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Gov. Hogan will end federal unemployment benefits on July 3.
VIC CARTER: This comes as Maryland plans to stop the extra $300 unemployment benefits some are receiving from the federal government every week. WJZ is live. Ava-Joye Burnett explains why the governor is making this move and what people applying for unemployment will now be required to do. Ava-joye.
AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Vic, the governor is saying that jobs are plenty and so are the vaccines. So most people no longer need that added boost from the federal government. They're also saying anyone who is applying for unemployment benefits here in the state of Maryland will have to show proof that they're actively looking for a job. Governor Larry Hogan dropped a major announcement on tens of thousands of Marylanders who rely on unemployment assistance. Starting early July, the extra $300 from the federal government will disappear.
MALLORY THOMPSON: It was kind of upsetting.
AVA-JOYE BURNETT: It came as a shock to people who were banking on the extra money at least till September.
MALLORY THOMPSON: And then it's like, oh, you're about to lose two entire months. Especially if you're still waiting on money from unemployment and you've never been able to catch up.
AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Governor Hogan said, "While these federal programs provided important temporary relief, vaccines and jobs are now in good supply. And we have a critical problem where businesses across our state are trying to hire more people but many are facing severe worker shortages." As the economy opens back up, some business owners have said they can't find workers because people are making more money on unemployment. Controller Peter Franchot slammed the governor's decision.
PETER FRANCHOT: I also found it exceedingly disappointing to hear the news yesterday that Governor Hogan joins a growing list of Republican governors in ending a critical economic lifeline to tens of thousands of Marylanders who still, through no fault of their own, find themselves without a job.
AVA-JOYE BURNETT: The governor's office said the state will clear up all existing requests for unemployment. Joe Kit who lost his job in December says he's still waiting for benefits.
JOE KIT: We're in June. I'm like three months behind on rent. So it's rough. Thankfully, I have a good relationship with my landlord. However, that's only going to go so far.
AVA-JOYE BURNETT: So those federal benefits will end next month but the Maryland unemployment benefits will continue. But you will be required to show proof that you're actively looking for a job. Kit says he's doing just that and he's hoping one of those companies will call him back. Live at 6:00, Ava-joye Burnett for WJZ.