Mayor, Council President, Comptroller send Governor letter

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June 14, 2021 

The Honorable Larry Hogan
Governor
100 State Circle
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Dear Governor Hogan,

Your decision to prematurely halt federally-funded unemployment benefits is concerning, and we  strongly urge you to reconsider. These funds cost the State of Maryland absolutely nothing and  offer essential support for residents struggling to make ends meet during COVID-19. While the  American Rescue Plan extends these benefits to September 6th, your decision leaves a two-month  gap that Baltimore families cannot bear.  

A commitment to equity is an essential aspect of leadership, especially during recovery efforts.  Federal programs like unemployment benefits are intended to support vulnerable populations who  are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. However, failing to apply a true equity lens  ignores key racial and economic disparities and will likely worsen gaps that already exist. 

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This decision further overlooks the fact that Baltimore City’s unemployment rate is 31 percent  higher than the State as a whole. There simply are not enough jobs available for out-of-work  Baltimore residents. Consequently, not only will thousands in Baltimore be forced to seek work in  hazardous environments that fail to offer living wages, but thousands more will continue enduring  joblessness with a weakened safety net. 

Lastly, everyone knows that increased consumer spending plays a major role in growing local  economies. Hence, unemployment benefits are critical to preserving small businesses and  returning Baltimore’s economy to pre-pandemic levels. 

There is too much at stake to halt unemployment benefits for Marylanders, especially when this  support does not cost the State a dime. Maryland leaders have a moral obligation to approach  economic recovery efforts with an equity lens and protect families bracing ongoing economic  uncertainty. 

Senate President Bill Ferguson understands the urgency of this matter, and we support his efforts  to find a solution that works in the interests of all Marylanders – workers and employers alike. 

Governor Hogan, please consider reversing your detrimental decision to halt federally-funded  unemployment benefits. If you refuse to bear in mind the plight of everyday Baltimoreans, we 

must call on the Maryland General Assembly to exercise their authority to restore access to these  crucial federally-funded programs. 

Yours in service, 

Mayor 

Brandon M. Scott cc  

City Council President Nick J. Mosby 

Comptroller Bill Henry 

Tiffany Robinson, Secretary, Maryland Department of Labor Bill Ferguson, President, Maryland Senate

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