Hogan admin stymied in attempt at early Unemployment Insurance cutoff

HOGAN_STRIKE_3.pngAs reported yesterday in the emailed Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo, enhanced unemployment benefits provided by the Biden administration will last at least well into August despite attempts by Larry Hogan to burnish his credentials as a standard GOP oppresser of working families by unilaterally discontinuing their payment.

As reported this morning in Maryland Matters, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill issued a ruling before 10am that will maintain Maryland’s participation in enhanced federal unemployment benefits past the end of his own temporary injunction. More below.



 

As reported yesterday in the emailed Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo, enhanced unemployment benefits provided by the Biden administration will last at least well into August despite attempts by Larry Hogan to burnish his credentials as a standard GOP oppresser of working families by unilaterally discontinuing their payment.

As reported this morning in Maryland Matters, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill issued a ruling before 10am that will maintain Maryland’s participation in enhanced federal unemployment benefits past the end of his own temporary injunction.

Hogan's cheering section in the business sector has been boo-hooing that workers are not returning to their jobs (which advocates for workers note may be low-paid by any standard and continue to be dangerous because employers take few precautions to protect their health).

Sam Epps, political director of UNITE HERE Local 25, said in a statement that he sees other forces at work [as Maryland Matters reported Monday].

“As ever, Governor Hogan is putting his political agenda first and Maryland workers last. He is polishing up his Republican bona fides, trying to make himself look like a tough guy by cutting vital benefits for laid-off workers — including many of our members. He should be ashamed,” Epps said.

Maryland Matters updated the story Tuesday morning:

A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge issued a ruling on Tuesday that will maintain Maryland’s participation in enhanced federal unemployment benefits.

Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill issued a preliminary injunction requiring the Hogan administration to continue participation in the program shortly before 10 a.m.

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) had sought to end Maryland’s participation in the federal programs on July 3, but two lawsuits filed by unemployed workers led Fletcher-Hill to issue, last weekend, a temporary restraining order which maintained the federal unemployed benefits until the end of the day Tuesday.

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.

During testimony on Monday, Maryland Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson said the state’s participation had been further extended by the U.S. Department of Labor, which told state officials it would enforce a requirement that states give at least 30 days’ notice before opting out of the program, maintaining the state’s participation through at least mid-August.

Tuesday’s injunction is the latest in a string of court defeats for the Hogan administration.

Over the Independence Day weekend, Fletcher-Hill issued the temporary restraining order, which Hogan appealed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The intermediate appellate court rejected the governor’s argument. Then Hogan appealed to the state’s highest court, the Maryland Court of Appeals, but Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera declined the administration’s request to hear the case.

Read the preliminary injunction.

Read the full opinion.

Elizabeth Schwe's Monday article in Maryland Matters has additional details.