A Maryland Judge granted an injunction stopping the Governor’s proposal to end additional federal benefits for Marylanders, and recognizing the timing of further court challenges, the Administration signaled it will not pursue further legal appeals.
The decisions seemingly cap off a contentious decision to curb federal extended benefits for Marylanders, that the Governor has viewed as stifling regrowth of the job market. Maryland joins Indiana among states where courts have rejected the Governor’s decision in this regard.
While the Administration has legal right to extend the challenge, the timetable of such efforts and the modest remaining window of the actual benefits make doing so a nearly mooted matter. This recognition appears to settle the matter, in practice, and benefits will continue for another several weeks.
At issue are the federal unemployment programs that maintain benefits for those who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks and offer $300 payments to workers who, historically, have not been eligible for benefits — such as independent contractors, self-employed and gig workers.
Although these federal programs are slated to expire on Sept. 6, at least 25 states led by Republican governors are halting enhanced unemployment benefits early, blaming the federal programs for a shortage of workers.
But lawmakers and advocates for unemployed workers said ending the program early would harm struggling workers and the state’s economy by foregoing an estimated $1.5 billion in federal funding for the expanded unemployment benefits.[Judge] Fletcher-Hill agreed that the plaintiffs showed they would suffer “significant personal hardship” if the benefits terminated early.
A very thorough aggregation of coverage from multiple sites appeared in today’s Maryland Reporter — if you don’t already subscribe to their free daily newsletter, doing so will ensure you see materials like this from around the State.