Raleigh, N.C. – Legislation to direct over $1.7 billion of Federal relief funds to North Carolina communities has been unanimously passed by the General Assembly.
House Bill 196 2021 COVID-19 Response & Relief Act directs over $600 million statewide for testing, tracing, and prevention needs.
The bill further allocates over $100 million to K-12 public school needs and provides $290 million for higher education emergency relief. It includes another $40 million to support summer learning programs in addition to education funds approved by the legislature last month.
State lawmakers previously provided nearly $2 billion in federal relief funds to North Carolinians through Senate Bill 36 COVID Relief Bill Modifications, including $1.6 billion to help local school districts safely reopen and $546 million for emergency rent relief.
House Bill 196 also provides funds for farms, fisheries, food banks, small business grants, broadband, summer school programs, mental health and substance abuse services, and upgrades to the NC COVID Vaccine Management System, among other allocations.
H.B. 196 further contains policy provisions that extend flexibility for notaries, video witness testimony, education requirements, and access to vaccines for pharmacies.
Senior House Appropriations Chairs Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth), Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), and Dean Arp (R-Union) released a joint statement:
“The General Assembly is committed to delivering additional funding relief and regulatory flexibility to help North Carolinians still suffering in this crisis as soon as possible,” the members said in a joint statement. “This relief measure builds on our successful approach to addressing the top priorities of North Carolinians early in this legislative session.”