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BUSINESS
By Kim Geiger and Tribune Washington Bureau | March 11, 2010
After months of wrangling, the Senate on Wednesday approved a $138 billion spending bill that would extend jobless benefits, help the states pay for Medicare and extend a bundle of tax measures designed to stimulate the economy. The measure - which must still be reconciled with a House-passed version - also extends tax cuts for college tuition, the program that helps laid-off workers keep their job-based health insurance, and tax breaks for research and development that has long been important to the nation's high-tech industries.
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NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2014
The first thing Eric Miles lost was his Jeep. Then it was the apartment that he and his 12-year-old son called home. Since the federal government cut off jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed late last year, the 54-year-old East Baltimore man has moved in with his sister, relied on family to pay the phone bill and borrowed bus fare to go out and look for work. "You're talking about $3.50 for an all-day bus pass," Miles said. "If you don't have the $3.50 coming in, you don't have it. " Nearly three months after Congress allowed the benefits to lapse, tens of thousands of out-of-work Marylanders are hoping that a bipartisan deal to extend the program through May will win approval.
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NEWS
February 13, 1995
When labor and employers find common ground in the struggle over benefits and taxes, it should be cause for rejoicing. But when both sides agree on raiding the piggy-bank of the unemployment insurance trust fund, it's time for alarm.So when the House of Delegates approved cutting in half the payroll surtax, while raising maximum weekly benefits by 19 percent, it was a politically popular but not necessarily a prudent decision. If enacted into law, it would be effective for a year while legislators study changes to the overall unemployment insurance system between sessions.
NEWS
February 20, 2012
While it's ill-advised to read too much into any weekly or monthly report on the nation's jobs outlook, the latest unemployment numbers are heartening, not merely because weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low but because that news follows an unmistakably positive trend. An increase in the rate of economic expansion - estimated at nearly 3 percent in the final three months of last year - has given rise to the improvement. But that's not exactly cause for celebration, as the U.S. unemployment rate remains relatively high at 8.3 percent as of last month (and that's not counting those who have given up looking for work)
NEWS
September 27, 1991
President Bush's painful efforts to stave off a budget-busting Democratic bid to extend unemployment benefits could come a cropper as the long-promised recovery fails to materialize. Signs of weakness in the economy coincide with House and Senate approval of $6 billion measures that the Republican president has vowed to veto. The showdown this month will be the first real issues-oriented battle of the 1992 run for the White House.Mr. Bush had counted on a clear bounce-back from recession to counter his political opponents.
NEWS
October 31, 1991
With 3 million Americans simultaneously out of work and out of unemployment benefits, it's about time the White House and the Congress stopped dithering and politicking on an issue that vitally affects people -- real people.What the nation needs is a compromise that would extend benefits. Not only would it relieve a lot of human misery but it would give the economy a shot in the arm when it needs it, and quick.Right now, the Democratic majority in Congress favors a $5.3 billion measure that would extend benefits up to 13 weeks, retroactive for those rendered jobless since last March.
BUSINESS
By David Conn | August 13, 1991
In the third week of July, new claims for unemployment benefits in Maryland fell by 3.8 percent, compared with a month before, the state reported yesterday.The jobless claims report provides the most current data on the state's economy, and the decline in new claims, to 3,666 from 3,811 a month ago, is an encouraging sign that fewer people are entering the state unemployment system.Compared with one quarter ago, total claims were down more than 13 percent."I think claims are definitely showing a downward trend," said Pat Arnold, director of the state's Office of Labor Market Analysis and Information, which compiles the weekly jobless numbers.
BUSINESS
By Newsday | September 24, 1991
WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats and the Bush administration confront each other today in a showdown vote over the extension of jobless benefits.It's the second war on the issue in two months, and there are predictions that the outcome will be the same -- approval of a Democratic jobless bill by Congress and a rejection by President Bush that effectively will kill the measure."
NEWS
By Fort Worth Star-Telegram | November 1, 1991
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lloyd Bentsen appears to have broken the partisan logjam over extending unemployment benefits, and a compromise package that would resume payments to jobless workers is imminent, congressional sources say.President Bush and congressional Republicans reacted favorably yesterday to the Texas Democrat's proposal to pay for additional unemployment compensation by collecting taxes more quickly from wealthy taxpayers who file quarterly."
BUSINESS
By Carrie Mason-Draffen | October 31, 2004
I was laid off in April 2002 after 29 years with a major telephone company. I collected unemployment benefits for 10 months. The next year, I again applied for unemployment benefits because I wasn't able to find a job. I filled out a form stating that I hadn't worked or earned a salary since filling out my initial claim form. The unemployment benefits office checked with my former employer and granted me another 10 months of benefits - or so I thought. The unemployment office now tells me that I need to pay back the second round of benefits.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | February 17, 2012
Eight of Maryland's 10 members of Congress voted against a bi-partisan plan Friday to extend a national payroll tax holiday - including two who were instrumental in crafting the deal - citing concern over how the measure would affect federal employees. The only Maryland Democrat to support the measure, which ultimately passed both chambers, was Baltimore County Rep.C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger. The deal was also supported by Republican Rep.Roscoe G. Bartlett, who said he almost changed his vote.
NEWS
By Jeremy Schwartz | December 20, 2011
Opponents of continuing the extension of unemployment insurance often make one of the following arguments: (1) the program is welfare for the undeserving; (2) it subsidizes leisure and is a major contributor to the high unemployment rate; or (3) the extension does little to create jobs. The critics have it wrong on all counts. The mischaracterization of unemployment insurance as welfare is a fundamental misunderstanding of the program — and insurance in general. Welfare is society's means of ensuring that the poorest among us have their basic needs taken care of, regardless of prior contributions to the system.
NEWS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2011
As many as 58,000 Marylanders could be eligible next week for a new federally funded extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, state labor officials said Friday. The Extended Benefits program, which takes effect Sunday, provides an extra 13 weeks of payments to Marylanders who have run out of their 26 weeks of state benefits plus the 47 weeks of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Employers will not be charged for the benefit, state officials said. The state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said it was mailing letters Friday and Saturday to everyone who might be eligible to apply.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2011
Jobless Marylanders don't have their unemployment benefits eaten up by "junk fees" on prepaid debit cards like people in other states, according to a national consumer group. National Consumer Law Center last week released a report on prepaid debit cards now used by 40 states to disburse jobless benefits. Maryland didn't take top honors — that went to California and New Jersey — but the consumer group gave the Free State a thumbs up. "It has one of the better cards," Lauren Saunders, managing attorney for the consumer group, said during a teleconference last week.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | August 10, 2010
Even before taking office nearly 17 months ago, President Barack Obama was being touted by hopeful Democrats as the next Franklin D. Roosevelt — he of the fabled "first hundred days" and the New Deal that was credited, with some dispute, with pulling the country out of the Great Depression. Mr. Obama's own spurt of action and remedial legislation upon taking office was not quite so swift. But in his second year, by pushing and shoving, by coaxing members of his own party in Congress, he did achieve historic health insurance reform.
NEWS
July 12, 2010
The nation's jobless have rarely been treated so callously. As of today, another 3,500 unemployed Marylanders will see their benefits expire, bringing the total to nearly 12,000 in similar straits since Congress chose not to extend benefits last month. In all, nearly 2 million unemployed Americans have seen their benefits run out. The public should be outraged by the Senate's failure to extend temporary jobless benefits. Unemployment is still hovering at 9.3 percent, and jobs are hard to find.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz | julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | March 24, 2010
The Maryland General Assembly passed a measure Tuesday that changes unemployment benefits in a way that enables the state to tap into nearly $127 million in federal stimulus money. The money will arrive as soon as Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat who pushed for the reforms, signs the bill into law. It is emergency legislation, so that could happen quickly. With the state facing a 7.5 percent unemployment rate - a quarter-century high even though it is lower than the national unemployment rate of 9.7 percent - employers are paying huge fees to cover benefits for out-of-work Marylanders.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Baltimore Sun reporter | March 23, 2010
The Maryland General Assembly passed a measure today that changes unemployment benefits so that the state can tap into nearly $127 million in federal stimulus money. The money will arrive as soon as Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat who pushed for the changes, signs the bill into law. It is emergency legislation, so that could happen quickly. This morning, the House of Delegates overwhelmingly approved a plan the Senate had unanimously signed off on earlier this month. Lawmakers increased the number of people who can tap into benefits by shifting the work period reviewed when calculating claims.
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