A Busy First Week
The General Assembly kicked off its first full week of the 2021 long session with the unanimous passage in both the House and Senate of a $2 billion COVID relief package. The lion’s share of the legislation, $1.6 billion, is earmarked for the re-opening of North Carolina’s public schools; the measure also includes nearly $900 million in rental assistance and grants for low-income families, $150 million for local governments, $100 million for vaccine distribution, and $30 million for enhanced rural broadband connectivity. Almost all of the funding for the legislation comes from the $1.8 trillion federal CARES Act, passed in March of 2020, and a $900 billion supplemental relief package passed by Congress last December.
The legislation now awaits the signature of Governor Cooper, who is expected to sign it into law.
The other piece of legislation that saw significant action this week was House Bill 4, which passed in the House 117-1 and which is now awaiting consideration in the Senate. The bill clarifies the extension payment deadline for certain ABC permittees, namely private bars. CLC first reported on this issue on January 22nd.
More than 100 bills have been filed since the General Assembly convened in mid January, most of them this past week. CLC is tracking the bills below and we will follow-up on their progress with our readers in the coming weeks: