The North Carolina General Assembly has passed House Bill 42 “2020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications.” This bill is one of several COVID-19 relief bills planned to be passed by the N.C. Legislature this year.
HB 42 adjusts deadlines and recording dates to reflect new Congressional guidance for Federal funding and appropriates much needed funding to various programs across the state.
One much needed deadline change is the extension for Extra Credit Grant Program recipients to receive awards, address issues with amended returns, fix tax software issues, and allow those who had not applied for grants the ability to do so.
$39M has been appropriated to fund the GREAT Program, which directs the deployment of broadband in unserved areas of economically distressed counties. This program will help bring high-speed internet to thousands of North Carolinians, businesses, and farms in the most rural and remote areas of the state. This program will be a great resource for Caldwell County. A survey from N.C. Department of Information Technology showed that Caldwell County’s residents were less likely to have internet connection at home than other residents across the state. The estimated average of 12% with no internet is substantially higher than the statewide average of 5%.
HB42 also provides funding for…
- COVID-19 Vaccine Preparedness ($94.7M) to assist distribution of vaccine across the state.
- Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding ($1.6B) to help local school districts safely reopen and an extension of $335 state grants for families without enough earnings to file a tax return.
- Emergency Rental Assistance ($546.6M) with another $155 million in federal funds for local governments with over 200,000 people.
House Bill 42 has been sent to the Governor, who is expected to sign it into law quickly.
The next COVID-19 relief bill is expected to be presented to the House in the coming weeks.