Concerned about the effects of a recently ended partial federal government shutdown, Maryland lawmakers are considering ways to cope should politicians force another closure. Unemployment benefits for nonessential employees, pay for contract workers and help with utility bills are on the table.
The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved legislation to guarantee back pay for federal employees affected by a partial government shutdown. The measure has already cleared the U.S. Senate, where it was sponsored by Maryland Democrats Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen.
Hundreds more Marylanders are seeking unemployment insurance benefits related to the federal government shutdown. As the funding impasse reached its 12th day Wednesday, the state said it's received 462 such benefit applications from Dec. 22 through Dec. 31.
Some Republicans are very fond of lecturing the country on the importance of personal responsibility. Serving a long jail sentence for a minor drug offense? It's your fault for getting involved with drugs in the first place. Requesting unemployment benefits beyond the 72 weeks now allowed by law? You must be lazy and aren't serious about getting a job. A single mother of four struggling to live on welfare? Well, you should have thought about this before having those babies.
More than two months after Congress allowed federal unemployment benefits to lapse, tens of thousands of out-of-work Marylanders are hoping a bipartisan deal to restart the program will win approval when lawmakers return to Washington this week.
By failing to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, Congress has cut off the jobless benefits to millions, including 82,600 people in Maryland. Unconscionably and irresponsibly, Congress continues to sit on its hands. A minority of U.S. Senators continues to block any extension, while the majority leadership of the House of Representatives won't even bring it up for a vote. The president has said that extending EUC should be the nation's first order of business for 2014. To
Fourteen Democratic governors have signed a letter drafted by Gov. Martin O'Malley that calls on Congress to extend federal unemployment benefits quickly or risk slowing the nation's economic recovery.
Emergency unemployment benefits will expire Saturday for more than 25,000 out-of-work Marylanders, with thousands more projected to run out of the insurance in the first half of the year unless Congress decides to reverse course and approve an extension.
U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez said Congress left more than a million families a "lump of coal in their stocking" when it failed to address expiring federal unemployment benefits, and he joined a chorus of Democrats who are calling on lawmakers to approve a retroactive extension as their first order of business next month.
A 2010 state law gave homeowners in foreclosure the right to mediation, a face-to-face meeting meant to stop the runaround many homeowners faced in dealing with lenders and the companies that service mortgages. But three years later, legal advocates and others say mediation has done little to help many troubled homeowners and that some of the practices the law was designed to stop continue.
Congressional negotiators announced a $1.01 trillion budget agreement on Tuesday that would avoid another government shutdown but deliver an additional round of cuts to thousands of federal employees in Maryland.
By By John Fritze and Lisa Mascaro and The Baltimore Sun