General Assembly Unanimously Passes $1.6 Billion COVID-19 Recovery Bill

Last Updated on May 4, 2020 1:14 pm

Raleigh, N.C. – In a Saturday voting session, the North Carolina General Assembly unanimously passed COVID-19 relief and recovery legislation that spends and reserves nearly $1.6 billion.

The compromise spending plan is a significant investment laying the groundwork for moving the state forward and responding to the economic and human impacts of this pandemic. The bill addresses both immediate needs, like purchasing personal protective equipment and expanding digital infrastructure needs, and long-term research and development to fight the virus.

“This legislation has been worked on with input from the public, State agencies, members on both sides of the aisle, and many of our front line responders. During these uncertain times, I believe our communities can count on our commitment to help ease their concerns and address critical needs, support research, and help those hit hardest by the virus’s impact,” Senator Deanna Ballard said.

Specifically, in Senate District 45, $5 million dollars will be distributed across its county governments to support COVID-19 needs and local school districts will receive targeted funds from the larger statewide allocation and authorization of nearly $625 million dollars towards school nutrition, increased connections to broadband and electronic devices to access remote learning opportunities. Local businesses across the district will be able to seek assistance from increased dollars through Golden LEAF while hospitals and public health offices will be receiving support for testing for uninsured patients, behavioral health and telehealth services.

“Many of us all across the district have had to make a hard pivot in recent weeks, but the tenor of our response and positive engagement will continue to keep us moving forward, remaining healthy and safely returning to work. Supporting one another is nothing new for North Carolinians — we are good neighbors, determined spirits, and resilient hearts that will continue to strengthen and encourage each other in the days ahead.”

State-wide appropriations include:
$75 million for school nutrition
$1 million for the Department of Public Instruction to improve internet connectivity for students through the use of mobile Wi-Fi hotspots on buses
$11 million for the Department of Public Instruction to improve internet connectivity for students by providing internet access devices
$30 million for schools to purchase devices for students in response to COVID-19
$5 million for electronic devices for school staff in response to COVID-19
$4.5 million for cybersecurity
$10 million for student health programs
$70 million for summer learning programs
$3 million for non-digital learning instructional resources
$15 million for exception children programs
$660,029 for residential schools
$5 million for the Department Public Instruction’s Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports (ELISS) Grants
$25 million for the Community College System to respond to COVID-19 impacts
$44.4 million for the UNC System to respond to COVID-19 impacts
$20 million for independent and private colleges to respond to COVID-19 impacts
$85.1 million for COVID-19 research, including $29 million for the UNC Collaboratory, $20 million for Wake Forest University Health Services, $15 million for Duke University’s Human Vaccine Institute, $15 million to the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, and $6 million to the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine
$25 million for testing, tracing, and trends related to COVID-19
$20 million for additional public health capacity, including increasing nursing capacity, number of community health workers, telehealth services and providing infection control support and training in nursing homes and adult care homes
$20 million for enhanced behavioral health and crisis services to respond to COVID-19, including diverting individuals experiencing behavioral health emergencies from emergency departments
$50 million for purchasing additional PPE
$19 million for food, safety, shelter, and child care
$6 million for food banks
$25 million for facilities that serve Special Assistance recipients
$50 million for rural and under-served communities
$65 million for rural hospital support
$5 million for free and charitable clinics
$15 million for the Teaching Hospitals Relief Fund
$15 million for the General Hospital Relief Fund
$300 million for the DOT Coronavirus Relief Fund, if allowed by the federal government
$150 million for local government grants to support immediate COVID-19 needs
$150 million for the Local Government Coronavirus Relief Reserve, if allowed by the federal government
$20 million to support fee-supported state operations, if allowed by the federal government
$70 million for continuity of government operation needs, including covering overtime costs, purchasing PPE, sanitation and hygienic supplies, and critical IT equipment
$125 million for small business loans through Golden LEAF
$5 million for the Association of Community Health Centers
$5 million for Visit NC marketing
$9 million for the GREAT program to expand access to broadband internet

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