Maryland Gov Larry Hogan can’t end enhanced COVID-19 unemployment, judge says

A judge in Baltimore has ruled that Maryland must continue providing pandemic-era supplemental unemployment benefits, despite Governor Larry Hogan’s order to eliminate it.

READ MORE: Judge blocks Hogan's early expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits

In June, the governor ordered that pandemic era federal assistance would end on July 3.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill, however, issued a temporary restraining order on July 3 – just hours before benefits were slated to stop.

READ MORE: Early end to unemployment benefits continues to cause ‘panic’ for unemployed Maryland workers

The ruling impacts about 178,000 Marylanders.

The supplemental unemployment is scheduled to expire in September.

Director of Communications for Governor Hogans office provided FOX 5 with this statement:

"We fundamentally disagree with today’s decision. This lawsuit is hurting our small businesses, jeopardizing our economic recovery, and will cause significant job loss. Most states have already ended enhanced benefits, and the White House and the US Department of Labor have affirmed that states have every right to do so. While we firmly believe the law is on our side, actual adjudication of the case would extend beyond the end of the federal programs, foregoing the possibility of pursuing the matter further.

With more jobs available than ever before, work search requirements for federal programs will go into effect next week. Claimants must search for work using the Maryland Workforce Exchange, which has over 250,000 jobs available across the state."

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Some business owners say they’re unable to meet soaring demand because of a worker shortage – and that unemployment benefits are deterring people from returning to work.