MACo and Administration Reach Compromise on Extended Unemployment Benefits

The Administration’s bill ( HB 1228/SB 882) to accept federally-paid extended unemployment insurance benefits for private sector workers has raised concerns with the effect on public sector employers, who are self-insured and must pay for these benefits directly.   During the hearings on both bills, MACo and MML requested the opportunity to work with the Administration and the Committees to identify ways to help local governments accommodate these costs without putting new strains on local budgets.

Through discussions with the Administration, a compromise has been reached whereby $1.64 million would be set aside in an “Extended Benefits Fund” to reimburse counties and municipalities for a portion of their net costs associated with providing these benefits.  Net costs refers to the total extended benefits paid less tax revenue payable for providing these benefits.  Counties with a negative net cost would be reimbursed at a minimum of 60% of associated costs and municipalities with a negative net cost would be reimbursed at a minimum of 80% of associated costs.  Funds to reimburse the counties and municipalities would be generated through State tax revenues in excess of the direct costs to the State for extended employee benefit payments.

The Senate Finance Committee has voted SB 882 favorable with these amendments and it will be brought to the floor today.  The House Economic Matters Committee is expected to vote on HB 1228 this afternoon.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Matthew Enders

    It’s about time!! Maryland was just one of nine states who haven’t provided EB benefits for the long-term unemployed, because they failed to enact EB enabling legislation by adopting a trigger to get these benefits. I can’t understand why if these benefits were fully funded by the federal government why they would have to put 1.64 million away. This bill should help an estimated 50,000 unemployed Maryland residents who have exhausted all of there tiers of unemployment benefits. It sure will help Marylands economy since 186 million dollars will be put back in it. I fought with my legislature and Governor O’Malley over this for the last year. I’m glad to see this bill come to fruition!

  2. Matthew Enders

    Thanks for this information. Can you inform me when this bill is passed and signed into law?

  3. Matthew Enders

    I exhausted all of my unemployment benefits in February 2010 (73 weeks). Would I be eligible to collect these benefits as soon as Governor O’Malley signs this bill into law if I’m still laid off through no fault of my own?

    1. Andrea Mansfield

      The bill does not take effect until October 2011 and applies to all weeks after October 2, 2011. If you have exhausted all of your benefits, I believe you would be eligible. I suggest you contact the unemployment insurance division of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation or the office you have been dealing with to learn the specifics as to how they plan to implement these benefits.

      1. Matthew Enders

        So the people like me that have been waiting for a year now have to wait another six months to receive these benefits. I can’t understand there logic. People need these benefits now, not six months from now!!!!

  4. Matthew Enders

    Our Governor has fixed the unemployment numbers in the past. He’s probably hoping that Marylands’ economy recovers before October 2,2011, and he doesn’t have to disburse this money to the long-term unemployed. Sounds like a 186.2 million dollar fraud scheme to me. I’m on to you Martin. I sure hope that your wrong about this date Ms. Mansfield.

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