Indiana to partner with 6 other Midwestern states on reopening the economy—likely in early May

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb

Seven Midwestern governors announced Thursday that they will coordinate on reopening their state economies, after similar pacts were made in the Northeast and on the West Coast.

The Midwestern agreement includes Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Kentucky.

IBJ reported Tuesday that some Midwestern governors were discussing such a pact.

“We look forward to working with experts and taking a fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening our economy in a way that protects families from the spread of COVID-19,” the governors said. “Our No. 1 priority when analyzing when (is) best to reopen our economy is the health and safety of our citizens.”

The alliance of states in the Midwest joins two others that were announced earlier in the week: one on the West Coast and one in the Northeast. All together, the 17 states covered by the three pacts are home to nearly half the U.S. population.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday that he plans to start slowly re-opening the economy on May 1, but Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb wouldn’t commit to that date on Thursday afternoon.

Holcomb said he couldn’t put a specific date on it, but “we are thinking early May.”

“I’m going to be looking at the numbers,” Holcomb said. “We’ve said all week long here in the state of Indiana that these next few days are very important to us.”

Holcomb has also asked various business associations and trade organizations for input on what changes employers can make to ensure safe working conditions when people can return to work. He said he’s requested those recommendations be submitted by April 22 “so that we can in May hit the ground running and not have to hit the pause button.”

“Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region,” the governors said in a statement. “This doesn’t mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time. But close coordination will ensure we get this right. Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen, and things will go back to normal. We look forward to working together as one region to tackle this challenge together.”

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13 thoughts on “Indiana to partner with 6 other Midwestern states on reopening the economy—likely in early May

  1. The fact that this is a bipartisan group of governors gives excellent cover from the inevitable grumpy Trump remarks and Washington hyperpartisanship.

  2. This is everything!
    “We look forward to working with experts and taking a fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening our economy in a way that protects families from the spread of COVID-19

  3. It would be great if we could hear (1) about testing, so people can know when they are safe to go out and (2) progress on a cure, which will result in almost everyone feeling safe to venture out.

    1. The last I read probable date I read about an effective vaccine available to the public was sometime in 2021.

  4. How similar are the conditions in Detroit or Chicago to small town Indiana though? Detroit and Chicago and going to push to have a longer shutdown as they have had greater impact. Also, the Michigan governer has already proved to be draconian. Reminds me of a 3rd grade teacher setting down rules like we are all toddlers.

    1. If some Michiganders stopped behaving like toddlers, and started showing concern for others by staying home as directed, she wouldn’t need draconian measures.

    2. Excellent point Rebecca.

      Nancy A. seems to be coming from the angle of a person whose job comfortably transitioned to her laptop in her living room during the lockdown. Not everyone has that same luxury, Nancy (Karen?), and many of them have now gone without three consecutive paychecks. Whitmer does seem to be behaving like a tyrant–banning socially distant sports like golfing and setting up non-essential item lists that close local garden stores while keeping Walmart open–and it delights me to see people not only challenging her, but local law enforcement refusing to comply, since in the end most of these regulations are unconstitutional. And if Whitmer’s really lucky, it will have consequences within her state this coming November.

  5. With the lack of actual and factual data the (6) governors are going to work on one size fits all, Gov. Whitmer has already proven that scenario. Marion County for instance it would nice to see if there is a particular area of the city that is more susceptible than another. Much like crime statistics the average citizen could avoid the particular are with significant margins to reduce probability.

    But with government we typically get very little surgical strategies, much like the stimulus. Giving people who are fully employed and receiving the normal income, is not only short sided, it is irresponsible.