BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland’s top court upheld a 10-day temporary restraining order that allows for unemployed residents to continue to receive federal unemployment benefits through at least July 13 unless it’s renewed or extended.

After Gov. Larry Hogan and the state’s Department of Labor appealed Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill’s decision to keep the federal benefits for at least 10 days, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera ruled to uphold the July 3rd ruling.

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“The Governor’s attorneys have failed to overturn the Temporary Restraining Order issued on July 3,” said Roxie Herbekian, President of UNITE HERE Local 7. “It’s time for the administration to do the right thing and let Marylanders know that for now the Federal Unemployment Benefits will be continued in Maryland. We are grateful for the work of the Public Justice Center and Gallagher Evelius.”

“I’m pleased for the hundreds of thousands of Marylanders that can continue to receive their life-sustaining benefits,” said Sally Dworak-Fisher, an attorney with the Public Justice Center.

Hogan announced last month that the state would end the extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits on July 3. The federal government is offering extra assistance to unemployed Americans through September.

“There are record numbers of jobs available, and this program is making it harder to fill them, and hurting our restaurants and small businesses. The White House and the US Secretary of Labor agree that governors can take this action, and most already have,” said Mike Ricci, Gov. Hogan’s spokesman. “We are confident the courts will ultimately rule in favor of our fight to get more Marylanders back to work and continue a booming economic recovery.”

Myron Feaster has been collecting unemployment since the early days of the pandemic. He doesn’t deny jobs are available, but says they just don’t pay enough for him to support his family.

“A lot of the jobs I was applying for, they wanted me to work for $12 an hour,” said Feaster. “Being that I have a family, I can’t afford to do anything for $12 an hour. That’s barely going to cover maybe the food being that I have three growing kids.”

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He says the additional $300 is helping them survive as he searches for a job.

Lawyers head back to court this week to try and make the temporary injunction permanent.

Read the July 5 order below:



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Sean Streicher