ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland state employees will still receive cost of living increases this year despite the decrease in the state’s revenue projections due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Larry Hogan said the state will honor the contracts previously negotiated with the state employees unions and will give them COLA increases.

Governor Larry Hogan speaks during a press conference at the Maryland State House on December 10, 2020 in Annapolis, Maryland. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“In a year that has been challenging for so many, I am declaring Christmas Eve a state holiday this year to give our dedicated employees more time to spend with their families,” said Governor Hogan. “In addition, I am pleased that our revenue projections have improved enough for us to be able to fulfill our commitments to state employees. During this time, our citizens rely on the services of the state more than ever. State employees have been unwavering in their commitment to the state in these uncertain times and they deserve to have their negotiated contracts honored.”

The contracts, which were negotiated in 2019, will provide a 2% increase for state employees represented by American Federation of Teachers-Healthcare, the Maryland Professional Employees Council and the American Federation of State, Local and County Employees.

The state will also be restoring increases that were negotiated, but withheld, from the state’s police unions, which include the State Law Enforcement Labor Alliance and the MDTA Fraternal Order of Police.

Hogan also declared Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, a state holiday. It falls on a Thursday this year.

This story was published on Dec. 17, 2020.

CBS Baltimore Staff