KPC news. May 9, 2021.
Editorial: Legislation not friendly to the unemployed
As the legislature entered its final days, Indiana lawmakers were especially proud of themselves for providing record funding for education.
As we all know, or at least should, that record increase in funding came from the American Rescue Plan, a law of Congress signed by President Joe Biden and unsupported by Republicans. It was the bill that allocated nearly $ 2 trillion to a variety of programs, including $ 1,400 for stimulus checks and billions of dollars for state and local authorities.
Like all other states, Indiana received enormous gusts of wind. Indiana went cashless, and the legislature used that money to support programs.
Happy days in Indianapolis.
Unfortunately, our lawmakers have decided that the windfall will not be shared with those unlucky enough to lose their jobs for any reason in 2020, but most likely due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that people who have received unemployment benefits through standard and ancillary programs under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act – approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump last year – will not receive the same treatment under Indiana tax law received as with the federal tax law.
Indiana Unemployment Income is a 2020 taxable income, but is not a federal tax return for most workers.
If your Modified Adjusted Gross Income is less than $ 150,000, the U.S. rescue plan, which went into effect on March 11, excludes income up to $ 10,200 in Unemployment Benefit paid in 2020. That means you don’t have to pay any unemployment benefit taxes of up to $ 10,200. Information from the IRS says.
On April 22nd, Legislature passed an update to Indiana compliance with the Internal Revenue Code, which was expressly decoupled from certain provisions of the Code, and Governor Eric Holcomb signed it on April 29th.
As a result, you cannot apply the same federal unemployment benefit exclusion on your Indiana 2020 individual income tax return, and that income will need to be added back on. However, you may be entitled to a deduction that can reduce or even eliminate the state tax due on your unemployment benefit.
For Indiana taxpayers, this means some individuals who have sought a refund of their taxes will now have to pay additional state income taxes.
With the billions flowing into the state’s paperback, legislation should have found it in their collective hearts to give the less fortunate a break. Unfortunately, many people have argued that people purposely became unemployed in order to get unemployment checks, plus the extra $ 600 per week under the CARES Act and the $ 300 per week under the American bailout plan.
While some people choose to remain unemployed, a person cannot simply become unemployed voluntarily. There are rules to follow in order to receive benefits.
In Indiana, employment is recovering near pre-pandemic levels. We’re not there, but we’re getting there. Reports released on Friday estimated that employment growth this year could result in US unemployment as low as 4.3% by the end of the year.
The stimulus checks and the extra unemployment benefits have been extremely helpful to individuals and the economy, but do not mean people have gone cashless. Taxing unemployment at a time when Indiana and America are recovering from a severe economic downturn is not a positive move.
This legislative period has left many observers scratching their heads in amazement at certain decisions. This is another one.
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. May 9, 2021.
Editorial: Sustainable vetoes are the best outcome for bad bills
Here we go again.
The ink is barely dry when lawmakers recently overruled Governor Eric Holcomb’s veto of a bill to curb his emergency powers. Legislators are angry that decisions during the height of the pandemic were made based on the science and advice of public health experts rather than the input of elected officials.
The General Assembly will return to the Statehouse, and House and Senate leaders say they will take up Holcomb’s veto of Senate Law 5 – legislation requiring local public health regulations to be stricter than those enacted by the governor, to go to district commissioners or city councils for approval. Holcomb vetoed the bill last week, saying it does not want to detract from the flexibility of local health officials as Indiana continues to recover from the effects of COVID-19.
The legislature could reverse the governor’s decision with a simple majority in both chambers. Republicans who supported the law have a superior power in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
The experts are experts for a reason, and doctors, including Allen County’s health commissioner Matthew Sutter, say they weigh science, economic implications, and personal freedoms when doing assignments like limiting capacity in businesses and others Consider measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are grateful for Governor Holcomb’s decision to prioritize the health and safety of all Hoosiers by vetoing this legislation,” Sutter said in an email to The Journal Gazette. “We hope that through this veto, our lawmakers will seize the opportunity to step back and work with local experts working on these matters to ensure that the critically important work carried out by public health in our local communities and throughout State rendered appropriately for the benefit of the population is addressed to all residents of Indiana. “
It is dangerous to give elected executives, who are likely to be without education and training in public health emergencies, the ability to address those skills to professionals with the skills necessary to address these issues.
The legislature should allow the veto to exist.
In April, lawmakers were upset that they were unable to debate pandemic executive orders that override Holcomb’s veto of a law allowing the General Assembly to convene in such emergencies. The governor argues this is unconstitutional and the issue is now part of a lawsuit in Marion County.
Senate Bill 5 isn’t the only veto that could be included on Monday.
The second bill, Senate Bill 303, is backed by the oil industry and rejected by Indiana farmers. Gas stations would have to put a warning sign on every pump that dispenses E15 fuel made from 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. Holcomb rightly stated that the requirement was duplicated as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency already mandated the labels.
This information was enough for one of the bill authors, Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago. He said he supports Holcomb’s veto if the governor believes there is sufficient notice.
But Senator Andy Zay, a Huntington Republican and another co-author, told the Indianapolis star the veto was unfortunate because the problem could have been addressed with “a simple amendment.”
His complaint about the governor’s “lack of commitment” to the bill seems like a bad reason to override the veto.
Munster Times. May 9, 2021.
Editorial: The return of Pierogi Fest could be a sign of the future
To say the past 14 months have been tough would be a severe understatement.
The millions who have fought COVID-19 and the hundreds of thousands who have lost their lives are immeasurably devastating.
Since March 2020, masks, social distancing, and working from home have become the norm. While these measures were necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19, they have also stolen some of our humanity from us.
Many have avoided gathering together, having dinner with friends, and visiting family. People could not visit their loved ones in the hospital. Instead of laughing and playing with their classmates, children were placed in front of laptops in makeshift classrooms.
We shouldn’t go so long without human connection.
But at the end of this gloomy tunnel it seems to be light.
About 1/3 of the country is fully vaccinated. The cases in the United States are slowly, if not persistently, declining.
Fill in the fun void
And we got good news in the region last week.
After a year break due to the pandemic, the Pierogi Fest in Whiting is back.
This does not mean that life as we know it is back to normal. It gives us a little reason to be hopeful and optimistic. And a chance to have fun and be silly. And after the last 14 months, a bit of fun and silliness is in order.
Joseph Pete, the Times staffer, wrote last week: “Mr. Pierogi, Miss Paczki, the clever Buscias, and all the eccentric cast of characters return to 119th Street in July. “
The festival takes place from July 23rd to 25th.
On the other side of the state line, Chicago seems ready for the world again.
Last week Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she hoped the city would be “fully open” by July 4th. This could indicate the return of things like Lollapalooza or Taste of Chicago.
We at The Times are trying to work our way back to normal.
For most of the past year, our Sunday forum section has remained intact, but our daily opinion pages, which were previously open Tuesday through Friday, have largely been suspended to allow more space for the very important daily reports on news related to the pandemic create.
We are excited to announce that our regular editorials and daily opinion pages will return. Look forward to new ways we’d like to involve you, the reader, and many other diverse voices from our region community.
None of this will end the pandemic. But with every good news and every attempt to listen better and connect better, we can build hope.
And hope is exactly what we all still need.