REP. RAY RUSSELL SUPPORTS COVID-19 RESPONSE BILL THAT PASSES NC HOUSE

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April 30, 2020
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April 30, 2020
REP. RAY RUSSELL SUPPORTS COVID-19 RESPONSE BILL THAT PASSES NC HOUSE

 

Today the North Carolina House of Representatives passed its first major COVID-19 response bill.  “There are a lot of people and small businesses hurting right now,” said Rep. Ray Russell.  “I am proud to support a relief package that will help.”

 

House Bill 1043 passed the NC House today.  It now goes to the NC Senate for its consideration.  The NC Senate yesterday passed a bill with much lower levels of support for public schools, public health, and assistance to local areas.

 

While not a complete list of allocations, here are items that affect the many people in Ashe and Watauga County:

 

  • $75 million in small business assistance loans through Golden LEAF
  • $50 million for Private Protective Equipment (PPE) and other COVID-19 supplies
  • $25 million for expanded testing and tracing needed to get NC back to work
  • $125 million for grants to North Carolina hospitals
  • $80 million to help local schools with school nutrition
  • $70 million for summer K-12 learning programs
  • $82 million for remote K-12 learning
  • $35 million for K-12 mental health services
  • $25 million for North Carolina’s community colleges
  • $79 million for North Carolina’s universities
  • $110 million to create a COVID-19 Response Research Fund in state universities to work on a vaccine and other innovations
  • $300 million for transportation projects and jobs to make up for declining gas tax revenue that normally funds transportation
  • $350 million for local governments struggling with COVID-19 costs
  • $25 million to public health departments and rural providers
  • $40 million for COVID-19 Medicaid costs
  • $25 million for behavioral health
  • $6 million to food banks
  • $25 million for domestic violence shelters, housing, and adult/child protective services
  • $2.25 million for foster care
  • $25 million for rural and underserved areas hard hit by the epidemic

 

“I am glad to work across party lines to support this bill,” said Rep. Russell.  “It is not perfect, but will do a lot of good.  I will keep working on needed long-term fixes that we did not address today like Medicaid Expansion, strengthening the unemployment system for laid-off workers, and improved family leave.”

 

The NC Senate passed a relief bill last night. Negotiations are underway now to work out a compromise between the House bill and the Senate bill. Hopefully, that compromise will be reached this week and this money will start flowing quickly to North Carolinians, state agencies, and small businesses.