nnapolis, MD – The Maryland House of Delegates Economic Matters Committee today held a public hearing on Governor Larry Hogan’s decision to end the $300 supplemental unemployment insurance payments, effective July 3rd. House Minority Whip Chris Adams and Minority Ranking Member Delegate Steve Arentz, who both serve on the Committee, released the following statement after the hearing.
“Rather than focusing on the loss of this one enhanced unemployment benefit, it would be more beneficial for the General Assembly to instead spend its time advocating and promoting the numerous programs the Department of Labor has created to get people back to work,” said Delegate Adams. “This is an incredibly lucrative time to find a job. There are more jobs than there are individuals to fill them. There are numerous programs to help people find new jobs and training opportunities to finding new careers. President Biden has said this program was intended as a temporary boost in unemployment benefits to help people who lost their jobs and were still in the process of getting vaccinated. As of today, 50% of Marylanders are fully vaccinated and over 70% have had at least one vaccination. COVID-19 infection rates are at historic lows and businesses are in a hiring frenzy. It is time to get people back to work.”
The federal government will end the enhanced benefit on September 6.
“It is unfortunate major voice that was missing from today’s discussions was that of the business community”, said Delegate Steve Arentz. “In fact, they were instead demonized for seeking an end to these enhanced benefits. The businesses impacted the most by COVID-19 are now frantically searching for employees. All over the state, you see Help Wanted signs in windows. Many employers are offering hundreds of dollars in hiring bonuses. But these businesses are having a hard time competing with government programs that make it more lucrative to just stay home. Businesses are desperate for help and we have to stop allowing government programs to disincentivize returning to work.”