Governor Roy Cooper Wednesday shared a recommended budget, Support for a Determined North Carolina, which outlines how to use the state’s remaining federal coronavirus funding and make responsible investments in the state’s future.
North Carolina has more than $900 million left in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds from the federal CARES Act. Governor Cooper’s budget includes $175 million for critical public health services including testing and tracing; targeting rural and historically marginalized populations; and early childhood services. It proposes $49 million to build a state strategic stockpile of personal protective equipment, $132 million to help K-12 public schools to protect students, teachers and staff and ensure students most impacted by COVID-19 receive support, $50 million to establish an emergency grant program to expand high-speed internet access, $200 million in aid for local governments, and more. It also includes one-time bonuses to k-12 school personnel as well as UNC System and NC Community College System personnel. The Governor proposes a $988 million health care infrastructure limited obligation bond to support health facilities, public health labs, vaccine development and more. Full details on Cooper's recommended budget can be found at Governor.NC.gov.
Governor Roy Cooper also announced this week some $175 million to help North Carolinians with rental and utility payment support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement includes three programs designed to help people avoid eviction and pay their bills. Around $94 million will be available through the Office of Recovery and Resiliency o support rental and utility payments and prevent evictions for those with a demonstrated need. About $53 million is designated for the Emergency Solutions Grant-Coronavirus Program through NCDHHS, for families experiencing homelessness or who face a more immediate risk of homelessness. Another $28 million will be administered by local governments through the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Local governments are encouraged to prioritize the money locally to help their residents pay rent and outstanding utility bills. In addition, the funds may provide support for internet access, food distribution, COVID-19 testing and diagnosis and employment training for health care workers.