The legislature is directing state agencies to extend their latitude to waive unnecessary regulations on North Carolinians while helping state leaders exercise existing emergency authority in our coordinated response. Many of you have questions regarding these responses. My office is here to help you, your families, and your businesses. If you have any questions, concerns, or needs, please do not hesitate to message me on Facebook, email my office, or call my office with whatever is on your mind.
My office number is 919-733-5931
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Here are some recent updates regarding government responses to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have questions regarding any of this information I again encourage you to contact my office and we will assist you as best that we are able.
Recent Action From President Trump
- The President’s “15 Days To Slow The Spread” plan is being adopted by thousands of Americans. The plan to “beat the curve” will help keep infection rates low, which will keep our healthcare system from getting overwhelmed.
- The Trump Administration will postpone the current deadline requiring Americans to get a REAL ID.
- President Trump has signed an order preventing the “hoarding” of PPE (“personal protective equipment,” such as face masks) and other medical supplies. This order will make it a “crime” to stockpile these resources as well as a crime to sell them at levels that rise to price gouging.
Important Federal Action
- FEMA is distributing 8 million N-95 masks and 13 million surgical grade masks to states.
- Congress has yet to strike a deal on the $1.5Trillion+ stimulus package. Negotiations expected to continue at length. This stimulus package should include action to bail out key industries, direct stimulus payments to workers, support for small businesses, and direct financial assistance to hospitals.
- The Federal Reserve continues to expand its use of monetary policy, now buying more government-backed debt in an effort to soothe markets.
- Federal taxes are now due July 15 instead of April 15. More details here.
- Federal standardized testing will not be enforced by U.S. Department of Education.
- Student Debt: Waived ALL interest on federal held student loans for at least the next 60 days.
North Carolina Government Action
- N.C. Department of Revenue will match the Internal Revenue Service’s extension of the tax filing deadline to July 15th. The Legislature is moving to suspend penalties for tax payments.
- The Office of State House Speaker Tim Moore has formed the North Carolina House Select Committee on COVID-19 that will meet remotely through crisis policy working groups to prepare immediate and long-term legislative responses to the developing crisis.
- Governor Cooper has signed another Executive Order, which you can read here.
- Governor Cooper has ordered the closures of business that fall into the following categories. Barber Shops, Beauty Salons, Bowling Alleys, Bingo Parlors, Hair Salons, Indoor Exercise Facilities, Health Clubs, Indoor Pools, Live Performance Venues, Massage Parlors Movie Theaters, Nail Salons, Skating Rinks, Spas, Arcade Establishments, Sweepstakes facilities, Tattoo Parlors.
- Governor Cooper has further tightened restrictions on visitations to long term care health facilities.
- Governor Cooper has extended the closure of K-12 schools until May 15.
The new business restrictions from Governor Cooper will certainly leave many North Carolinians in fear of how they are going to provide for themselves and their families. Fortunately for N.C. responsible fiscal policies have allowed our state to save a massive amount of money for such an emergency. Our state’s $3.9 billion Unemployment Trust Fund is the largest reserve ratio in the Southeast, and we will help those who find themselves without a job in this time of uncertainty.
Speaker Moore called for further regulatory relief in addition to emergency unemployment insurance measures that streamline access to benefits, suspend wait periods for applicants, remove job search requirements, and waive employer penalties in the application process.
My office will work quickly to provide you with updates as soon as they become available. In the meantime please pray for the strength, endurance, and resilience of our country, our fellow Americans, our leaders, and the world.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.