[co-authors: Matthew Bales and Katelyn Kingsbury, Government Relations Advisors]
The North Carolina General Assembly left Raleigh on Sept. 3 after passing a bill to appropriate additional federal COVID relief funds. This Session was in addition to those held in late April and June that also focused on COVID-19 relief.
H 1105, the “Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0,” appropriates almost $1 billion of federal funds. The bill passed both chambers by large margins.
Highlights of the bill, which both funded new items and added money to past appropriations, include:
- $440 million to give North Carolina households with parents of children 17 and younger a $335 stimulus check to help offset costs associated with remote learning at schools;
- $10 million to the Department of Public Instruction to improve internet connectivity for students by providing community and home mobile internet access points;
- $87 million to increase the weekly unemployment compensation benefit by $50;
- Funds for personal protective equipment at K-12 schools ($20 million), community colleges ($5 million), and University of North Carolina (UNC) campuses ($13 million);
- $5 million to help conduct the 2020 general election;
- $35 million for grants to licensed day care providers;
- $30 million to the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Fund to incent internet providers to extend service to unserved and underserved areas; and
- $45 million for hurricane and storm relief and $24 million for earthquake recovery.
Legislators adjourned “sine die” for 2020 and set Jan. 13, 2021 to begin their next session. It is possible that if Congress this fall appropriates additional funds for COVID-19 relief, Legislators would need to return for a special session to allocate those funds.