Del. Smith calls Hogan’s decision to end federal unemployment benefits ‘insensitive and cruel’

Del. Smith calls Hogan’s decision to end federal unemployment benefits ‘insensitive and cruel’

Del. Stephanie Smith (D-Baltimore City (Twitter photo)

@BryanRenbaum

Del. Stephanie Smith (D-Baltimore City) Thursday slammed Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent decision to discontinue Maryland’s participation in federal unemployment benefits, saying it will hurt the state’s most vulnerable residents.

“For many people that had lower-wage jobs, which are disproportionately compromised of women and people of color-the decisions our governor has made will have even more of a long-lasting impact because we are talking about people specifically who have worked, paid into unemployment insurance, and struggled through the state’s mismanagement of the unemployment insurance program to even get what was owed to them…and now they are not even able to tap into the last remnants of that federal assistance that was made available,” Smith told Maryland Reporter.com.

Smith added: “It was highly insensitive and cruel to think that this decision was in the best interests of every day Marylanders….Just as there is a little bit of breathing room being granted by the federal government, to pull the rug out from under people in the summer, is the height of cruelty and is insensitive.”

Smith noted that Hogan’s decision will not only mean an end to an extra $300 a week in benefits, but also the discontinuation of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

“It is a complete disaster. People are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, finally seeing a little bit of progress. It is not only insensitive, it is completely irresponsible.”

Sen. Jill Carter (D-Baltimore City) echoed similar sentiments.

“Hogan’s decision seems more political than sensible. I am worried cutting off benefits now will hurt people that most need the help. The unemployment rate, for Marylanders that have lost jobs through no fault of their own, has not significantly decreased.”

Carter noted that Marylanders of color have been hit hard by the pandemic and said she hopes the General Assembly soon will act to reverse Hogan’s decision on unemployment.

“Black workers have suffered a disproportionate share of the pandemic’s economic and public health burden. It is my hope the MD General Assembly will step in.”

But will that happen?

Senate President Bill Ferguson and Sen. Kathy Klausmeier (D-Baltimore County) wrote Hogan on Wednesday asking that he reconsider his decision to discontinue federal unemployment benefits effective July 3. They suggested Hogan instead create incentives to encourage Marylanders to rejoin the workforce. And the lawmakers hinted at legislative action should Hogan refuse to reverse course.

MarylandReporter.com contacted a spokesperson for Ferguson to inquire about the status of the request and the possibility of a special session. A response was not received by the deadline for this story.

While Democrats blasted Hogan’s decision on unemployment, Republicans praised it.

“More than anything right now, I believe the people need to realize that if we are going to get back to normalcy, people have to get back to work and stop depending on the government and be independent and work,” Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-Baltimore County) said.

Salling said the unemployment issue should not be politicized.

“This is not a political thing. It is not a Republican or Democratic thing. It comes down to just being responsible and being a good citizen.”

Del. Rick Impallaria (R-Baltimore and Harford) said Hogan’s decision was long overdue.

“It should have been done quite a while ago. I cannot drive past a shopping center where there are not a dozen signs out looking for help. And the number one complaint that we are receiving from businesses right now is that no one wants to work. Not that there isn’t work, no one wants to work.”

Impallaria added: “Why would we continue to pay people not to work when employers are begging for people to work?”

About The Author

Bryan Renbaum

Bryan@MarylandReporter.com

Reporter Bryan Renbaum served as the Capitol Hill Correspondent for Talk Media News for the past three-and-a-half years, filing print, radio and video reports on the Senate and the House of Representatives. He covered congressional reaction to the inauguration of President Donald Trump as well as the confirmation hearings of attorneys general Jeff Sessions and William Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He also filed breaking news reports on the 2017 shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others. Previously Bryan broke multiple stories with the Baltimore Post-Examiner including sexual assault scandals at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a texting scandal on the women’s lacrosse team at that school for which he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He also covered the Maryland General Assembly during the 2016 legislative session as an intern for Maryland Reporter. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from McDaniel College. If you have additional questions or comments contact Bryan at: bryan@marylandreporter.com

4 Comments

  1. Gloria

    I owned my own business for 40 years and it’s the employer who pays into the workmen’s compensation fund not the employee as this women states. Not to mention the more the government pays out to their employees in the form of unemployment the percentage rate charge by the government to the employer goes up. So not only did the business owner suffer from this pandemic they continue to suffer with the lack of help but are also straddled with the exuberant cost of unemployment insurance. The small business owner is the one who boosts the economy, creates jobs, and creates tax revenues for the federal and local Governments in order for them to provide for better schools, roads and create more jobs. Someone should educate Ms. Smith on how the system works to improve lives and that giving these additional handouts to keep people unemployed is detrimental to self esteem, unproductive, and destructive to society. Unemployment funds aren’t meant to be used as a living wages but as temporary support encouraging people to seek other employment.

  2. Marina

    COMMENT

    Adolph is that you, I thought you died in the bunker decades ago.

  3. Maryland Citizen

    Time for the Black Community to stop having babies out of wedlock. Citizens are tired of paying your bills. Get a job and a steady man and your problems are over.

    • Marina

      Maryland Citizen, that comment from me is for you and the brown shirts you serve.

Support Our Work!

We depend on your support. A generous gift in any amount helps us continue to bring you this service.

MarylandReporter.com Podcast

Poll

Should businesses mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for employees?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!