NewsPublic Affairs / March 17, 2020

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Dr. Woody Myers Unveils COVID-19 Proposals

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Dr. Woody Myers announces his run for governor in July 2019. - FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith/IPB News

Dr. Woody Myers announces his run for governor in July 2019.

FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith/IPB News

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers says the General Assembly should be brought in for an emergency session to help address the COVID-19 crisis.

The former state health commissioner unveiled proposals Tuesday for the health emergency.

Myers says he would urge the General Assembly to help confront the coronavirus crisis by, for instance, passing a paid leave law for Hoosier workers.

“I think we ought to immediately attack those who are seeking to inappropriately profit from the pandemic by gouging with respect to prices,” Myers says.

Indiana’s price gouging law only applies to fuel.

READ MORE: What Do You Need To Know About Coronavirus? We’ve Got Answers.

Myers says the state also needs to delay the tax filing deadline and expand unemployment benefits, even as federal agencies look to do the same.

“But we ought not wait," Myers says. "We oughta be thinking about right now what we should do, could do, irrespective of what the federal government does.”

Legislative leaders said last week Gov. Eric Holcomb assured them he didn’t need special legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Myers also says the single biggest need is more testing. He says it was a mistake not to emphasize testing earlier because without broader testing, there’s not enough information.

“You don’t know where your clusters are," Myers says. "You don’t know where to focus your resources.”

Myers also says it’s time to start spending some of the state’s $2 billion surplus.

“Listen, we do not know how long these kids are going to be out of school … that means that we should invest right now in the online capabilities – the hardware and software needed – such that our kids are not delayed further,” Myers says.

The Democratic candidate says he also would have ordered all schools to close, rather than making it optional.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

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