MARC Commute (copy)

Commuters leave a MARC train at the East South Street station in Frederick.

ANNAPOLIS — Workers furloughed in the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history will be eligible for free transportation via MARC starting Friday.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced on Thursday the expansion of several state services, including food, transportation and unemployment benefits for furloughed Maryland residents, who will miss their second paycheck at the end of the week.

Hogan made his announcement from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, where more than 800 federal employees have been working without pay since Dec. 22 due to the lapse in federal funding.

Federal commuters from Frederick County will be eligible for free MARC rides starting Friday morning when they present their federal government ID. This will continue until the partial shutdown ends.

The MARC station in Brunswick sees between 350 and 400 riders a day, said spokesman Paul Shepard.

Furloughed federal commuters may also use Commuter Bus and BaltimoreLink services free of charge starting on Friday.

“It is important that we support those federal employees working without pay by waiving transit fares during the federal government shutdown,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn.

The Maryland Department of General Services will also open 15 food drop-off locations across the state to collect food to be distributed to local food banks that may be helping furloughed workers.

There is no drop-off location in Frederick County at this time. The nearest location for Frederick County residents who want to help is the J. Louis Boublitz District Court at 36 W. Antietam St. in Hagerstown.

The food pantries are most in need of canned meat, peanut butter, jelly, boxed pasta, sauce, healthy snacks, nutritional supplements and baby food. Gift cards for groceries and fuel will also be accepted at the drop-off sites.

People can also make a monetary donation directly to the Maryland Food Bank online.

The Capital Area Food Bank has also arranged “pop up grocery stores” outside of six Giant food stores in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for furloughed workers. Workers must bring their government ID to be eligible. The nearest pop up to Frederick County is at 12051 Rockville Pike in Rockville.

Furloughed employees may also be eligible for unemployment benefits. The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has extended its call center hours by two hours. Workers can file an initial claim through an online application or phone by calling 410-853-1700.

Follow Samantha Hogan on Twitter: @SAHogan.

Samantha Hogan is the state house, environment, agriculture and energy reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

(41) comments

pappyjoe

How many Democrats in the House of Congress have stepped forward refusing a payday until this problem is solved in support, of all Federal workers not getting paid? If you do not have leaders watching your back I consider them shameless non-essential!![wink]. Hell what am i thinking about after all, I`m pointing out the Demo-lit-Ion Crew leaders which seems to speak out of the wrong hole[thumbup]

User1

Well, Pocahontas has stated she was “donating” her salary due to 7,000 constituents being affected. But did she donate to state organizations helping them? NO! She donated to a “help the immigrants” organization that is fully tax deductible. Mighty white of her!

DickD

If Trump was smart, which is doubtful, he would be making a deal right now to stay out of jail.  With the Stone indictments and the knowledge that Mueller has on the Russian election interference it is just a matter of time.  A smart Trump would make a deal to open the government and include his resignation - to stay our of jail.  It will not happen, but only the Trumpettes consider Trump smart.  Witch hunt?  Yeah and guess what witch Mueller is going to catch. [ohmy][rolleyes][beam]

rbtdt5

[scared] lol... You are too funny DickD.

User1

Your better then the Saturday morning cartoons! And please what knowledge does Mueller have against trump and Russian interference? The DOJ has already stated there was no Russian election interference. And please...keep to the topic...state services for the PARTIAL shutdown.

Reader1954

the dire straights these federal workers are being overblown because the Democrats hate Trump. 1 paycheck missed and they act like they will be homeless on the street the next day. All the fancy restarunts giving away free meals - please. If I was that broke I wouldn't spend money on gas or the metro to go get a free meal. If it was that bad I would spend my money at the grocery store. It is all drama because they hate trump. Take the politicians paychecks without them getting back pay and you will see something getting done. Not all of them are rich and if they start feeling the pinch of no check things will change

DickD

Definitely take their pay checks, they should not be immune. But most are wealthy and most have law degrees. Better yet, anyone voting for a government shut down should never be allowed to run for office again.

rbtdt5

[thumbup]

richardlyons

Pathetic. Do your homework before popping off.

shiftless88

I am pretty sure that republican workers who are going to have a hard time paying rent are not happy with Trump, either.

DickD

This will be interesting, Roger Stone, Trump'sally was arrested a little after 6 a.m. this morning on 7 counts, including witness tampering. He was on Trump'scampaign in 2015 officially and later unofficially.

Lock him up!

Thewheelone

That makes 34 indictments thus far; unbelievable!

Dwasserba

East South St? Or 100 South East?

DickD

It is hard for anyone to go without pay for a month or longer. ..while at A.T.&T. we went on strike a few times. ..We were offered nothing by the government we survived.

Dwasserba

This isn't a strike.

bosco

I'll bet DickD didn't draw a paycheck while on strike, so it's a fair comparison.

DickD

No, we didn't and as a Local Union President I had to be there about 12 hours a day.

DickD

If you are without pay, it is the same.

MD1756

Self inflicted vs inflicted by Congress and the President unable to do their basic jobs. In any event people should save and have at least a 3 month emergency fund if not more (preferably a 6+ month reserve). And that can happen by choice. Go on vacations, have children, etc. or save money before doing any of that.

User1

So tell me Dicky, what would these people do if they had a car breakdown, or a home repair or a medical emergency? Blame Trump? They’d have the exact same problems (lack of funds) but no free food, free meals, soup kitchens. This happens every day but can’t be blamed on trump so it wasn’t “news”.

User1

Miss one paycheck and your homeless, carless and resorting to shop kitchens? Say more to your lack of personal responsibility than anything. If you’re in that situation it started waaaay before the “partial” shutdown. Save every payday, don’t buy a house you can’t afford and don’t have kids you can’t afford.

Crusty Frederick Man 64

Why is just because your a furloughed government worker so many services are being offered? Where are all these services when a non government worker is furloughed. Does working for the government make you better than the non government worker ? Sure does look like it.

shiftless88

It is the density of them. If you have a big company town like a place with a huge Ford plant, then people would step up for Ford employees if there was an extended shutdown. On the other hand, in Gary Indiana there are really no benefits for the two federal employees who live there. You need to get around a bit more; you have probably lived here so long you have no idea what the rest of the country is like.

MD1756

Since furloughed workers will be getting back pay when the partial shutdown finally ends, will they be asked to pay for their rides at a later date so the rest of us don't have to pay for it through higher taxes or larger state debt? I was a fed for 27 years. At an early age (pre-fed career) I made sure I saved early and often. Even after I put 5% down on a house, within a year I had my savings built back up to be able to handle 3 months without pay and just kept building up my reserves more after that to handle most anything. I have a hard time comprehending the statistic I've seen that only 40% of the people could handle an emergency expenditure of $1,000. If you save only $4 per day at 5% interest compounded only annually, you'd have over $18,500 after 10 years or nearly $178,000 after 40 years. Saving just a small amount each day can make a difference.

Dwasserba

The compassion is underwhelming. This might have been doable for more people with some notice. This isn't like when you know your company is struggling then suddenly you are laid off as last hired with two weeks' severance, as happened to me as a young person working in Phila with family 500 miles away. That was scary and I didn't have a family to support. The convent I lived in had evicted people before. Some of these people are contractors! They won't be paid. My hus retired this year after years on this train as a contractor and essential during furloughs, so he'd be on this train. Kids today start work with burdensome college loans we didn't have and cars didn't cost what they do now. Taking the train or not, everyone needs a car. "There but for the grace of God go I." Good grief.

BunnyLou

You’ve taken the bait by the lying demo machine. Since they are federal employees they pay is backed by the federal government which means that they could get zero interest loans from federal credit unions, etc... Call your creditors and tell them you have been furloughed they will work with you. All these non-essential government workers belong to unions, so where are their unions in all of this? Finally, the government has shutdown on many occasions before shame on them for not being prepared.

bosco

They can also get an emergency loan from the Thrift Savings Plan - borrowing from their own savings.

I know several feds who survived previous shutdowns by tapping their savings, using a zero-balance credit card set aside for the unexpected day-to-day expenses, and taking on some part time work.

None of this fits the social democrats paradigm who were so traumatized by the outrage of a shutdown that they went on, or tried to go on, vacation during theshutdown.

richardlyons

Not "all" belong to unions. Do your homework or go back to bed. POTUS said it best, "We're getting crushed!"

MD1756

I worked for the EPA and went through a number of shutdowns including the 2nd longest which was in December of 1995 (bought my house in April of 1995 and built my reserves back up to weather at least a 3 month furlough. There are too many "white collar" federal employees who live beyond their means. They should know that furloughs will happen. I can't remember the last time that Congress passed the appropriation bills before the end of the fiscal year (FY). In recent years, funding has been by temporary spending bills (continuing resolutions) which means your agency's funding and your pay is in question. That should have been enough for federal employees to forget the idea of a steady paycheck (even if pay is made up at the end). I never had to tap any invested savings but used cash reserves that existed exactly for emergencies. You may not know when Congress or the President will shut the government down but giving the increasing polarization you should plan for it. Just as you may not know when your car, HVAC, roof, etc will break down or otherwise need emergency repairs but you should save to cover those possibilities. Relying on borrowing will just put you further behind.

User1

If you check the facts...”shutdowns” have happened almost EVERY year since the early 70’s. And the first thing you are taught is to save at least 10% per pay period. But everyone has to have the coolest car, latest iPhone. And do you actually think that these people will be putting the back pay they will receive into savings? NO! They’ll probably go buy a new flatscreen tv for the Super Bowl. This was all hype to make Trump look like a meany when it was Pelosi that kept the government shut. Funny how the Republicans brought up a bill whose only item was to pay the USCG. All the republicans said yes and ALL the Democrats, except for 8, said NO!

bosco

MD1756.. all good points but they won't play well with the never Trumpers here. Same as when I advised that folks can get ahead by putting some pep in your step. Personal responsibilty does not fit the socialist democrat's paradigm. Nor does living below your means, saving for a rainy day, etc.

rbtdt5

[thumbup]

mysameoldname

Where can you get 5% interest these days?

rbtdt5

If you aren't getting at least 5% these days you are doing something wrong. I made 12% last quarter.

shiftless88

12% comes with risk

rbtdt5

Yes, but in the example above he is talking about investing over a 10 period. Personally I believe the risk to be worth it over that period of time.

MD1756

There are ways to get 12% without as much risk. Talk to a good financial adviser who has a true fiduciary relationship with you.

rpkrauss

1756 was referring to the amount of money he had to put down on a house not an interest rate. However, seeing as financial institutions are recommending (sometimes mandating) 20% down payments for homes these days saving for a home is much more difficult than it used to be (none of this helps the 800000 federal workers who are currently unable to save for anything)

rbtdt5

They are getting all their back pay. Everyone survived.

MD1756

I only put 5% down on my house. The 5% I was using was as a conservative rate of return for an investment. Showing that even safe investments can generate wealth and certainly an emergency fund which everyone should have.

shiftless88

The trains run whether they have one person on them, or if they are full. The extra cost of other passengers is exactly zero.

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