HB 0234 - Unemployment Insurance – Notice of Earned Income Tax Credits for Unemployment Insurance Claimants

HB 0234 - Unemployment Insurance – Notice of Earned Income Tax Credits for Unemployment Insurance Claimants

Position: Support

Committee: House Economic Matters

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public-policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

House Bill 234 requires the Maryland Department of Labor to include on a certain tax form issued to a claimant for unemployment insurance benefits a statement in English and Spanish regarding the availability of federal and State earned income tax credits; and generally relating to unemployment insurance and income tax credits.

The Maryland Catholic Conferences supports policies that protect human life and dignity, strengthen families, encourage and reward work, preserve a safety net for the vulnerable, and build public/private partnerships to overcome poverty. Further, we have been a strong supporter of the refund ability and expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit particularly because of their effectiveness in helping families escape or prevent poverty and offer essential resources for raising children.

Low- and middle-income working families would see their economic security severely threatened without the Earned Income Tax Credit. House Bill 234 seeks to notify qualified individuals to improve outreach to unemployed Marylanders about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) by notifying unemployment recipients of their potential eligibility both in English and Spanish which will be crucial in preserving this safety net for our most vulnerable by ensuring that unemployed Marylanders receive unemployment benefit information, especially during an economic downturn.

For these reasons, the Conference appreciates your consideration and urges a favorable report on House Bill 234.