Senate Files Bipartisan Bill for COVID-19 Relief

  • $50 million to purchase supplies and equipment necessary for life safety, health, and sanitation, including ventilators, touch-free thermometers, gowns, disinfectants, and sanitizing wipes
  • $6 million to North Carolina food banks to combat food insecurity
  • $20 million for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to address animal depopulation and disposal
  • $25 million to the Community College System to enhance online learning and other coronavirus-related expenses.
  • $42.4 million to the UNC System to move classes online, campus sanitation before reopening, and other coronavirus-related expenses.
  • $10 million to Independent Colleges and Universities to help support families impacted by the coronavirus
  • $125 million to Golden LEAF to support small business loans
  • $300 million in a COVID Reserve Fund for the N.C. Department of Transportation to address budget shortfalls if the federal government allows
  • $300 million in a COVID Reserve Fund for local governments to address budget shortfalls if the federal government allows
  • $70 million for summer learning programs
  • $56 million for school nutrition programs
  • $2.25 million to assist in serving foster care
  • $290,000 for the LINKS program, a youth foster care support program
  • $5 million for Visit NC marketing
  • $250,000 for the Department of Information Technology for mobile Wi-Fi hotspots in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties
  • $15 million for the N.C. Collaboratory for COVID-19 research, including vaccine development
  • $9 million for the GREAT program to expand broadband
  • $70 million for continuity of state government, including covering overtime payments at mental health institutions, prisons, juvenile facilities, and veterans’ homes, and purchasing sanitation and hygienic supplies, and a call center for the Division of Employment Security
  • $1.2 billion in other federal funds, including:
  • $95.6 million for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund
  • $396 million for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund
  • $179.7 million for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
  • Provides Medicaid coverage for uninsured individuals so they can get tested for COVID-19
  • Health care liability protections for medical professionals who are treating coronavirus patients
  • $25 million for Department of Health and Human Services testing, tracing and trends
  • $15 million for health care facilities that accept Special Assistance
  • $10 million for free and charitable clinics to help treat uninsured individuals
  • $5 million to community health centers to cover costs of treatment
  • $20 million to Wake Forest University to expand its COVID-19 study to include syndromic surveillance and representative sample antibody testing to provide policymakers with near real-time coronavirus prevalence, hospitalization, and fatality data
  • $15 million to Duke University for vaccine development
  • $1.8 million to the Old North State Medical Society for outreach, health education, and testing to address COVID-19 disparities in rural areas and African American communities
  • Waives end of year testing requirements
  • Requires schools to administer reading assessments to fourth-grade students within two weeks of starting next school year
  • Waives school performance grades for the 2019–20 school year
  • Waives standardized testing requirements, attendance and calendar laws for non-public schools
  • Waives or extends for one year the traditional requirements for teacher and principal preparation programs, student teaching requirements, and exams
  • Extends eligibility for the Apprenticeship Tuition Waiver through the end of the calendar year for community colleges
  • Waives interest charges on outstanding UNC student bills
  • Increases the maximum weekly unemployment benefit to $400 as of August 1, 2020, when the new federal benefits are scheduled to expire
  • Codifies the provisions of the Governor’s recent executive orders related to temporary changes to the unemployment system
  • Codifies the ability of employers to file attached claims
  • Allows a tax credit against the employer’s payroll taxes in an amount equal to the amount of taxes payable on the report filed by the employer on or before April 30, 2020;
  • Directs that no change will be made to an employer’s tax rate as a result of layoffs caused by COVID-19
  • Adopts the recommendations of the Joint Legislative Committee on Unemployment Insurance:
  • Allow a claimant to satisfy one of the weekly job contacts by attending a reemployment activity offered by a local career center that the Division of Employment Security has verified as a suitable credit toward the work search requirement. The claimant will have to verify attendance at the activity to DES
  • Allow an employer to initiate an unemployment claim for employees when the unemployment is due directly to a disaster covered by a federal disaster declaration
  • Provide that a lien for county property taxes does not take priority over a previously filed lien for past due payroll taxes
  • Repeal the sunset of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Unemployment Insurance
  • Allows DES to interpret flexibly or waive, as appropriate, the following:
  • The one-week waiting period for benefits
  • The able and available to work requirements
  • The work search requirements
  • The actively seeking work requirements
  • The “lack of work” requirements for partially unemployed claimant

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Press releases from N.C. Senate Republicans and Senate Leader Phil Berger