Maryland Congressional Leaders Urge Gov. Larry Hogan to Make More Improvements to Unemployment Website

June 9, 2020
In The News

Maryland congressional leaders are urging Gov. Larry Hogan to make more improvements to the state’s new Beacon One-Stop unemployment benefits website because they say constituents are not receiving their benefits in a timely manner. U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen wrote a letter to the Republican governor Tuesday, saying they hear from constituents “every day” who continue to encounter problems that are “far from resolved.” U.S. Reps. Steny Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone also signed the letter, saying that some of the problems include errors processing weekly certifications, performance issues with the state’s new Beacon One-Stop unemployment benefits website and inaccurate denials of benefits. “We have previously weighed in with both the U.S. Department of Labor and your administration to urge you to address a myriad of problems preventing or delaying workers getting their benefits,” the lawmakers said in the letter.... The delegation said in its letter that their offices send daily reports to the Maryland Department of Labor with contact information for any constituent who reached out with problems. But the delegation said the labor department has not provided “clear information” about when people will be contacted. “We are left unable to effectively respond to our constituents because the Department has been deficient in providing this information,” the letter said. In the letter, the congressional members urge Maryland Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson to assign a staff member as a liaison to help ensure timely responses between the two entities. “As the Maryland Congressional Delegation, we are committed to working with our federal, state, and local partners to deliver urgently needed relief to Marylanders who are unemployed and face economic hardships not seen since the great Depression,” the members said.