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Senate unveils plan to help more Marylanders struggling during pandemic

Posted at 10:07 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 23:16:12-05

BALTIMORE — Maryland Senators unveiled a pandemic relief plan to provide more aid for Marylanders, including $1,000 one-time payments for 40,000 people who are still waiting on unemployment benefits.

The proposal, which is called Recovery Now, would be in addition to the Governor's billion-dollar relief package.

Senate President Bill Ferguson said the proposal is a more targeted plan, which looks to help nearly 200,000 Marylanders and 19,000 businesses.

“We know that there must be more done immediately," he said.

The plan comes with a $520 million price tag with most of the money coming from the state’s rainy day fund.

Tens of millions of dollars will go to businesses, education, housing, transportation and more. But, $40 million will go to an estimated 40,000 who are still waiting for unemployment benefits.

The Recovery Now plan is proposing to give them $1,000 one-time payments

“These Marylanders deserve better," said Senator Katherine Klausmeier. "These Marylanders have been waiting for months and months with absolutely no financial assistance.”

A Baltimore woman, who didn’t want to be identified, said she's been waiting for benefits going on two months.

“I don’t know anyone who is able to survive without income for weeks at a time," she said. “It’s stressful. It’s extremely stressful. You’re not able to take care of bills. You’re just not able to do your daily living.”

While she continues to wait, she says the $1,000 would be a big help.

“For some that may not seem like a lot, but when you are not getting any income that’s a whole lot.”

But she says the best solution is getting her claim resolved.

However, she said the best solution will be resolving her claim.

“It is no way you should have people not being able to get resolved for months and months at a time," she said.

The senate wants to get the legislation passed as soon as possible.

A vote could happen as soon as next week.