House Bill 1043 – Covid Recovery Act

On May 4, 2020, Governor Cooper signed House Bill 1043 (HB 1043), which appropriated federal funds to various areas of need throughout the state, and state government, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PART 1 – GENERAL PROVISIONS 

  • Directs the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) to work with recipient state agencies to budget receipts awarded according to COVID-19 Recovery Legislation and in accordance with applicable federal laws and regulations; 
  • Requires OSBM to report to the the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations and the Fiscal Research Division by March 1, 2021, detailing the use of allocated funds; and
  • Requires the State Auditor to conduct a preliminary financial audit and a final performance audit of the Coronavirus Relief Fund by March 1, 2021.

 

PART II – ESTABLISH RESERVES AND FUNDS

  • Establishes a Coronavirus Relief Reserve to maintain federal funds received from the federal CARES Act to mitigate impact of the coronavirus outbreak; 
  • Establishes a Coronavirus Relief Fund; and
    • The Fund’s purpose is to provide financial assistance from the effects of COVID-19. 
    • All monies allocated from the Fund must be used for necessary expenditures related to the pandemic during the time period of March 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020. 
  • Establishes a Local Government Coronavirus Relief Fund Reserve to maintain any federal funds designated for mitigating COVID-19’s impact on local government revenues. 

 

PART III – ALLOCATION OF APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS

OFFICE OF STATE BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT

  • $50,000,000 to allocate to various entities for purchase of supplies and equipment necessary for life, safety, health, and sanitation;
  •  $150,000,000 to allocate to counties ineligible to receive direct funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act;
  • $70,000,000 to be used for the continuity of operation needs across state government; 
  • $300,000,000 to allocate to the General Maintenance Reserve in the Highway Fund for the Department of Transportation; and
    • $20,000,000 to OSBM, for allocation to state agencies negatively impacted by the loss of anticipated receipts.
  • $100,000 to allocate as reimbursement to the General Assembly for funds previously provided to Wake Forest University Health Services for COVID-19 research data to facilitate future work of legislative Committees.

 

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

  • $75,000,000 for school nutrition services provided in response to COVID-19;
  • $1,000,000 to the Department of Public Instruction to improve Internet connectivity for students, in response to COVID-19, by installing extended reach mobile Wi-Fi gateway router devices in school buses; 
  • $11,000,000 to improve Internet connectivity for students, in response to COVID-19, by providing community and home mobile Internet access points;
  • $30,000,000 to local school administrative units, charter schools, regional schools, and other elementary or secondary schools to purchase computers or other electronic devices for use by students;
  • $5,000,000 to local school administrative units, charter schools, regional schools, and other elementary or secondary schools to purchase computers or other electronic devices for use by school personnel; 
  • $4,500,000 to establish a statewide shared cybersecurity infrastructure to protect school business systems and minimize instructional disruption and for district cybersecurity monitoring and support in consultation with the School Connectivity Initiative;
  • $10,000,000 for school health support personnel to provide additional physical and mental health support services for students in response to COVID-19, including remote and in-person physical and mental health support services;
  • $70,000,000 to provide a supplemental summer learning program for students whose learning has been negatively affected by the impacts of COVID-19;
  • $1,488,000 to assist and support public school units in providing remote instruction in response to the impacts of COVID-19 by expanding the learning management platform provided by the Department; 
  • $3,000,000 to provide non-digital remote instruction resources to students with limited connectivity, in order to continue learning growth during the school closure period;
  • $660,029 for the Governor Morehead School for the Blind, Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, and North Carolina School for the Deaf for expenditures related to the impacts of COVID-19; and
  • $5,000,000 for the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program (Program) for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 fiscal years. 

 

HIGHER EDUCATION

  • $20,000,000 to the State Education Assistance Authority, which will provide funds to eligible private postsecondary institutions;
    • Funds will be used to transition to online education for students and to provide funds for students and families impacted by COVID-19.
  • $15,000,000 to the Duke University Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) of the Duke University School of Medicine to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine;
  • $29,000,000 to the Policy Collaboratory at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for rapid development of COVID-19 antibodies testing and treatment;
  • $15,000,000 to the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University for rapid development of COVID-19 antibodies testing and treatment;
  • $6,000,000 to the Campbell University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine for a community- and rural-focused primary care workforce response to COVID-19; and
  • $20,000,000 to the Wake Forest University Health Services to expand its COVID-19 study to include syndromic surveillance and representative sample antibody testing.

 

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  • $20,000,000 in flexible funds to support local health departments, rural health providers, the State Laboratory of Public Health, and behavioral health and crisis services;
  • $6,000,000 for equal allocation to the six food banks in the state;
  • $290,000 for the LINKS program, a foster care support program for youth ages 13-21 years;
  • $25,000,000 for facilities licensed to accept State-County Special Assistance;
  • $50,000,000 for rural and underserved communities most impacted by the COVID–19 pandemic;
    • These emergency, flexible funds will support health provider grants, targeted Medicaid assistance for rural hardship grants to non-hospital providers, enhanced telehealth services, transportation for critical services, health care security for the uninsured, the Office of Minority Health, and other related items.
  • $5,000,000 allocation to the North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NCAFCC), a nonprofit organization, to be used for distribution to its member clinics to cover the cost of eligible health services provided during the COVID-19 emergency;
  • $1,500,000 in grant-funding to NC MedAssist, a nonprofit corporation, to offset increased costs for providing prescription assistance services during the pandemic to indigent or uninsured individuals;
  • $5,000,000 to OSBM to be allocated to the North Carolina Community Health Centers Association (NCHCA) to be used for distribution to its member health centers to cover costs of eligible health services provided during the COVID-19 emergency;
  • $25,000,000 to expand public and private initiatives for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, trends tracking and analysis;
  • $20,000,000 to support behavioral health and crisis services to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • $19,000,000 for food banks, support for residential settings that are incurring additional costs to mitigate spread or isolate positive cases, adult and child protective services response, support for homeless and domestic violence shelters and housing security (prevention, diversion, and rapid re-housing), child care response, costs to expand NCCARE360, and technology modifications to support COVID-19 emergency relief to beneficiaries;
  • $1,800,000 to the Old North State Medical Society, Inc. to target rural areas and African American communities with outreach, health education, and testing to address the COVID-19 disparities in North Carolina;
  • $65,000,000 to establish the COVID-19 Rural Hospitals Relief Fund;
  • $15,000,000 to establish the COVID-19 Teaching Hospitals Relief Fund;
  • $15,000,000 to establish the COVID-19 General Hospitals Relief Fund;
  • $2,250,000 to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services, to assist in serving children in foster care during the COVID-19 emergency; 

 

OTHER STATE AGENCIES

  • $15,000,000 to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for animal depopulation and disposal activities to address possible future supply chain impacts from the closure of processing plants;
  • $5,000,000 to the Department of Commerce for a North Carolina nonprofit corporation to promote the state’s travel and tourism sites;
  • $125,000,000 to OSBM for Golden LEAF to provide small business loans; and
  • $9,000,000 to the Department of Information Technology to use for the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology Fund. 

 

PART IV – ADDITIONAL ALLOCATIONS, APPROPRIATIONS, AND OTHER REVISIONS

This section outlines a schedule of federal programs and corresponding grant amounts that have been received, or will be received, by the State. Part IV also includes a: $2,000,000 appropriation to Golden LEAF to award small business grants, and a directive to the Office of State Budget and Management to establish a Pandemic Recovery Office. This section provides Medicaid coverage for COVID-19 testing to uninsured persons during the public health emergency, increases Medicaid provider rates, and implements temporary provider enrollment changes allowed under the Medicaid 1135 Waiver.