ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland passed its Relief Act of 2021 and Governor Larry Hogan signed the bill into law. Thousands of Marylanders have already received their one-time stimulus check from the state. Depending on your income, you either got a $300 or $500 check or deposit.
Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot said the state could be doing more for their neighbors.
“Maryland is the richest state, in the richest country, in the history of the world according to the average family income. We are blessed with a lot of affluence, and frankly, I think that the Relief Act was way too meager,” Franchot said.
Franchot believes the initial checks Marylanders received just aren’t enough.
“We should have been sending $2,000 checks out to families with young children and included tens of thousands more than we're actually included in the governor's proposal,” Franchot said.
He calls the pandemic a once-in-a-lifetime crisis, that has left many out in the cold.
“People in low wage-earning jobs that have children need to get a $2,000 check,” Franchot added.
Under the bipartisan "Relief Act of 2021", stimulus payments of $300 and $500 went out to Marylanders who received the earned income tax credit on their 2019 state tax return. To be eligible for the credit – a single filer with no kids –needed to make less than 16-thousand in 2019.
“I think we need to do some form of second stimulus. The state has the money. It's one-time only. The people that are recipients of it that have been left out, all of them are taxpayers,” Franchot added.
As of now, there hasn’t been any indication from the state a second stimulus check could be coming, but it’s an option Franchot suggests lawmakers strongly consider.
“We have the money on a one-time-only basis, we know who these people are because they pay taxes. So, we have them in our system. And we can largely, unlike the unemployment checks that are sent out, we can largely avoid the open fraud, which is out there in a lot of these pandemic programs right now," Franchot said.
If you didn’t have the money sent straight to your account, Franchot also said paper checks should arrive in the mail. If you have not received your payment yet, and qualify for one, there’s a hotline set up for you to call. To learn more click here.