Gov. Larry Hogan unveils series of measures aimed at providing fiscal relief
(Dec. 18, 2020) Taking matters into his own hands as Congress continued to negotiate another coronavirus relief package, Gov. Larry Hogan announced a series of financial measures to help Marylanders and businesses survive the covid-19 pandemic at a press conference last Thursday.
Most notable was an executive order protecting businesses from facing a significant increase in unemployment taxes.
“During this crisis, our small businesses have had to make very difficult decisions to move ahead with layoffs and furloughs, despite their best efforts,” Hogan said. “As a result, many businesses are scheduled to face massive, automatic increases in the unemployment taxes they will be forced to pay through no fault of their own.”
Hogan also announced that the $75 million in emergency business loans that were distributed in March will be forgiven and turned into grants.
To invest in affordable housing, the state will contribute $25 million toward tax credit projects. Hogan said this will promote 2,000 units of high-quality, affordable housing.
“This is the largest number of units the state has financed in a single year,” Hogan said.
The state will also release $12 million into the rental housing works program.
Hogan announced awarding $94 million will go toward Marylanders with diabetes.
“More than one out of every three Marylanders either has diabetes or prediabetes, which puts them at a much greater risk and is the number one comorbidity for people getting serious illness from covid-19,” Hogan said.
In addition, $10 million will go to law enforcement and victim and youth services.
Part of this will fund a new program, COVID-19 Safe Future Collaborative, which is designed to connect crime victims to virtual services.
Another part of the funding will go to court locations for personal protective equipment and the state police for covid-19 testing supplies.