NC Senate pass $1B federal virus relief package
Virus relief package, Bill 1105, also known as the Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0, goes to Governor Roy Cooper’s office after passing the North Carolina House and Senate.
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The $ 1.1 billion proposal aims to spend more than $ 900 million of the remaining $ 4 billion passed by Congress under the CARES bill. On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate passed COVID-19 law 44-5. On Thursday morning, the House passed Bill 104-10.
“Parents face an unexpected financial burden from school closings. Expenses like child care, extra study materials, lost wages and more add up, ”said Senator Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth. The Republican-controlled legislature voted to give these parents some relief. ”
“We left a lot of money on the table because we knew there would be things we would have to fill out later,” House spokesman Tim Moore of R-Cleveland County said during an afternoon press conference.
$ 335 to every household in North Carolina
HB1105 includes $ 440 million to send a one-time check for $ 335 to every household in North Carolina with at least one child.
“I know $ 335 won’t pay off a mortgage, but it will lower the cost of electronic equipment or help pay a tutor when a child seems unable to tackle a new concept.” Senate Phil Berger of R-Rockingham County “Or maybe it pays for a babysitter and dinner. I’m really not worried about how parents spend that $ 335. I just know that ‘they need it. They earn it. ”
The remaining money will be used to revise a long list of bipartisan priorities, including add-ons for COVID-19 vaccine research, personal protective equipment, testing needs, high-speed internet access in hospitals. rural areas and an additional $ 50 per week for those on unemployment benefits.
“This bill seeks to equip the state of North Carolina with the tools to help it weather the storm of school closings and economic loss,” said Berger.
Still, the proposal could face opposition from Democrats and Governor Roy Cooper over a clause that would extend access to scholarships and private learning bonds to a greater percentage of low-income families.
Republicans said the move was critical in giving parents the choice to send their children to a school that currently offers face-to-face learning.
“I think of that single mom,” Berger said. “Maybe she can see her child slip. Don’t grasp the concepts. Maybe she knows her child has to be in a classroom. Why wouldn’t she be able to send a child to an open school? ”
However, public school teachers and their democratic supporters fear that the coupons could have a negative impact on public schools that provide education, food and resources to poor and minority students.
“We know there are many competing uses for the dwindling funding for COVID relief,” said Tamika Kelly, music teacher and president of the North Carolina Association of Educators. “But it’s hard to imagine spending it more than spending it on public education.”
Berger had emphasized the theme of choosing a school.
“How is it that in a society so focused on equality, a major political party can say that decisions about your child’s education are reserved for the wealthy elite only?” he said. “Choosing a school should not be a privilege reserved for those who can afford it. The choice of parental school is a right and we will finance it. ”
Most Democrats joined all Republicans in the Senate on Wednesday to vote 44-5 for the full COVID-19 aid package.