MRA’s Updates from Annapolis

FEMA Approves Maryland’s Application for Additional $300 Per Week In Federal Unemployment Benefits
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has approved the state’s application to provide unemployed Marylanders with an additional $300 per week in benefits under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. The Maryland Department of Labor will now work with the federal administration to implement this program, with a plan to begin distributing the additional benefits by late September.

The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance will coordinate with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and FEMA to complete the programming, implementation, and distribution of LWA funds, which is expected to begin by late September. Per FEMA guidelines, Maryland’s application for the LWA program has been initially approved for a three-week period.

Eligible claimants will receive the $300 per week in benefits retroactive to the week ending August 1, 2020 and ending no later than December 26, 2020. To qualify for the additional $300 per week, claimants must be eligible for a weekly benefit amount of at least $100 and must self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Claimants will not have to file a new application to receive LWA benefits.

Click here to read the full press release.


Maryland State Board of Elections Increases Ballot Drop Boxes For General Election
The Maryland State Board of Elections has announced that at least 270 ballot drop boxes will be deployed statewide for the 2020 General Election, a significant increase from the 75 made available for the 2020 Primary Election. Delivery of ballot drop boxes to local boards of elections will begin the week of Sept. 28. Local boards of elections will open ballot drop boxes soon after they are delivered. A schedule of drop box openings and drop box locations will be made available at a later date. 

The Board also voted to authorize local boards of elections to begin canvassing mail-in ballots no earlier than Thursday, Oct. 1. Results of canvassing will be embargoed until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. The canvass is the official tally of votes for the election. Lastly, the Board voted to request additional funding from the Maryland Department of Budget & Management to pay for the mailing of ballot applications. Ballot applications will be mailed to 4 million registered voters beginning Monday, Aug. 24 through the end of August. Ballots will become available early October.

The Board will meet again on Friday, Aug. 28 at 12 p.m. The meeting can be viewed live at


Environment and Transportation Committee’s Workgroup on Waste Reduction & Recycling
The Workgroup on Waste Reduction & Recycling hosted its first virtual briefing this week to discuss the current state of waste collection and recycling in Maryland. You can watch the recording of the meeting here. The Workgroup will have two additional briefings this Fall: September 10, 2020 at 9:30am and October 8, 2020 at 9:30am. This will be an opportunity for industry members to comment on the waste and recycling policies that work for businesses, and those which do not. The links to the future virtual meetings will be available on the MGA calendar.