Gov. Larry Hogan has made the right call — indeed, the only possible call – by throwing in the towel in his effort to call an early end to the federal supplemental benefit for unemployed Marylanders.

Like many other Republican governors, Hogan announced last month that Maryland would stop paying the $300-a-week supplemental benefit in July because Maryland businesses had thousands of jobs going unfilled and Hogan wanted the unemployed to return to work.

He argued that some people would rather collect the extra $300 a week in addition to their regular unemployment compensation, rather than return to jobs that paid about the same or less.

We supported the governor’s decision, noting that the supplement could very well be deterring people from working and that it was leaving small businesses short of workers.

But a Baltimore Circuit Court judge ruled Tuesday that jobless workers must continue to receive federal unemployment benefits. According to the Washington Post, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs, two organizations representing unemployed workers, would suffer “irreparable harm” if the preliminary injunction were not issued.

During the hearing, Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson, who is a defendant, testified that she was notified late Friday by the Biden administration that the state would have to give 30 days’ notice to stop the benefits. So, the supplement will continue until at least mid-August, even without any further court action.

The Hogan administration announced Tuesday that it won’t challenge the judge’s ruling, even though it “fundamentally” disagrees with the decision. Spokesperson Michael Ricci told the Associated Press that any court battle would likely stretch beyond early September, when the programs are set to end anyway.

The issue is further complicated by the fact that the administration was not being represented by the state attorney general’s office, as is usual in such cases. If it were, the governor might be tempted to continue the fight to try to defend his powers to decide the question.

The Republican governor and Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh had a public disagreement about Hogan’s decision, so Frosh hired outside counsel to represent the governor — the high-powered, expensive Venable law firm.

It is not clear how much taxpayers are paying for Venable’s services, but you can bet it is a lot, running high into the hundreds of dollars an hour. The Baltimore Sun obtained the contract, and said it lists five Venable attorneys working on the cases. But their hourly rates were blocked out, because state law requires “trade secrets” and “confidential commercial information” to be redacted. Only when the bills are paid will the public will see the total invoices.

The idea of paying lawyers hundreds of dollars an hour to fight a $300-a-week supplement for unemployed people is bad politics for the governor. It was definitely time to shut down this fight.

(28) comments

JerryR

I've finally started traveling for business again, and, in the hotels i stay in they cannot open the restaurant due to a lack of help (workers). People don't want to work because taking government money is sooooo much easier. we have found the enemy and it's us!!

NewMarketParent

@JerryR

Nope... The enemy is employers who would pay you exactly $0 if they could get away with it.

I'm sorry that you are temporarily embarrassed, Mr. Millionaire.

JerryR

Sorry NMP, most are paying over $15 - my 18 year old is making $17 - $20/hr at his part time jobs. Try again. Everyone i asked while in their businesses said no one wants to freakin' work cause they're getting free money- Sleepy Joe is blame for this debacle.

Awteam2021

You wouldn’t? Maybe walk down the street to the fast food restaurant. Save the company some money. McDonald’s is among the fast-food franchises to raise wages in a tight labor market and plans to reach an average of $15 an hour by 2024 at all company-owned restaurants.

Nanabanana5

Pay people a living wage and they will come to work....

gary4books

"We supported the governor’s decision, noting that the supplement could very well be deterring people from working and that it was leaving small businesses short of workers."

Is pay the only motivation to work? Well it might be. But when people take such steps to avoid work in some jobs, one has to wonder if the jobs could be reformed or even is robots and automation could do the tasks. Why flip that burger if a robot can flame it and have it ready by the time the driver reaches the pick up window?

We are getting close to a period of declining populations and the presumed population growth will not be. We will need immigrants for a while and later on more robots. But right now, we need to have good jobs with good pay and not starve people into working.

MD1756

My older cousin in upstate NY is one who is staying home rather than working because he is collecting more on unemployment than he was making while working. Now he is just doing a lot more around the house and shop than he had time to get to while he was working. I can't fault him for his decision, but the government should not be paying people to stay home. Instead of bailing out restaurants, the government should have provided money for retraining people to fill better jobs and leave low/no skill jobs for those in high school or college.

JerryR

👍👍👍

MD1756

Population growth is an unsustainable Ponzi scheme. The more immigrants we allow in, the more we should lower the birthrate of those already here. As far as I'm concerned, let people in other countries have children and educate them (thus they can pay the costs of raising children) and then let them come here to work. It would save us a lot of money.

People need to give up this notion that we need population growth in order to survive. Are we as dumb as the yeast that produces alcohol where they keep doing what they're doing until they poison their environment and kill themselves? We have more brain cells than yeast, we should try using them. The human population has survived other periods of significant decline in population (plague (impacted the world's population), WWI followed by the Spanish Flu, WWII, etc. (impacted at the very least, Europe's population). Let's start by removing the incentive to produce children and if someone wants to have more than two children, they should be taxed, not given additional tax breaks while they increase the demand for government services, increase the adverse impact on the planet, increase crowding (thus lowering quality of life), etc.

LAR1

👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Awteam2021

MD1756, I think humans have a biological, spiritual, even a cosmos attachment to life and recreation. If we don’t need or want people what’s the point? You are saying your brother is pointless? Giving him a few bucks, what does it matter if you don’t think life matters. And if you don’t want to procreate there are measures you can take. But a public education system is the most affordable means to helps the whole. All those drivers on 270 are paying taxes and when they get home procreating.🤷‍♂️

MD1756

First, it is my cousin getting the extra money not my brother. My brother died last year at age 61 (paid all that money into social security some someone could get it). Second I'm saying control the population but if not, don't force those who don't increase the population to pay more taxes than those who do create more population growth. if people think we need to tax those without children more than we are taxing those with children, we need to rethink that position for a number of reasons. It is inconsistent to suggest that there are so many humans we are having an adverse impact on the planet and other species (which I firmly believe we are), but then have government policies that make it easier for people to have more children and continue to grow the human population and thus make our existing problems worse. We have more brain cells than yeast that produce alcohol to the point they poison their environment, we ought to use our brain cells. Finally taxing those who have no children more than we tax those who do have children is a government created inequity. I thought everyone was jumping on the equity band wagon, but I guess it's ok to give the shaft to those who do not add to the problem (and yet again for any dufus who claims I'm saying I should not pay taxes to educate children, no I am not saying that at all. What I am saying is that people with no children and thus have not added to the climate change and other problems, should not pay more taxes than those who have added to the problem. They should only pay the same (or maybe less). The choice is up to the individual and/or couple to have children but they should not be giving tax breaks for having them.

NewMarketParent

@gary4books

I really think that is the fundamental difference between Repubs and Dems

Repubs motto seems to be kindness through cruelty

Dems motto seems to be kindness through actual kindness

gary4books

[beam]

JerryR

Keep drinking that Koolaide.

francesca_easa

Mr. Gary. Here in North Central U.S. we noticed AMERICANS doing landscape, construction and public transport jobs. Do we need more immigrants? Or are certain areas of the country more fixated on cheap labor instead of paying good wages to talented Americans?

Dwasserba

“… paying lawyers hundreds of dollars an hour to fight a $300-a-week supplement for unemployed people is bad politics.” Accepting benefits that are higher than what you would get as a paid employee is a no-brainer. It will end. Then there will be jobs. No mystery.

TomWheatley

Venable was hired by Frosh, not Hogan. One wonders if Frosh found the most expensive law firm out there to stick it to Hogan.

Tanstaafl

Great move by Hogan! Not typical bought and paid for Republican.

jsklinelga

Yesterday I noticed several items I buy regularly increased in price. Last night we joked, although not a joke, how long before we see 10 dollar a pound hamburger.

I have a friend who works for the government. He has been receiving double pay plus for months as his fellow employees will not return to work. They are making a bundle not working and probably have been working elsewhere, earning money . as they keep their jobs

The democrats are supposed to be champion to the poor. But get real. With the unavoidable inflation due to out of control spending, higher fuel prices and potentially higher taxes the democrats policies always hurt the poor.

Kudos to Hogan. As always shame on Frosh.

NewMarketParent

@jsklinelga

Do you always make up things out of whole-cloth or just here?

public-redux

Since Mr.Kline has often stated that he was a life long a Democrat until Trump…and since he states that Democratic policies always hurt the poor….we can conclude that Mr. Kline spent most of his life hurting the poor.

DickD

I don't agree with Mr. Kline but I think you have mistated his comment. I do like what you say though.

JerryR

OMG - where are you really from?? Cuba? N. Korea? China?

Awteam2021

Kudos to Hogan for not dragging this thing out. Recognizing the majority disagreed with him and stepping back. And Frosh proudly helping people most in need after a pandemic, by not supporting Hogan.. Good job guys… An extra $300.00 a week for the next seven weeks. Hooray. Or as JSK, might see it as a catastrophe, the end of servitude.

MrSniper

Hogan has presidential aspirations. This action means he can have it both ways. He signals to his base a desire to cut programs & get people back to work at the same time being able to claim credit for presiding during a time when benefits were generous. Politics is a dirty game.

NewMarketParent

@MrSniper

You nailed it. It is the Repub way. Take credit by virtue-signaling to the right-wing base and "telling it like it is". Take credit for leadership of Dems by humblebragging about things that a Democratic legislature in a Dem state got done.

He will not be president. He is not a good leader.

JerryR

Whack a mole!!

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