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Md. Governor Sued for Decision to End Federal Unemployment Benefits

Unemployed residents in Maryland are suing Gov. Larry Hogan over his decision to end enhanced federal unemployment benefits.

The Unemployed Workers Union, led by the Peoples Power Assembly, filed a class-action lawsuit against the governor and Maryland Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson, WTOP reported, citing Maryland Matters.

The lawsuit seeks to halt the Republican governor’s decision, as well as pursue benefits for Marylanders who filed for unemployment since March 2020 but have not received the full amounts, if any at all.

In question are the $300 weekly supplemental unemployment payments issued as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package signed into law in March. The legislation had extended the benefits — which were to expire on March 14 — until September.

But Hogan earlier this month said he would end the payments in Maryland on July 3, joining several other Republican governors in deciding to cut the benefits early.

Alex Summerfield, the union’s attorney, said Thursday during a press conference in Baltimore that Hogan’s actions are “illegal” and “a threat to public welfare.”

“This is workers’ money,” Summerfield said, WTOP reported. “They pay in unemployment through taxes.”

Hogan, echoing his Republican colleagues, said the economy is improving, many businesses are looking for workers and there is no need for unemployment assistance beyond the traditional programs.

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