midnight, setting up the potential for a wave of evictions in the middle of a pandemic that President Trump acknowledged this week will get worse before it gets better.

It’s possible that the moratorium will be extended as part of a new relief bill, but Congress is mired in negotiations and is not expected to finalize legislation until early August.

Some Democrats are sounding the alarm. (The Hill)


Indiana Nuns Want Safe Voting Options


A group of more than 150 Indiana nuns are trying to appeal to U.S. Sen. Mike Braun’s Catholic side. 

The nuns sent Braun a letter this week urging him to take action in Congress to expand vote by mail options, adjust polling places to allow for more social distancing, recruit a new generation of poll workers, provide online registration options and public education about Election Day changes. The Catholic Sisters encouraged Braun to support passing $3.6 billion in emergency funding for the election.

“Senator Braun, as a Catholic person of faith, we are asking you to enable each and every American to participate in our election come November,” the letter said. “We are also reminding you of your unique responsibility to look out for the well-being of the elderly due to your position on the Joint Committee on Aging.”


Important Dates


Wednesday, September 2 - 10:00 am.                                                                   Pension Management Oversight Study Committee - Senate Chamber

Thursday, September 3 - 10:00 am                                                                       Pension Management Oversight Study Committee - Room 404

Wednesday, October 14 - 10:00 am                                                                       Pension Management Oversight Study Committee - Room 404


By The Numbers …


COVID-19 Cases

New cases: 1,011 (New record high)

Total cumulative cases reported Friday: 60,598

Total cumulative cases reported Thursday: 59,602

Increase in cumulative cases: 996

Increase in cases reported July 18-July 24: 5,785

Increase in cases reported July 11-17: 4,515

COVID-19 Deaths

New deaths: 4

Total deaths: 2,687

Increase in deaths reported July 18-July 24: 77

Increase in deaths reported July 11-17: 55

County Numbers

Marion County cumulative cases: 13,409 (increase of 155)

Marion County new deaths: 0

Marion County cumulative deaths: 711

Hamilton County cumulative cases: 2,134

Johnson County cumulative cases: 1,516

U.S. and Worldwide Numbers As of Friday, from Johns Hopkins University:

U.S. cases: 4,057,100

U.S. deaths: 144,524

Global cases: 15,566,087

Global deaths: 634,594

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