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Top court upholds order continuing jobless benefits for now

July 6, 2021 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s highest court has upheld a lower court’s emergency order keeping the state enrolled in enhanced federal unemployment programs.

News outlets report that Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera on Monday dismissed Gov. Larry Hogan’s attempt to block the 10-day temporary restraining order issued a Baltimore judge issued Saturday. Unemployed residents will continue to receive federal unemployment benefits, including supplemental $300 weekly payments, through at least July 13.

The Court of Special Appeals, the state’s second highest court, had rejected an appeal from Hogan and the state’s Department of Labor on Saturday evening.

The parties will return to Baltimore Circuit Court on Friday for a hearing on the matter and continue on Monday, if necessary.

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Hogan’s administration had planned to cut off the benefits over the weekend, ahead of their expiration in September. Other states with Republican governors have taken similar steps.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that ending the benefits early would cut off a lifeline for struggling families. Hogan has said ending the benefits will help get people into jobs.