Governor Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 704 and House Bill 1034 into law yesterday to provide relief throughout the state from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am signing into law two critical relief bills that will provide assistance to families, schools, hospitals and small businesses as our state battles COVID-19,” said Governor Cooper. “There is more work ahead of us, and I hope the spirit of consensus behind these bills will continue.”
The Governor was joined by House Speaker Tim Moore, Democratic House Leader Darren Jackson, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and Democratic Senate Leader Dan Blue.
The relief package, which was passed unanimously, includes almost $1.6 billion in relief measures for critical expenditures related to public health and safety, educational needs, small business assistance, and continuity of state government operations. Of this amount, $1.4 billion has been appropriated and $150 million is set aside in a reserve fund for future local government needs.
The package also contains key policy changes to support North Carolinians as the state battles COVID-19.
HB 1043, the spending package, allocates federal funding sent to the state from the CARES Act. It includes:
- $50 million to provide personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies
- $25 million to support enhanced COVID-19 testing and tracing
- $125 million in small business loans administered through the Golden LEAF Foundation
- $50 million in health support for underserved communities including rural areas and minority communities
- $95 million to support North Carolina hospitals
- $20 million to support local health departments and the State Health Lab
- $75 million for school nutrition programs
- $70 million for summer learning programs
- $30 million for local schools to purchase computers and other devices for students
- $6 million for food banks
- $9 million for rural broadband
- $85 million for vaccine development, antibody testing, community testing, and other COVID-19-related research at Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, Campbell University, and Wake Forest University.
Senate Bill 704 contained provisions to help North Carolinians. It includes:
- An extension of driver’s license and registration expiration deadlines
- Waived interest on tax payments normally due in April
- Modifies end-of-grade testing requirements for public schools
- Adjusts the 2020-21 K-12 public school calendar
- Allows pharmacists to administer a COVID-19 vaccine once it is developed
Read full bills below: