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Governor, Secretary of Labor file motion for reconsideration following recent unemployment ruling

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jul 05, 2021

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The battle over federal unemployment benefits continues with Gov. Larry Hogan filing a motion for reconsideration and review, after a judge granted a temporary restraining order over the weekend.

“I was extremely relieved. It’s a huge struggle,” said single mom Heather Wilson.

Wilson called the federal unemployment benefits a lifeboat for her and her three children, so she and many others are hopeful that the recent court decision to extend benefits for another week will turn into a few months.

“People really need this money, just to catch up. Just to catch up,” said Amanda Farren.

Over the weekend, a Baltimore Circuit Court judge sided with claimants, extending benefits until July 13, 10 days longer than Gov. Larry Hogan’s original notice.

RELATED: What's next for federal unemployment benefits in Maryland?

The judge said the plaintiffs proved that they will suffer immediate, substantial, and irreparable harm.

The state filed an appeal. It was denied. They appealed that to the Court of Appeals and Monday the highest court sided with claimants, upholding the temporary restraining order.

“We knew that what we were doing was right. It was the right thing to do but having the court of appeals with us lets us know that we aren’t just right on the inside but we are right with the law so we definitely have the upper hand here,” Robbie Leonard, the plaintiff’s attorney.

“There are record numbers of jobs available, and this program is making it harder to fill them, and hurting our restaurants and small businesses. The White House and the US Secretary of Labor agree that governors can take this action, and most already have. We are confident the courts will ultimately rule in favor of our fight to get more Marylanders back to work and continue a booming economic recovery,” said Michael Ricci, Gov. Hogan’s communications director.

But Wilson, who has been actively searching for work, said the jobs that are plentiful will not sustain her and her kids.

“We gotta be able to go to work, pay for child care and continue to pay our bills,” said Wilson. “The jobs that are profitable are not as available as Gov. Hogan tries to say that they are.”

Attorneys for the plaintiffs are asking for the benefits to be extended until September, when the CARES Act funding expires. Right now, the state plans to end them July 14, unless the order is renewed or extended.

“We are just asking for Larry Hogan to accept the over a billion dollars in federal money that’s already been agreed to, to come into Marylanders hands and pump into our economy,” said Leonard.

He said in the meantime, keep filing certifications.

“Don’t listen to anyone else telling you that they’ve been terminated or they aren’t there anymore. Just keep filing until you can’t anymore. Get the benefits for as long as you can because we know you need it,” said Leonard.

Tuesday, the Unemployed Workers Union will be at the Secretary of Labors office picketing, and delivering the nearly 3,000 grievances they have received.

The full motion can be read below: