Yesterday, news broke that unemployed Marylanders were suing Governor Larry Hogan for his politically motivated decision to prematurely eliminate pandemic unemployment benefits. The Baltimore Sun reported that:
Many claimants have been disqualified from benefits “without explanation or hearing” or “were placed in an ‘on-hold’ status for months at a time or indefinitely,” the lawsuit claims.
“The stories we have heard from people who have not received a dime — a dime — over the past year are beyond harrowing,” attorney Alec Summerfield said at a press conference in Baltimore before heading into the courthouse to file the lawsuit. “People who worked for decades now cannot afford to put food on the table. This is a disgrace.”
Hogan announced this month that on July 3, Maryland would stop participating in the federal programs. They include programs that provide $300 extra weekly payments, cover gig workers and the self-employed, and provide extra weeks of benefits.
In response to this news, Maryland Democratic Party spokesperson Zachary Holman released the following statement:
“President Biden and Congressional Democrats passed historic relief to help Americans out of work due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, to advance his own political career, Governor Larry Hogan is leaving federal dollars on the table by denying Marylanders the unemployment relief available to other Americans. Struggling Marylanders shouldn’t have to go to court to force their Governor to help them.”