Governor Unveils $1-Billion Relief Act For Maryland

He says it will provide assistance for Marylanders & small business impacted by COVID-19.






Annapolis, Md (KM) A $1-billion relief bill for Maryland families and small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic was introduced  on Monday by Governor Larry Hogan.

During a news conference at the State House in Annapolis, the Governor said the measure provides a total of $267-million in direct payments for Marylanders in need. This includes an additional $750 for families which  have field for the earned income tax credit, and individuals will receive $450.

“The Relief Act also commits another $180-million in targeted tax relief for Marylanders who have lost their jobs by repealing all state and local income taxes on unemployment benefits,  allowing them to keep more money in their pockets,” he said.

There’s also relief for small businesses which have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Relief Act of 2021 also provides $300-million in immediate tax relief to help 55,000 Maryland restaurants and small businesses by allowing them to keep up to $12,000 of sales tax over the next four months,” Hogan says. It will also keep “much needed cash in the coffers of those small businesses which enables them to keep their doors open and keep more people on the   payroll as we confront the next phase of the pandemic,” the Governor continues.

Hogan says he plans to introduce this Relief Act–which stands for Recovery for the Economy , Livelihood, Industry, Entrepreneurs and Families–to the General Assembly on Wednesday, January 13th,  the first day of the 2021 session. He says it will be presented as emergency legislation and hopes delegates and senators will pass it so he can sign it into law immediately and get the money out to people in need.

“It is clear to all of us that the primary focus of the 2021 Legislative Session must be providing additional, immediate, economic relief to the hundreds of thousands of struggling families and the tens of thousands of small business that have been impacted by the pandemic,” he says.

Governor Hogan has been under pressure to come up with a state stimulus package. In a statement, Comptroller Peter Franchot said the Governor is passing the buck to the legislature when he has the power to authorize case payments right now

“The thousands of Marylanders who are on the verge of homelessness, who are going to bed hungry each night, and who are accruing unsustainable debt cannot–and should not–wait one more day until their state government provides the help they desperately need. His plan doesn’t’; include assistance to struggling families or small business NOW,” Franchot says.

Hogan says the money is coming from budget actions taken earlier this year by the Board of Public Works, with some from the reserve funds, and “a small portion of it” comes from the Rainy Day Fund. As to a proposal by the Comptroller to provide $2,000 to all Marylanders, the Governor said that would not be possible, and could drain the Rainy Day Fund.

Comptroller Franchot says the state has ample reserves to help Marylanders in this crisis.


By Kevin McManus