Overwhelming bipartisan support for ‘Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0’ sends General Assembly proposals to the Governor
Raleigh, NC — Representative Kevin Corbin joined his colleagues in the NC General Assembly in giving final bipartisan approval to a $1 billion historic relief package that includes direct payments to North Carolina parents of $335 to cover unexpected childcare costs.
“Families in North Carolina were catapulted into an unprecedented situation in March when COVID19 changed the day-to-day for all of us,” said Rep. Corbin. “We know this money will not begin to cover everything associated with unexpected childcare costs, but it’s one of many ways the most recent budget passed in the legislation will help the hardworking families in our state.”
The relief measure also increases North Carolina’s unemployment benefits for families to the second highest in the Southeast, while maintaining tax rates for employers still recovering from the pandemic and rehiring displaced workers.
The measure delivers on a top public school priority of holding education funding levels “harmless,” regardless of expected drops in enrollment.
The “hold harmless” funding policy was cited by education leaders as the most important measure lawmakers could take to support North Carolina schools.
“This is a historic day of promises kept for North Carolinians, the culmination of a decade of state government reform by this Republican General Assembly that allows us to continue investing in recovery for all our citizens today,” Speaker of the House Tim Moore said.
The budget also includes an additional $30 million for rural broadband expansion under the GREAT grant program.
I asked for an additional $100 million for the GREAT program because I believe that is what our state needs to address connectivity problems right now,” said Rep. Corbin. “While this $30 million isn’t as much as I would have hoped, it does mean that 25,000 – 30,000 North Carolinians in the rural corners of North Carolina will now have the opportunity to receive broadband. This is essential for our working families and for students across the state who began this school year with remote learning.”
The Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0 includes:
- $335 one-time payment to families with children to help offset costs of school closures
- $200/month increase in unemployment benefits
- $35 million for child care centers
- $8 million to help working parents offset child care costs
- $20 million for community-based organizations to provide virtual learning
- $75 million for Personal Proactive Equipment (PPE)
- $34 million for testing and tracing
- $10 million for internet connectivity for students
- $30 million for the GREAT program to improve rural broadband
- A hold harmless provision for school districts that see declining enrollment
- $20 million for COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured
- $45 million for a small business grant program
- $44.5 million for hurricane recovery from four major storms
- $5 million to promote safe access to in-person voting
- $115 million total increase for education
- $17 million in grants for exceptional children’s services
- $50 million for Lost Wages Assistance Program
- $38 million for behavioral health
- Expands eligibility for Opportunity Scholarships
- Bipartisan priorities like the PPE+NC program
- Elimination of education wait lists for kids with disabilities
- Higher enrollment in virtual education options for families