Md. Congressional Delegation Urges Governor Hogan to Reconsider Surprise Decision to Cut Off Federal Unemployment Assistance Early

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WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) issued the following response to Governor Larry Hogan’s sudden announcement Tuesday that Maryland will stop issuing federally funded Enhanced Pandemic Unemployment Benefits earlier than required.

“Unemployment benefits are helping more than 300,000 Marylanders make ends meet as our unemployment rate remains above its pre-pandemic level. Governor Hogan’s abrupt decision to cut off federal assistance on July 3 will strip critical aid from a majority of recipients a full two months earlier than necessary, making it harder for thousands of Marylanders to put food on the table and keep roofs over their heads as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re already hearing from constituents whose family finances will be thrown into crisis by this action. Rather than taking a measured, phased-in approach, similar to what President Biden supported earlier this month, the governor unnecessarily bowed to partisan pressure and ignored the needs of struggling workers and families. We urge the governor to reconsider this decision, which will cost our state money in the long run – and wastes federal resources we fought hard to secure. Marylanders are anxious to get back to work, but this pandemic is not over and many unemployed Marylanders are still suffering.”

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Maryland Small Business Owners Welcome Governor’s Orders

June 1st, 2021, ANNAPOLISMike O’Halloran, NFIB State Director in Maryland, reacted to the governor’s announcement that the state of Maryland will discontinue the federal unemployment payments and reinstate work search requirements next month. Maryland has vaccinated 70% of adults and has 12 months of consecutive job growth.

“Small business owners have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis. While they are seeing their sales grow amidst a steady economic recovery, a record 44% of owners reported job openings that could not be filled in NFIB’s latest jobs report. The Governor is right to call this a ‘critical problem.’ Now that capacity restrictions and closings are behind us, we’re hopeful these jobs will quickly be filled as the summer is unofficially underway.”

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For more than 75 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.
 

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Moving Up $15 Minimum Wage Phase-In Would Hurt Already Struggling Small Businesses

June 3st, 2021, ANNAPOLISMike O’Halloran, NFIB State Director in Maryland, reacted to word that some legislators are considering moving up the effective date of Maryland’s $15-an-hour minimum wage law by 2.5 years. The proposal would require small business owners who employ 15 or more workers to pay those workers $15 an hour starting July of 2022, rather than January 1, 2025.

“Less than a year ago, leaders in Annapolis told small businesses the greatest economic crisis in generations was no cause to delay the scheduled increase to Maryland’s minimum wage. Now they want to speed up the cost of doing business in our state. Labor costs are the single, biggest line item for small business owners, who are the first to suffer when policy makers make hurried decisions like this. Speeding up the phase-in is not a job creator. It will not save jobs. It will not keep people employed. It will cost workers money in the long run. It also pulls the rug out from underneath Maryland’s job creators. The state has lost thousands of businesses in the wake of COVID-19. This would add insult to injury for small business owners trying to recover and keep Marylanders employed.”

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For more than 75 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.
 

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Hoyer Statement on Governor Hogan Ending Enhanced Unemployment Benefits

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) released the following statement today after Governor Hogan announced Maryland would discontinue enhanced unemployment benefits for households across the state:

“Governor Hogan’s decision to discontinue enhanced unemployment benefits for thousands of Marylanders is extremely short-sighted. Families throughout the state depend on these benefits to keep food on the table and ensure their bills are paid. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered one of the worst economic chapters in American history, costing too many workers their jobs. As our economy ramps back up, we must help workers who, through no fault of their own, suffered the economic consequences of this pandemic. Instead of using this financial lifeline to help Marylanders, Governor Hogan’s decision hurts the households that need it most.

“We are more than a year into this pandemic and Marylanders are still struggling. Lack of affordable child care that forced many to leave the workforce has not been alleviated. Communities of color that were already disproportionately impacted by this economic crisis will be hit even harder when enhanced unemployment benefits are no longer available. If we are to have a strong economic recovery in our state, we ought to make sure our workers can return to work under the best possible conditions, not be faced with even more unnecessary hardship.”
 
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