Here are the latest items of interest concerning the COVID-19 outbreak. As I have written before, 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.
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Recent Action From President Trump
- The President has reported that FEMA is building four field hospitals in NYC at the Javits Convention Center. He confirms construction is moving along well and is ahead of schedule.
- The President has approved Ford, General Motors, and Tesla to being making ventilators and other metal products needed for the fight against COVID-19.
- At the President’s request, 4000 ventilators are being issued to New York State.
What’s in the Federal Stimulus Package?
- The Senate passed a $2 trillion economic relief package to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes…
- A ban on stock buybacks for companies receiving federal support
- Education: $30 billion for emergency education funding
- Americans will receive a one-time direct deposit of up to $1,200, and couples will get $2,400. Our initial understanding of the legislation is that the IRS will treat this as a tax credit and base payments on 2019 returns, then 2018 returns if you haven’t filed yet. There are income limits for receiving the payments: $150,000 MFJ; $112,500 HoH; $75,000 Individual. Families receive an additional $500 per child.
- Small businesses: $367 billion in funding to keep making payroll while workers have to stay home. Companies with 500 employees or less that keep paychecks steady could get up to $10 million each in forgivable small business loans. Federally guaranteed loans will provide eight weeks of assistance for qualifying employers who maintain payroll. Those who meet requirements would have costs such as utilities, mortgage interest and rent forgiven.
- Unemployment: expands eligibility and offers workers an additional $600 per week for four months, on top of what state programs pay. It also allows furloughed workers to stay on as employees, so that when the crisis ends they can quickly resume work. The deal extends to gig economy workers.
- Hospitals and health care workers: $100 billion into hospitals and the health system, and billions more into providing PPE for health care workers, testing supplies, and increased workforce and training.
- Industry: $500 billion in Treasury funds to shore up industries damaged by coronavirus
- Payroll taxes: Enables individuals to defer payment of their 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022.
- States and local governments: $150 billion, with $8 billion for First Nation’s governments.
- Agriculture: Increases the amount the Agriculture Department can spend on its bailout program from $30 billion to $50 billion.
North Carolina Government Action
- Speaker Moore urged state agencies to delay and extend expiration and due dates of fees, inspections, permits, licenses, and certifications for 60-90 days. He also urged Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall, to allow virtual notarization of legal documents for North Carolinians.
- If you are interested in listening in on the House Select Committee on COVID-19 meetings, you can tune into the audio stream at this link.
- While no statewide “shelter in place” order has been issued, some counties are choosing to issue them on their own. Wake, Mecklenburg, Pitt, Orange, and Madison counties have all issued “shelter in place orders”.
- Limited Testing: North Carolina is following guidance from the CDC to limit testing to high-risk groups, health care workers and people in long-term care facilities. Others who experience COVID-19 symptoms are urged to stay at home and check with their personal health care providers.
- Taxpayers who cannot meet their filing or payment requirement as a result of COVID-19 should complete Form NC-5500, Request to Waive Penalties (“NC-5500”)
- The Golden Leaf Foundation is offering loans up to $50,000 for small businesses; these loans will be interest free. Information and the application can be found here.
- The duration of unemployment benefits in North Carolina will extend up to an additional eight weeks if the unemployment rate rises. The state’s $3.9 billion Unemployment Trust Fund is the largest reserve ratio in the Southeast.
- March 24: NC DHHS has partnered with the North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) network to launch a hotline to provide child care options for children of critical workers who do not have access to typical care because of COVID-19 closures.
My office will work quickly to continue 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.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”