A Baltimore judge has shut down efforts by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to put an early end to pandemic unemployment benefits.
Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill of the Circuit Court for Baltimore issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday ordering that immediate action be taken to ensure Maryland residents continue to receive “any and all” expanded unemployment benefits available to them through federal programs. Maryland’s governor said at the time that the effort to stop unemployment was because many businesses were facing “severe worker shortages.”
Federal pandemic unemployment benefits include an extra $300 a week and also expand eligibility to allow more people who may not have previously qualified. The bolstered federal unemployment insurance programs were set to last through early September, though Hogan sought to cut them off in July.
Many states have similarly sought to end the federal unemployment benefits programs. Many Republican governors, including Hogan, have argued these benefits are dissuading people from seeking work as the economy begins to bounce back from lockdown restrictions. An apparent labor shortage in the restaurant industry as many businesses reopen at once has also left some employers struggling to find staff [ABC News].
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC NEWS
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