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Senator McCray: If Congress Does Not Pass the Stimulus Maryland Could Be Forced to Make Budget Cuts

If Congress cannot come to an agreement on the $1 trillion coronavirus stimulus package they considering than Maryland lawmakers may be forced to consider making cuts to the state budget, according to a member of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

Negotiations on Capitol Hill over the legislation have stalled. One of main areas of contention is a proposal by Senate Republicans to reduce the enhanced unemployments benefits many Americans have been receiving since the beginning of the pandemic from an extra $600 a week to an extra $200 a week. Democrats have said the proposal is a non-starter.

Authorization for the extra weekly benefits is set to expire tomorrow. That means if an agreement is not reached by then UI claimants will only receive benefits subsidized by their respective states. Under that scenario, Marylanders will be eligible for a maximum weekly benefit of $430. Right now the maximum weekly benefit for Marylanders is over $1,000. Maryland’s budget has been frozen since April due to the fiscal concerns associated with the pandemic.

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