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Weekly $300 unemployment checks, federal benefits to continue in MD

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Marylanders will continue receiving an extra $300 per week and other federal unemployment benefits under a last-minute ruling Saturday in Baltimore Circuit Court.

The judge handling the case issued a temporary restraining order that blocks Gov. Larry Hogan from ending the federal supplemental benefits, which would have ended Saturday without the legal intervention.

Hogan, a Republican, announced last month that Maryland would opt out of the federal benefits two months early, citing employers’ need for workers to return to the workforce.

But the change brought immediate condemnation from Democrats and from jobless Marylanders who said they still depend on the benefits.

Gov. Larry Hogan answers questions at the Eastern Shore mass vaccination site in the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center Friday, March 19, 2021, in Salisbury, Maryland.

The federal programs provide an extra $300 per week on top of Maryland’s regular unemployment benefits and offer money to nontraditional workers, like the self-employed, who normally wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment.

The programs started as an emergency measure during the pandemic when shutdowns suddenly put millions of people out of work.

Hogan’s administration has argued that the extra money is keeping people from returning to work, contributing to a labor shortage that is preventing a full economic recovery.

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Source: GANNETT Syndication Service