My office continues to work in partnership with the rest of the 46th District Delegation as we work on the unprecedented number of constituents cases around access to Unemployment Insurance. To date, we have collectively referred well over 125 constituents to the Department of Labor for resolution and that number is far from unique across the State.
The General Assembly was alarmed by the Governor's comments that, "the unemployment site has been completely fixed," as many of our constituents are having a different experience with the BEACON system. In an effort to bring greater awareness to the struggles that far too many people are facing putting food on the table, the Senate Budget & Taxation and Finance Committees held a nine hour hearing on Tuesday for Marylanders to tell their stories. Over those nine hours, we heard from hundreds of individuals with heartbreaking and resilient stories.
No one should be forced to choose between paying their rent, or affording life saving medication. No one should have to make 40,700 calls to the Department of Labor without ever speaking with a representative. No mother should have to spend countless hours via phone and email advocating for their son who is going through chemotherapy while not knowing how to afford health insurance, or medical bills.
Each story was haunting and highlighted the need for urgent action to fix this broken system. There are 135,000 Marylanders who have still been unable to access Unemployment Insurance. They don't care about who is to blame. They care about finding a solution so they can simply stay afloat in the most challenging of circumstances.
You can hear their stories and read see some of the press coverage from Tuesday's hearing below.