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A temporary restraining has been issued barring the state of Maryland from ending the extra federal unemployment benefits.

The benefits were issued in response to the economic despair that residents were facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Plaintiffs in Saturday’s case argued that about 300,000 Maryland residents have been relying on those extra benefits to survive. It goes without saying that many have lost their jobs, or abilities to work, during the world’s fight against the Coronavirus. The court wrote: “Plaintiffs have satisfied all four of the preliminary injunctive relief factors and have also shown a threat of ‘immediate, substantial, irreparable harm.'”

Details of the restraining order are as follows:

“It is further ordered that defendants, Gov. Larry Hogan and Secretary of Labor Tiffany P. Robinson, shall immediately, and in no event later than 11:59 p.m. on July 3, 2021, rescind their notice to the United States Department of Labor of the State of Maryland’s termination of its participation in the receipt of any and all expanded and/or supplemental unemployment benefits available to Maryland residents under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”), or any other existing federal source of unemployment benefits. [The Governor and Labor Secretary] shall immediately take all actions necessary to ensure that Maryland residents continue to receive any and all expanded and/or supplemental unemployment benefits available to Maryland residents under the CARES Act, the ARPA, or any other existing federal source of unemployment benefits to the fullest extent allowed under Title 8 of the Labor and Employment Article of the Maryland Code.”

The restraining order is set to expire after 10 days.

Scary hours.

Senator Chris Van Hollen shared in a statement following the ruling, “as our state works to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, many Marylanders are still grappling with its devastating impacts.” Though reports indicate that the country added nearly 850,000 jobs to the workforce, residents in Maryland could “face significant hardship”, stated Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill in the case.  A risk that obviously could be costly for many.

My take: Pulling benefits backs the unemployed citizens into a corner. It’s a passive-aggressive attempt at forcing people back to work. Tone-deaf to say the least.

“The governor’s decision to abruptly cut off unemployment benefits put many struggling families at risk of financial ruin,” continued Van Hollen in his statement. “Not only did it thrust thousands of Maryland families into unnecessary uncertainty, it would also reduce the strength of our economic recovery by needlessly forfeiting over a billion dollars in federal resources that would have been spent purchasing goods and services at Maryland businesses. Today’s Circuit Court ruling was the right one — noting that the governor’s plan inflicted ‘immediate, substantial, irreparable harm’ — and this order will put the needs of Marylanders first. I will continue fighting to support our workers, families, small businesses and communities with the resources they need to build back better.”

 

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