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1000+ sign up to testify before State Senate on unemployment issues

Posted at 7:11 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 18:09:24-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Over 1,100 Maryland citizens have signed up to testify before the State Senate Finance & Budget and Taxation Committees, to talk about issues with filing for unemployment.

The committees are planning for nine hours of testimony beginning on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Live testimony will be heard by the first 270 residents who signed up. For those who signed up before noon Monday and aren't in the first 270, you'll be emailed a link where you can submit video testimony to be heard.

“It is clear that the problems with the system have not been resolved as the Administration claimed last week,” said Senate Finance Committee Chair Delores Kelley, and Senate Budget & Taxation Committee Chair Guy Guzzone. “This is an unprecedented level of interest from Marylanders, and we hope the Governor, Secretary Robinson, and their staff are listening and take appropriate action. It is our responsibility to provide an opportunity to elevate these Maryland residents’ voices, and we hope this hearing results in solutions from the Administration.”

The hearing aims to make the Administration and Department of Labor aware of the challenges Marylanders are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Guzzone (D-Howard County) spoke with WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaiion Monday about what he hopes to take away from the hearing.

"We want to hear the patterns of concerns, where the system is breaking down, where there are issues," said Guzzone. "Citizens can really help out, be part of their own government, help us understand so we can communicate to the Administration, to the governor, the things we think need to be done."

When asked about his decision to hold the hearing, Guzzone said it's important to give Marylanders an opportunity to have their voices heard.

"Citizens are hurting out there. They need to receive their checks, they need to receive them sooner and the system just isn’t where it should be and we just think it’s time we gave the public the opportunity to let us know what their feelings are," he said. "I think the bottom line is we just need the department to step up, even at a higher level, even given all the efforts they’ve made it’s just not enough and there needs to be more effort, put in more resources."

The hearing will be live to the public on the General Assembly's YouTube page.