@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Bill with $1.6 billion for NC schools, second chance on grants for parents, signed into law

Posted February 10, 2021 10:45 a.m. EST
Updated February 10, 2021 11:22 a.m. EST

State budget

— Gov. Roy Cooper signed a pandemic relief bill into law Wednesday with $1.6 billion in it to help schools reopen and otherwise deal with coronavirus.

Senate Bill 36 also includes a raft of tweaks to various federal pandemic relief programs and hundreds of millions of dollars for things like vaccination programs, rental assistance and broadband expansions.

There's also a deadline extension on the $335-per-family "extra credit" grants the state created last year to help parents with school-aged children offset costs of online learning. An initial deadline passed last year, but tens of millions of dollars were left in the program.

The Department of Revenue is expected to announce details soon for new applicants and has a webpage with details on the old program.

The bill passed the General Assembly quickly and with widespread, bipartisan support. It relies largely on federal funding approved by Congress last year in response to the pandemic.

The rental assistance funding totals more than $700 million, some of which will be managed by local governments in the state's largest counties, but most of which will flow through the state. Details on those programs should also be forthcoming.

"This pandemic continues to strain communities across our state, and this investment of federal funds in critical areas will help us defeat COVID-19 and build back a stronger and more resilient North Carolina," Cooper said in announcing the signing Wednesday.

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