The Indianapolis City-County Council held a virtual meeting Monday night and took up several measures related to the COVID-19 response.
The online meeting started with an update from local leaders. Marion County Public Health Department Director Virginia Caine says they have been working to protect the city’s homeless population and issues at correctional facilities.
"We’ve also provided recommendations to the judicial system for recommending early release of nonviolent offenders," says Caine.
Caine also recommended taking measures to protect people in the upcoming primary election.
Indy Chamber President Michael Huber gave an update on work to help small businesses. He says two weeks ago the Rapid Response Fund was announced and there has been an overwhelming demand from local businesses in need.
"If all of the requests we received turned into actual loan applications, they won’t, but that is kind of how we measure it, there would be almost $16 million in total funding requested."
The fund currently has about $6 million.
The council passed a $2 million proposal that includes sending absentee ballots to residents for mail-in voting. A majority of councilors advanced the proposal, including council member John Barth.
"We need to do everything we can to support our citizens to exercise their right to vote," says Barth.
Council Minority Leader Brian Mowery did not support the proposal.
"I think that right now this is a little much for us to spend on a primary," says Mowery.
The council also passed a proposal that would appropriate additional funding to the Office of Public Health and Safety for coronavirus response.