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Maryland Gov. Hogan Ending Pandemic Unemployment Benefits in July

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday the state will end distributing enhanced unemployment benefits by July 3, citing the decrease in confirmed coronavirus cases and widespread access to vaccines.

The benefits included an additional $300-per-week payments that could affect more than 15,000 people once ended.

President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan provides states with federal dollars for those unemployed until Sept. 6.

The Republican governor joined 24 other states, also led by Republicans, with an increase in the economy.

“While these federal programs provided important temporary relief, vaccines and jobs are now in good supply,” Hogan said in a statement. “We have a critical problem where businesses across our state are trying to hire more people, but many are facing severe worker shortages. After 12 consecutive months of job growth, we look forward to getting more Marylanders back to work.”

Those who remain unemployed after July 3 will be required to engage in three reemployment activities each week, which will be reinstated through the state Department of Labor. Individuals can search for jobs through the Maryland Workforce Exchange or through upcoming job fairs.

If claimants don’t show proof, “they may be determined ineligible to receive regular state unemployment insurance benefits.”

Hogan’s decision to end the benefits two months ahead of the federal deadline drew sharp criticism from Democratic leaders.

Maryland House Majority Leader Eric Luedtke (D-Montgomery County) called the decision “sickening” in a Twitter post Tuesday.

“Governor Hogan’s decision to discontinue enhanced unemployment benefits for thousands of Marylanders is extremely short-sighted,” Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) said in a statement. “Families throughout the state depend on these benefits to keep food on the table and ensure their bills are paid. “We are more than a year into this pandemic and Marylanders are still struggling.”

The federal benefits remain in effect in neighboring Virginia and the District of Columbia.

William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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