ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan signed the RELIEF Act of 2021 into law Monday afternoon in Annapolis.

This emergency legislation will immediately provide more than $1 billion in tax relief and economic stimulus to Maryland families and businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“As a result of this bipartisan legislation, people who have lost their jobs will not have to pay any state and local income taxes on their unemployment benefits, letting them keep more money in their pockets,” Hogan said. “Tax relief for small businesses will let them keep up to $9,000 in their pockets over the next 90 days so that they can keep their doors open and keep more people on the payroll, and small businesses will now be protected against any sudden or substantial increases in their unemployment taxes.”

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The law will also allow the state to cut direct relief checks to hundreds of thousands of Maryland families.

Those payments for low-income Marylanders will be up to $500 for families and $300 for individuals. Families can also get additional tax relief through the Earned Income Tax Credit program.

They are set to reach around 400,000 people.

“This legislation also provides more than $100 million in additional grants to small businesses and nonprofit organizations on top of the $700 million in state economic relief that we’ve already provided,” Hogan added.

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The General Assembly passed the bill on Friday. The bipartisan bill passed unanimously in the Senate and nearly unanimously in the House of Delegates.

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Hogan thanked them for moving the bill through in just a few weeks.

Senate President Bill Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat, called Monday “an important day.”

“It’s a day when we get to show the people the best of our politics and what we have to offer when we focus on results,” he said.

Samantha Claassem, the owner of Golden West Cafe in Baltimore, said the “extra money in the pockets of people who need it goes immediately back into our local economy.”

Correction: an earlier version of this story misstated the dollar figures of the direct stimulus checks the legislation calls for. The correct numbers are $300 for an individual or $500 for spouses filing jointly, a surviving spouse or a head of household.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachel Menitoff