House would take Senate UI bill

Del. Dereck E. Davis, the chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee, said Tuesday he will move the Senate’s version of the compromise legislation on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s unemployment benefit expansion.

Economic Matters and the Senate Finance Committee were assigned at the start of the session twin bills containing the governor’s proposal. Finance is set to vote Tuesday afternoon on a heavily amended version that makes numerous concessions to business groups that balked at the governor’s original plan.

Davis said: “I think it’s a good compromise.”

Business groups think so, too. Two of the largest announced Monday they would support the bill. (Take a gander at our coverage here.)

With Finance set to move the bill this afternoon, it could reach the Senate floor for preliminary approval Thursday and a final vote Friday, which would then put the ball in the House’s court.

“We’re going to move as quickly as possible,” Davis said. “I think it’s a good thing for the state. I think it’s a good thing for businesses and a good thing for the [Unemployment Insurance] Trust Fund.”

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