2020 COVID-19 RECOVERY ACT (NEW).

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 1043 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 28, 2020
AN ACT TO PROVIDE AID TO NORTH CAROLINIANS IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) CRISIS.
Intro. by Bell, Jackson, Lewis.

Status: Ch. SL 2020-4 (May 4 2020)

SOG comments (1):

Long title change

The Senate committee substitute to the 3rd edition amends the act's long title. The title was: AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE LAW RELATED TO THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS.

Bill History:

H 1043/S.L. 2020-4

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 5 2020 - More information

    AN ACT TO PROVIDE AID TO NORTH CAROLINIANS IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) CRISIS. SL 2020-4. Enacted May 4, 2020. Effective May 4, 2020, except as otherwise provided.


  • Summary date: May 2 2020 - More information

    Senate amendment makes the following changes to the proposed Senate committee substitute to the 3rd edition.

    Part III. Transfer, Appropriations, and Allocations

    Section 3.3 Allocation of Funds Appropriated to OSBM

    Amends subdivision (39) to now allocate $65 million to the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) to establish the COVID-19 Rural Hospital Relief Fund (previously, to OSBM to provide a grant to the NC Healthcare Foundation). Directs OSBM to allocate grants to CMS designated critical access hospitals located in (1) a tier one county, or (2) a tier two county with a population of less than 150,000 (previously, the grants were for CMS designated critical access or non-critical access rural hospitals). Requires grants to be awarded at $350,000 for each critical access hospital and at least $250,000 for each eligible hospital located in tier one or tier two county. Makes conforming changes.

    .

  • Summary date: May 2 2020 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition. Amends the act's titles.

    Deletes all provisions of previous Parts I (Economic Support), II (Education), III (Health Care), and V (Continuity of State Government), except as noted below. Please note that provisions removed from this bill may be addressed in Senate Bill 704. We recommend referring to both this bill and the 4th edition of Senate Bill 704.

    Part I. General Provisions

    Contains the provisions set forth in previous Part IV, Appropriations, Subpart IV-A, General Provisions, with the following modifications and additions.

    Section 1.1 Title of the Act

    Titles the act as "2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act."

    Section 1.2 Definitions

    Amends previous section IVA.1 to change the definition provided for the term Coronavirus or COVID-19, now defining the term as the Coronavirus Disease 2019, rather than by federal statutory cross-reference.

    Eliminates the following defined terms: Coronavirus Relief Fund; COVID-19 diagnostic test; COVID-19 antibody test; and State agency.

    Section 1.3 Findings and Purpose

    Amends previous section IVA.2, rewriting the act's purpose and findings. Now includes legislative findings regarding State government's role in the facilitation of local government, community, family, worker, and individuals and businesses in accessing federal relief and recovery funds related ot the COVID-19 pandemic. States that the act's purpose is to fulfill the NCGA's constitutional duty to appropriate all funds, including federal funds appropriated or otherwise made available under the COVID-19 Recovery Legislation, and to direct the use of those funds consistent with authorizing federal legislation and the public health and economic well-being of the State.

    Section 1.4 Requirement to Maximize Use of Federal Funds

    Substantively identical to previous section IVA.3, with technical changes to conform to the new organization of the act.

    Section 1.5 Conflict with Federal Law

    Substantively identical to previous section IVA.4, with technical changes to conform to the new organization of the act.

    Section 1.6 General Guidance on Use of Funds

    Identical to previous section IVA.5.

    Section 1.7 Requires Report on Use of Funds

    Substantively identical to previous section IVA.6, with technical changes to conform to the new organization of the act.

    Section 1.8 Audit Requirement

    Identical to previous section IVA.7

    Eliminates previous section IVA.8, concerning technical language appropriating departmental receipts.

    Part II. Establishment of Reserves and Funds

    Contains the provisions set forth in previous Part IV, Appropriations, Subpart IV- B, COVID-19 Relief Reserve and Funds Established, with the following modifications and additions.

    Section 2.1 Establishment of Coronavirus Relief Reserve

    Substantively identical to previous section IVB.1, with technical changes to conform to the new organization of the act. Changes the section heading.

    Section 2.2 Establishes the Coronavirus Relief Fund

    Identical to previous section IVB.2. Changes the section heading.

    Section 2.3 Establishment of Local Government Coronavirus Relief Reserve

    Adds the following (identical to section 2.4, S704, 3rd edition). Requires the State Controller to establish a Local Government Coronavirus Relief Reserve (Local Reserve) in the General Fund to maintain certain federal funds transferred from the Reserve that are eligible to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in North Carolina on the revenue of local governments. Requires the transfer of $300 million from the Reserve to the Local Reserve. States the NCGA's intent to appropriate up to $150 million if local governments experience a revenue shortfall and the CARES Act is amended to allow the use of federal funds for that purpose. Specifies that funds reserved in the Local Reserve do not constitute an "appropriation made by law," as that phrase is used in Section 7(1) of Article V of the North Carolina Constitution.

    Part III. Transfer, Appropriations, and Allocations

    Contains the provisions set forth in previous Part IV, Appropriations, Subpart IV- C, Transfer, Appropriations, and Allocations, with the following modifications and additions.

    Section 3.1 Transfer of Funds from Reserves to Relief Fund

    Amends previous section IVC.1. Decreases the amount of funds the State Controller is required to transfer from the Coronavirus Relief Reserve (Reserve) to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (Fund), from $1,635,567,029 to $1,275,988,029 for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Adds an additional directive for the State Controller to transfer $150 million from the Local Government Coronavirus Relief Reserve (Local Government Reserve) to the Fund for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

    Section 3.2 Appropriation of Funds from Relief Fund to OSBM

    Amends previous section IVC.2, decreasing the amount appropriated from the Fund to the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) in nonrecurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year from $1,635,567,029 to $1,425,988,029. Makes conforming organizational changes.

    Section 3.3 Allocation of Funds Appropriated to OSBM

    Amends previous section IVC.3. Reorganizes the subdivisions, modifies and adds to the allocations of the funds appropriated to OSBM as follows.

    Subdivision (1)

    Adds new subdivision (1), allocating $50 million to the NC Healthcare Foundation, the NC Senior Living Association, the NC Medical Society, and the Department of Public Safety (DPS), Division of Emergency Management, for the purchase of supplies and personal protective equipment (similar to section 3.3(1), SB704, 3rd edition). Provides for allocations to each entity.

    Subdivision (2) 

    Amends previous subdivision IVC.3(35). Allocates $150 million, rather than $350 million, to counties ineligible to receive direct funding from the CARES Act. Changes the distribution of the funds, now requiring base allocations of $250,000 to each eligible county, with the remainder distributed on a per basis (previously, required distribution on a per capita basis with no eligible county receiving less than $500,000). 

    Subdivision (3)

    Amends previous subdivision IVC.3(37), now identical to Section 3.3(11) of S704, 3rd edition. Allocates $70 million, rather than $80 million, for the continuity of operation needs across State government. Adds that expenditures incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020, are eligible for funding, and expands upon allowable expenditures. Maintains the allowable allocations for establishment of the NC Pandemic Recovery Office and the required audit by the Office of the State Auditor. Eliminates the permitted allocation of up to $10 million for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for animal depopulation and disposal activities. Maintains reporting requirements. 

    Subdivision (4)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(34). More specifically allocates $300 million to OSBM to allocate to the General Maintenance Reserve in the Highway Fund for the Department of Transportation (DOT). Makes technical and clarifying changes. Adds a new provision prohibiting the Governor from using the funds to make budget adjustment or reallocations under specified state laws. Further, requires the funds to be transferred and to remain unspent until legislatively appropriated if the previously described conditions concerning the revision of specified US Department of Treasury guidelines has not occurred by June 15, 2020.

    Subdivision (4a)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(36). Allocates $20 million, rather than $30 million to OSBM for allocation to State agencies negatively impacted by the loss of anticipated receipts. 

    Subdivision (5)

    Adds new subdivision (identical to section 3.3(12), S704, 3rd edition). Allocates $100,000 to the NCGA to be used to reimburse funds previously provided to Wake Forest University Health Services for COVID-19 research data.

    Subdivision (6)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(1), allocating $75 million, rather than $80 million, to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for school nutrition services as previously specified.

    Subdivision (7)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(3), allocating $1 million, rather than $1,348,500, to DPI to improve internet connectivity for students by installing extended reach mobile wifi gateway router devices in school buses (was, installing internet access points in school buses).

    Subdivision (8) 

    Amends previous section IVC.3(4), allocating $11 million, rather than $21.2 million, to DPI to improve internet connective for students by providing community and mobile internet access points. Adds a new provision restricting use of the funds to the purchase of devices, and not for subscription services.

    Subdivision (9)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(5), allocating $30 million, rather than $35 million, to DPI to purchase computers or other electronic devices for use by elementary and secondary students as previously specified.

    Subdivision (10)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(6), allocating $5 million, rather than $7.42 million, to DPI to purchase computers or other electronic devices for use by elementary and secondary school personnel as previously specified.

    Subdivision (11)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(8), allocating $4.5 million, rather than $5.55 million to DPI to establish a statewide shared cybersecurity  infrastructure and district monitoring and support. Adds a new requirement for DPI to evaluate the described infrastructure and services and report to the specified NCGA committees by October 1, 2020.

    Subdivision (12)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(9), allocating $10 million, rather than $35 million, to DPI for contracted services for school health personnel, provided no later than December 30, 2020, consistent with the Instructional Support Allotment (previously, did not specify the school health personnel would be for contracted services within a specified period).

    Subdivision (13)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(10), concerning the $70 million allocation to DPI for supplemental summer learning programs. Modifies the parameters for the minimally $35 million that must be used for reading interventions for students in grades two and three during the 2019-20 school year, to require up to 25% of the funds to be used to provide supplemental literacy support for students in grades three and four during the 2020-21 school year who were not on track to meet 2020-21 year-end expectations, as identified by their 2020-21 school year reading teachers; requires these funds to be used prior to December 30, 2020 (previously, required the funds required for the reading interventions for 2019-20 second and third grade students to be used by August 17, 2020, with unexpended funds to be used for supplemental literacy support for those described 2020-21 third and fourth grade students). Eliminates the deadline by which any unexpended funds for the described purposes must be used for reading interventions for the described 2019-20 kindergarten, grade one, and grade four students, and math interventions for 2019-20 grades K-4 students.

    Adds that DPI can provide necessary feedback on summer learning programs. Requires each public school unit to begin its summer learning program consistent with its plan submitted to DPI and not delay the start of its summer learning program pending feedback from DPI. Specifies that summer learning programs are not to be included in 2019-21 school year instructional time. Clarifies that parents or guardians have the final decision regarding qualified student attendance at summer learning programs. Maintains State Board reporting requirements as previously specified.

    Subdivision (14)

    Identical to previous section IVC.3(11).

    Subdivision (15)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(12), allocating $3 million, rather than $5 million, to DPI to provide nondigital remote instruction resources for students with limited connectivity.

    Subdivision (16)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(13), allocating $15 million, rather than $17.9 million, to DPI for Extended School Services and future services for qualified exceptional children. Specifies that DPI must hold the allocation in reserve and award grants, at DPI's discretion, to provide public school units that apply for funds to support extraordinary costs associated with provided such services.

    Subdivision (17)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(14), allocating $660,029, rather than $621,000, to DPI for the School of the Blind and Schools of the Deaf, for previously specified purposes.

    Subdivision (18)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(15), allocating $5 million, rather than $6 million, to DPI for the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years.

    Subdivision (19)

    Identical to previous section IVC.3(16).

    Subdivision (20)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(17), allocating $44.4 million, rather than $48,690,529, to the UNC Board of Governors (UNC BOG) for previously specified puroses.

    Subdivision (21)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(18), allocating $20 million, rather than $30 million, to the UNC BOG to be allocated to the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) for private secondary institutions. No longer provides for the funds to be used students and families impacted by COVID-19. No longer includes restrictions concerning limiting use to actions taken to respond to COVID-19.

    Subdivision (22)

    Adds a new provision (identical to section 3.3(13a), S704, 3rd edition). Allocates $15 million to OSBM to allocate to Duke University Human Vaccine Institute to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

    Subdivision (23)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(19), allocating $29 million, rather than $110 million, to UNC Chapel Hill to allocate to the NC Policy Collaboratory (Collaboratory) (previously, allocated the $110 million to ISBM to establish the COVID-19 Response Research Fund, with allocations to the Collaboratory, with specified amounts allocated to specified Schools, and the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine). Maintains the required uses of the funds with clarifying changes and makes conforming changes concerning the Collaboratory's facilitation of best practices and strategies among various entities, and the assembly of an advisory panel. Makes conforming changes to the September 1, 2020, reporting requirement, now applicable to the Collaboratory only. No longer includes in the reporting requirement identification of the source and amount of all other funds received for the purposes of the subdivision. 

    Subdivision (24)

    Adds a new provision. Allocates $15 million to the Brody School of Medicine at ECU for identical purposes as those required of the allocation to the Collaboratory in subdivision (23). Establishes an identical reporting requirement as that required of the Collaboratory under subdivision (23).

    Subdivision (25)

    Adds a new provision. Allocates $6 million to OSBM to allocate to the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine for community- and rural-focused primary care workforce response to COVID-19, as specified. Establishes a reporting requirement, requiring the School to report to the specified NCGA committee by September 1, 2020.

    Subdivision (26)

    Adds a new provision (identical to section 3.3.(13), S704, 3rd edition). Allocates $20 million to OSBM to allocate to Wake Forest University Health Services to be used to expand its COVID-19 study to include syndromic surveillance and representative sample antibody testing.

    Subdivision (27)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(20), allocating $20 million, rather than $25 million, to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), for local health departments, rural health providers, the State Laboratory of Public Health, and behavioral health and crises services. Specifies that these supporting funds are flexible funds.

    Subdivision (28)

    Substantively identical to previous section IVC.3(25)a, allocating $6 million to DHHS to be allocated equally among the six food banks. Adds that food banks are encouraged to use the funds to purchase food from NC-based farmers and vendors.

    Subdivision (29)

    Adds a new provision (identical to section 3.3(5), SB704, 3rd edition). Allocates $290,000 to DHHS, Division of Social Services (DSS), to provide funds for the LINKS program.

    Subdivision (30)

    Identical to previous section IVC.3(27).

    Subdivision (31)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(28). Allocates $50 million, rather than $25 million, to DHHS to provide funds for rural and underserved communities especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Makes technical and clarifying changes. No longer includes the provision permitting funds to be used to fund items not addressed by federal relief funds or as needed to address health care needs until federal funds are received for such purposes.

    Subdivision (32)

    Adds a new section (similar to section 3.3(7), S704, 3rd edition). Allocated $5 million to OSBM to be allocated to the NC Association of Free and Charitable Clinics to be sued for distribution to its member clinics to cover the cost of eligible health services provided during the COVID-19 emergency. Requires reporting to the specified NCGA committee by August 1, 2020, and February 1, 2021, as specified.

    Subdivision (33)

    Identical to previous section IVC.3(31).

    Subdivision (34)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(30). Allocates $5 million to OSBM to be allocated to the NC Community Health Centers Association (NCHCA) for distribution to its member health centers to cover the cost of eligible health services provided during the COVID-19 emergency (previously, allocated $1.4 million to DHHS, Division of Central Management and Support, Office of Rural Health, to provide directed grants of equal amounts to member clinics of NCHCA). Requires reporting to the specified NCGA committee by August 1, 2020, and February 1, 2021, as specified.

    Subdivision (35)

    Identical to previous section IVC.3(24), except makes the provisions subject to new section 4.10 of the act that sets forth conditions that must be met by DHHS prior to release of the $25 million allocation set aside for COVID-19 testing, contract testing, and trends tracking and analysis.

    Subdivision (36)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(21), allocating $20 million, rather than $25 million, to DHHS to provide funds to support behavioral health and crisis services.

    Subdivision (37)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(25). Allocates $19 million, rather than $50 million, to DHHS to provide funding for food banks, to support residential settings, for adult and child protective services response, support for homeless and domestic violence shelters and housing security, support for child care response, and costs to expand NCCARE360 (previously, the purposes included funding for adult and child protective services response, support for homeless and domestic violence shelters and housing security, child care response, and technology modifications). Maintains specified allocations of this amount to Reinvestment Partners, as previously specified. 

    Subdivision (38)

    Adds a new provision (identical to section 3.3(16), S704, 3rd edition). Allocates $1.8 million to OSBM to be allocated to the Old North State Medical Society, Inc., for targeting rural areas and African American communities with outreach, health education, and testing.

    Subdivision (39)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(29). Allocates $65 million, rather than $75 million, to OSBM to be allocated to the NC Healthcare Foundation (NCHF) to award grants to hospitals designated by the CMS as critical access hospitals or non-critical access rural hospitals (was, to provide a directed grant to NCHF to funds award grants to rural hospitals). Directs that grants be awarded of at least $350,000 for each eligible critical access hospital and of at least $250,000 for each eligible non-critical access rural hospital. Requires that any remaining funds be used to increase the grant amounts based on a pro rata share of the 2018 hospital operating costs for these hospitals. Establishes preconditions for receipt of funds. Requires submission of a written report to the specified NCGA committees by December 1, 2020, concerning expenditure of funds and amounts received from COVID-19 Recovery Legislation. Adds that NCHF must also report to the specified NCGA committees by December 1, 2020, concerning use of funds appropriated, along with recommendations on how grant recipients can prepare for post-COVID-19 sustainability. Makes further conforming and technical changes.

    Subdivision (40)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(32). Allocates $15 million, rather than $25 million, to OSBM to establish the COVID-19 Teaching Hospitals Relief Fund. Identifies the five teaching hospitals in the State, classified by CMS. Adds a directive to require OSBM to award $3 million grants to each eligible teaching hospital (previously, based on the amount of charitable care provided in NC and the amount of lost revenue sustained in NC as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic). Makes further clarifying changes. Maintains use restrictions and conditional provisions.

    Subdivision (41)

    Amends previous section IVC.3(33). Allocates $15 million, rather than $25 million, to OSBM to establish the COVID-19 General Hospitals Relief Fund to allocate as grants to hospital located in the State that are not eligible for grants under subdivisions (39) or (40) (previously, for directed grants for those not classified as rural or teaching hospitals by CMS). Requires the grants to be awarded based on a pro rata share of the 2018 hospital operating costs (previously, based on the amount of charitable care provided in NC and the amount of lost revenue sustained in NC as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic). Makes further clarifying changes. Maintains use restrictions and conditional provisions.

    Subdivision (42)

    Identical to previous section IVC.3(26).

    Subdivision (43)

    Adds a new provision (similar to previous section IVC.3(37)a.) Allocates $15 million to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for animal depopulation and disposal activities (section IVC.3(37)a. permitted up to $10 million of the funds appropriated to OSBM for the continuity of government needs to be allocated to DACS for this purpose).

    Subdivision (44)

    Adds a new provision (identical to section 3.3(14), SB704, 3rd edition). Allocates $5 million to the Department of Commerce  to contract with a nonprofit corporation for marketing COVID-19 concepts, strategies, and materials, as specified.

    Subdivision (45)

    Adds a new provision (similar to previous section 1C.1(a)). Allocates $125 million to OSBM for Golden LEAF to provide loans pursuant to the parameters set forth in new section 4.2 of the act (previously, appropriated $75 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to OSBM to provide Golden Leaf with funds to provide the grants as described).

    Subdivision (46)

    Adds a new provision (identical to section 3.3(21), S704, 3rd edition). Allocates $9 million to the Department of Information Technology to use for the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Fund for supplementary project funding for all qualifying GREAT program applicants whose applications are received on or before April 1, 2020, and meet statutory criteria, with application resubmission permitted as specified. 

    Deletes allocations set forth in the following previous provisions: section IVC.3(2) (to DPI to work with the Friday Institute for Education Innovation at NCSU); section IVC.3(7) (to DPI to purchase pre-packaged digital curricula); section IVC.3(22) (to DHHS, Division of Health Benefits for additional Medicaid costs); and section IVC.3(23) (to DHHS and DPS, Division of Emergency Management for personal protective equipment and other supplies and equipment; now partially covered in new subdivision (1)).

    Part IV. Additional Allocations, Appropriations, and Other Revisions

    Section 4.1 Appropriation of COVID-19 Federal Grant Funds and Receipts

    Substantively identical to previous Part IV, Appropriations, Part IV-G, Additional Allocations and Appropriations. Makes technical changes to conform to the new organization of the act.

    Section 4.2 Appropriation for Small Business Loan Assistance

    Amends previous section IC.1. Makes conforming changes to reference the funds allocated in new section 3.3(45). Adds a new statement of legislative intent for an equitable portion of funds allocated to be used for the benefit of historically underutilized businesses. Adds to the parameters of the small business loan assistance program to require Golden LEAF to work with the NC Small Business Center Network, the Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses within the Department of Administration, the NC Small Business and Technology Development Center, the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development, Inc., and other similar entities to ensure all qualifying businesses are aware of the program. Adds a new provision authorizing Golden LEAF to use up to $2 million to provide grants for the purpose of providing technical assistance to businesses working to apply for a loan from the program or for other federal assistance programs. 

    Makes changes to the definitions set forth applicable to the section. Defines compensation by Internal Revenue Code cross-reference, rather than state law. Makes conforming changes to the definition of net loan funds, and to eliminate the defined term Coronavirus Relief Fund.

    Changes the matching requirements to now require Golden LEAF to provide matching funds from other non-State funds at $15 of non-State funds for every $125 of State funds allocated.

    Section 4.3 Establishment of Temporary Pandemic Recovery Office

    Identical to previous section IVE.1.

    Section 4.4 Release of Certain Grant Funds

    Adds a new provision (identical to section 6.10, S704, 3rd edition). Directs OSBM to release the $700,000 allocation authorized in Section 26.2(c)(3) of SL 2017-57, which provides for the amount to be allocated to the NC Symphony upon certain non-State fund fundraising requirements having been met.

    Section 4.5 Provide Medicaid Coverage for COVID-19 Testing to Uninsured Individuals in NC During the Nationwide Public Health Emergency

    Amends previous section IVD.2, which authorizes DHHS, Division of Health Benefits to provide Medicaid coverage described in federal law that covers COVID-19 testing during a declared nationwide public health emergency for COVID-19, to specify that the federal medical assistance percentage is 100% for such coverage.

    Section 4.6 Medicaid Rate Increases

    Amends previous section IVD.1 to set the rate increase expiration on the earlier of (1) the date the declared nationwide public health emergency as a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus expires; (2) the date of Executive Order No. 116 expires or is rescinded; or (3) March 31, 2021 (previously, provided for the rate increase through the duration of the declared nationwide public health emergency as a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus).

    Section 4.7 Implement Temporary Provider Enrollment Changes Authorized Under the Medicaid 1135 Waiver

    Identical to previous section IVD.4.

    Section 4.8 Disabled Adult Child Passalong Eligibility/Medicaid

    Identical to previous section IIIE.6.

    Section 4.9 Use of FY 2019-20 Child Care and Development Fund Block Grant Increased Availability to Address Immediate Child Care Needs

    Adds a new section (identical to section 6.11, S704, 3rd edition). Amends Section 1.1 of SL 2019-192 to increase the schedule of appropriations from federal block grant funds made for the 2019-20 fiscal year for child care and development, from $347,525,572 to $395,525,572.

    Section 4.10 Funds for Testing, Contact Tracing, and Trends Tracking and Analysis

    Adds a new section (substantively similar to section 6.26, S704, 3rd edition). Prohibits OSBM from releasing the $25 million allocated to DHHS in section 3.3(35) until DHHS fulfills five detailed requirements, including reporting of all diagnostic service results, posting contractor testing on its website, collection and reporting of recovery rates on its website, reporting of COVID-19-related hospital discharges and underlying health conditions, and provision of comprehensive COVID-19 deaths. Requires DHHS and any public or private entity receiving the allocated funds to report on the use of funds to the specified NCGA committees within six months after receipt of funds.

    Section 4.11 Funds for Overdose Medications

    No longer includes the provisions of previous section IVD.3, concerning temporary Medicaid coverage for the prevention, testing, and treatment of COVID-19.

    Identical to previous section IVF.1.

    Part V.

    Section 5.1 Effect of Headings

    Provides that the act's headings are for reference only.

    Section 5.2 Severability

    Includes the identical severability clause of previous Part VI.

    Section 5.3 Effective Date

    Includes the identical effective date provision of previous Part VII. Now provides that the entire act is repealed if SB704 (COVID-19 Recovery Act) is vetoed. Reenacts the entire act if a veto to SB704 is overridden.


  • Summary date: Apr 30 2020 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition. Amends the act's short title.

    Part I.

    Incorporates all content of the 1st edition of House Bill 1039 (An Act to Provide Aid to North Carolinians in Response to the Coronavirus Crisis by Increasing Access to Unemployment Benefits, Providing Employers a Suta Tax Credit, Waiving the Accrual of Interest on Certain Tax Payments, and Extending Certain Tax-Related Deadlines, as Recommended by the Economic Support Working Group of the House Select Committee on COVID-19). The summary of the bill can be found here: https://lrs.sog.unc.edu/node/487014  

    Incorporates all content of the 2nd edition of House Bill 1034 (An Act to Provide Funds for Small Business Loan Assistance). Summaries of the bill can be found here: https://lrs.sog.unc.edu/bill/small-business-emergency-loans

    Part II.

    Incorporates the content of the 1st edition of House Bill 1035 (An Act to Provide Relief to Elementary and Secondary School Students, Postsecondary School Students, School Personnel, and Educational Entities of the State to Accommodate Extraordinary Circumstances Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), as Recommended by the Education Working Group of the House Select Committee on COVID-19. The summary of the bill can be found here: https://lrs.sog.unc.edu/bill/education-omnibuscovid-19), with the following changes.

    Advanced Courses in Mathematics

    Deletes language providing that the provisions of GS 115C-81.36(a1) and (b) do not apply for the 2020-21 school year. Specifies that initial math placement for all students for the 2020-21 school year must be made consistent with local policies, in consultation with a student’s 2019-20 school year math teacher (previously, permitted placement consistent with local policies). Adds that students, or their parents on their behalf, not initially placed in advanced courses or advanced learning opportunities in math can request testing to determine math placement for the 2020-21 school year. Provides for placement for highest level scoring on the math end-of-grades or end-of course tests pursuant to specified state law. Makes organizational changes.

    School Calendar for the 2019-20 School Year

    Makes technical and conforming changes to the section and subsection headings.

    Eliminates the provisions stating the legislative intent to provide for supplemental jump start instruction in August of 2020, and permitting public school units to open as early as August 17, 2020.

    School Calendar for the 2020-21 School Year

    Adds the following new provisions. Directs the governing body of each public school unit to develop a Remote Instruction Plan (Plan) for the 2020-21 school year and submit its Plan to the State Board of Education (State Board) by July 20, 2020. Details 13 specifications Plans must address, including (1) training for teachers and staff, (2) surveying student and teacher home connectivity and providing for remote instruction appropriate for those with limited connectivity capability, (3) teaching and practice opportunities for students on accessing and using remote instruction platforms and methods, (4) communicating learning targets to students on each remote instruction day with lesson design to demonstrate learning, (5) tracking and reporting attendance on remote instruction days, (6) providing online and offline contact options for student-teacher or staff communication, and (7) providing technology support for students.

    Provides that the calendar requirements of GS 115C-84.2 apply to the 2020-21 school calendar for local school administrative units. Establishes that the provisions of the act supersede any school calendar adopted by a public school unit prior to the act’s enactment. Sets forth parameters applicable to the 2020-21 school year for public school units as follows. Mandates that each public school unit adopt a calendar that includes 190 days of instruction with 185 days or 1,025 hours of instruction that includes five remote instruction days pursuant to the Plan, and five individually separate and distinct full instructional days. Requires adoption of a school calendar that includes an opening date for students of August 17, 2020, a closing date for students no later than June 11, 2021, and no remote instruction days prior to August 24, 2020. Allows for remote instruction days to be scheduled for use as teacher workdays. Provides for waiver of the opening date requirement for good cause so long as the opening date is not before August 17, 2020, and allows use of an additional five remote instruction days as make-up days for closure due to inclement weather or other emergency situations. Allows for additional remote instruction days, provided in accordance with the Plan, to satisfy instructional time requirements if a state of emergency or disaster is declared under GS Chapter 166A ordering school closure for more than five days.

    Requires the State Board to report to the specified NCGA committee by September 15, 2020, on the implementation of Remote Instruction Plans. Requires the report to include copies of each Plan submitted and a statewide summary with five specified components and any other data deemed by the State Board to be useful to the committee in evaluating the delivery of statewide remote instruction.

    School Improvement Plans

    Adds a new section. Extends the validity of school improvement plans set to expire at the end of the 2019-20 school year until December 31, 2020, to allow additional time for consideration and adoption of a new plan; specifies that the replacement plan for these extended plans expire in 18 months, rather than two years.

    Use of Regional Council of Governments in Administration of FEMA Public Assistance and Individual Assistance Funds

    Authorizes the Department of Emergency management to use the NC Regional Councils of Government in administering FEMA public assistance and individual assistance funds. Requires compliance with Article 19 of GS Chapter 153A and Article 160A of GS Chapter 160A. Allows for the provision of assistance with training, grant applications, and other requested services by qualifying local governments and allows a regional council to be designated by a local government to administer any FEMA public assistance funds on its behalf.

    North Carolina Scholarship for Children of Wartime Veterans

    Eliminates the proposed provisions regarding a waiver from the limitation on the period of time to receive a scholarship under the Children of Wartime Veterans Scholarship program.

    Part III.

    Incorporates the content of the 2nd edition of House Bill 1037 (An Act Expanding the State’s Capacity to Take Public Health and Safety Measures to address the COVID-19 Emergency, as Recommended by the Health Care Working Group of the House Select Committee on COVID-19, summaries of the bill can be found here: https://lrs.sog.unc.edu/bill/covid-19-health-care-working-group-policy-rec), with the following changes.

    Affirmations of Actions Taken in Response to COVID-19

    Removes the statement that the NCGA supports the actions taken by the Governor pursuant to Executive Order No. 116 and Executive Order No. 130, and the actions taken by the Department of Health and Human Services in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

    Prescription Identification Requirements

    Instead of requiring pharmacists to review a patient’s information in the controlled substances reporting system for the preceding 12 months before dispensing a prescription for a Schedule II controlled substance, now states that nothing in the provision is to be construed to relieve a pharmacist of the obligation to review information in the controlled substances reporting system in accordance with GS 90-133.74D. Removes the requirement for a courier, before delivering a mail-order prescription, to confirm the identity of the recipient through the visual inspection of a government issued photo identification.

    Authorization for Pharmacists to Administer COVID-19 Tests

    Removes the changes to GS 90-85.3A that would have allowed pharmacists to administer diagnostic tests and antibody tests for coronavirus disease 2019.

    Part IV.

    Incorporates all content of the 2nd edition of House Bill 1038 (An Act Making Omnibus Appropriations of Federal Funds for COVID-19 Response and Relief Efforts in North Carolina, as Recommended by the House Select Committee on COVID-19), summaries of the bill can be found here: https://lrs.sog.unc.edu/bill/omnimbus-covid-19-response-funds-new, with the following change.

    Summer Learning Plan Date Submission

    Adds a new section. Regarding the $70 million required to be allocated to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for local school administrative units, charter schools and the Innovative School District (ISD) to provide supplemental summer learning programs for students negatively affected by the impacts of COVID-19, requires local units and the ISD to submit their summer learning program plans to DPI by June 22, 2020, rather than May 31, 2020.

    Part V.

    Rule 5 Service Declaration of Emergency

    Eliminates the previously proposed provisions amending Rule 5, Service and filing of pleadings and other papers, in GS Chapter 1A-1.

    Disbursement of Funds Prior to Recordation of Deed in Certain Circumstances

    Amends proposed GS 45A-4.1 concerning the disbursement of closing funds during certain declarations of emergency. Removes the requirement for all parties to agree in writing to the requirements of GS 45A-4 that closing funds be disbursed only upon collected funds.

    Clarify Electronic Signatures for Search Warrants and Certain Court Orders

    Permits use of electronic signature for signatures required for search warrants or any judicial order following a court hearing conducted by remote audio or visual transmission in a civil or criminal case. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Authorizes the Chairman of the ABC Commission to Allow Certain Sales during the Coronavirus Emergency.

    Authorizes the Chairman of the ABC Commission (Chairman) to allow mixed beverage permittees to engage in retail sales for consumption off the premises, including delivery by the permittee, an employee of the permittee, or independent contractor. Makes coordinating authorizations concerning delivery service permittees. Allows the Chairman to set terms and conditions for the sales and deliveries, but requires that products sold or delivered under the provision to be (1) packaged in a container with a secure lid or cap and in a manner designed to prevent consumption without removal, (2) sold only with food, and (3) limited to two servings per meal or food item ordered.

    Expires on the date that Executive Order 116, declaring a state of emergency to coordinate COVID-19 response, expires or is rescinded.

    Extend Time Period to Claim Lottery Prizes

    Allows a lottery prize winner to submit a delayed claim that is expiring or awarded between March 10, 2020, and August 1, 2020. Requires the claim to be submitted to the Lottery Commission in writing no more than 90 days after the date the online game prize was announced or the instant game has closed.

    New Attorneys’ Oath

    Postpones the expiration of the provisions allowing for remote administration of the required oath of new attorneys from August 1, 2020, to December 1, 2020.

    (1) Allows the Department of Environmental Quality to Establish Emergency Measures and Procedures Applicable to Solid Waste Management; (2) Expand Local Government Authority to Request Waivers from the Department with Respect to Certain Items Banned from Landfills; and (3) To Allow Private Companies Providing Collection Services For Yard Trash to Request a Waiver from the Department to Allow Disposal of Yard Trash Collected in a Landfill in Consideration of Impacts to Public Health, During the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

    Adds the defined term Coronavirus emergency and defines the term to mean the period from March 10, 2020, through August 1, 2020. Authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) or an authorized representative to develop and implement any emergency measures and procedures necessary for the proper management of solid waste generated during the Coronavirus emergency, upon request of a public or private landfill operator or the Secretary’s own initiative. Requires written notice of emergency measures and procedures to be provided to the news media, waste organizations, governmental organizations and other interested or affected parties. Provides examples of emergency procedures and measures. Requires State agencies and political subdivisions to cooperate with the implementation of such procedures and measures. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Adds a new section to allow a county or city, or a private company that is providing collection services for yard trash, to petition DEQ for a waiver from the prohibition or disposal of yard trash in a landfill during the Coronavirus emergency, defined as the same period as above, based on a showing that prohibiting the disposal would constitute an economic hardship or a real or potential health risk. Details specific parameters for a private company’s petition. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Expand Who May Be Appointed Medical Examiner

    Deletes the proposed changes to GS 130A-383 concerning unclaimed body disposal.

    Charitable Solicitations Application Review

    Deletes the proposed changes to GS 131F-5 concerning licensure of charitable organizations.

    Extend Validity of Probationary Certificates Issued by the North Carolina Code Officials Qualifications Board

    Further extends the validity of any probationary certificates issued to Code-enforcement officials to provide for validity until March 12, 2021, of certificates set to expire between March 10, 2020, and March 10, 2021 (was, until August 1, 2020, for certificates set to expire between March 10, 2020, and July 31, 2020).

    Clarify Available for Public Inspection/Local Government Budget Process

    Adds a new section to amend GS 159G-12 to no longer specifically require local government budget officers to submit copies of the budget submitted to the governing board to the board’s clerk in the clerk’s office, or for the copy to be available for public inspection in the clerk’s office. However, maintains the requirement for submission of a copy of the budget. Adds a new provision allowing for the clerk to post a copy of the budget on the local government’s website and requires providing copies pursuant to state public records law.

    Reinstate Special Obligation Bonds

    Further amends GS 153A-427 to make more conforming and clarifying changes to the reinstatement of special obligation bonds in GS Chapter 159.

    Floodplain Maps by Incorporation into Local Ordinances

    Adds a new section to allow local land use development ordinances to reference or incorporate by reference flood insurance rate maps, watershed boundary maps, or other maps officially adopted or promulgated by State and federal agencies, subject to the specified parameters and requirements. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Extend Ordinance/Rule Reporting

    Deletes the proposed changes to Sections 5 and 6 of SL 2019-198 and instead provides for the identical language of those provisions with the identical proposed changes as uncodified language. Makes conforming changes. Additionally, permits the General Statutes Commission to make an interim report to the 2020 Regular Session of the 2019 General Assembly and the specified NCGA committee on recommendations concerning whether conduct criminalized by local ordinance or in the Administrative Code should have generally applicable criminal penalties in state law, prior to the required final report on or before March 1, 2021.

    Extend the North Carolina Child Well-Being Transformation Council

    Adds a new section. Amends Section 24.1 of SL 2018-5 to postpone the final reporting deadline and termination of the Children’s Council from June 30, 2020, to January 15, 2021.

    Transportation Network Company Signage Requirements

    Adds a new section. Amends Section 2 of SL 2019-194 to postpone the effective date of the signage requirements of GS 20-280.5(e) and (f), as enacted in the act, from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2021.

    Extend the Joint Legislative Study Committee on Small Business Retirement Options

    Adds a new section. Amends SL 2019-205, which establishes the Joint Legislative Study Committee on Small Business Retirement Options (Committee). Currently, the Committee is required to report to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Fiscal Research Division by March 31, 2020, by which time the Committee is terminated. Amends the provisions to require the Committee to report interim findings by March 31, 2020, and to report its final findings and recommendations by December 1, 2020. Requires the Committee to terminate upon submission of the final report or December 1, 2020, whichever occurs first. Effective retroactively to March 31, 2020.

    Authorize State Agencies to Exercise Regulatory Flexibility During the Coronavirus Emergency in Order to Protect the Economic Well-Being of the Citizens and Businesses of the State

    Adds a new section. Allows state agencies, as defined, to (1) delay collection of or modify collection of any fees, fines, or late payments accessed by the agency, (2) delay the renewal dates of permits, licenses, and similar certifications, registrations, and authorizations issued by the agency, and (3) delay or modify any educational or examination requirements implemented by the agency. Requires the state agency to determine that for the action to be in the public interest due to the impacts of the Coronavirus, as defined by federal statutory cross-reference. Defines state agency to specifically exclude the Division of Employment Security of the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the State Board of Education, the Department of Public Instruction, UNC, the State Board of Community Colleges, and the State Board of Elections. Requires agencies to report to the specified NCGA committees and commission and the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) by October 1, 2020, on its exercise of this regulatory flexibility. Requires agencies to exercise the authority granted to the maximum extent possible to protect the economic well-being of the citizens and businesses of the State and continuing to protect public health, safety, and welfare.

    Authorizes agencies to adopt emergency rules for implementation, which sunset on August 1, 2020. Prohibits the adoption of temporary rules pursuant to these provisions.

    Effective retroactively to March 10, 2020. Expires August 1, 2020, except for the reporting requirement.

    Authorize Extension of Training and Certification of Law Enforcement Officers by Forensic Tests for Alcohol Branch

    Adds a new section. Authorizes the Forensic Tests for Alcohol Branch (Branch) of DHHS to delay or modify any educational or exam requirements for recertification of law enforcement officers. Allows the Branch to extend issued certifications if educational and exam requirements are delayed. Effective March 10, 2020, and expires January 1, 2021.

    Extend Certain Local Government Approvals Affecting the Development of Real Property within the State

    Adds a new section. Extends the expiration date and associated vested right of any development approval that is current and valid during the period beginning March 10, 2020, and ending April 28, 2020, for five months. Defines development approval as any of the following land development approval issued by a local government: approval of an erosion and sedimentation control plan; any building permit; approval by a county or city of sketch plans, preliminary plats, subdivision plats, a site specific development plan or phased development plan, a development permit, a development agreement, or a building permit; or any certificate of appropriateness issued by a preservation commission. Defines the term development.

    Details construction and implementation of the provisions. Details responsibilities of the holder of any development approval extended by the provisions, including maintaining all performance guarantees imposed as conditional approval.

    Provides for possible termination of the extension for failure to comply with the provisions. Provides for notice and appeal of termination of approval.

    Expires September 28, 2020.

    DOT Emergency Reserve/Clarifications/Modifications

    Adds a new section. Amends GS 136-44.2E, as enacted by SL 2019-251, which creates the Transportation Emergency Reserve (Emergency Reserve). Changes the funding of the Reserve to now require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to annually transfer $125 million from Highway Fund appropriations (rather than the Highway Fund) to the Emergency Reserve. Further modifies the provisions to appropriate the transferred funds for expenses related to an emergency and for unreimbursed expenditures arising from the emergency (previously, emergency expenses only). Expands DOT’s access to the Emergency Reserve funds to include when the US Secretary of Transportation authorizes the expenditure of emergency relief funds pursuant to specified federal law and when the Governor declares a disaster pursuant to GS 166A-19.21, in addition to the existing condition of a Presidential disaster declaration.

    Amends SL 2019-251, Section 1.3, to allow DOT to use the $64 million the State Controller is required to transfer to the Emergency Reserve within 30 days of the effective date of SL 2019-251 for any emergency occurring after December 31, 2015, that qualifies under GS 136-44.2E.

    Directs DOT not to transfer funds to the Emergency Reserve for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

    Amends SL 2019-251, Section 1.7, to modify the required allocations of the $36 million appropriated from the General Fund to DOT for the 2019-20 fiscal year in the act to require $30 million to be used for current and future unreimbursed expenditures (was, for current and future activities).

    NCDOT Cash Floor

    Exempts from the provisions, which prohibits further contract commitments by DOT if the required $125 million cash floor is not maintained, contracts entered into in response to an emergency or disaster declaration and future transportation project contract commitments that are funded by federal bonds or grants, or State bonds. Defines emergency and disaster declaration by statutory cross-reference.

    Part VI.

    Includes a severability clause.

    Part VII.

    Effective when the act becomes law, unless otherwise indicated.

    Makes additional organizational and technical changes.


  • Summary date: Apr 29 2020 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Section 21

    Specifies that the proposed one-month separation requirement for retirement to become effective for retirees of the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) for individuals that retired on or after October 1, 2019, but before April 1, 2020, applies only if the position to which the individual returns is needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Requires the employing agency to certify this need to the Retirement Systems Division (RSD) of the Department of State Treasurer.

    Limits the scope of the characterization of earnings received by TSERS and Local Government Employees Retirement System (LGERS) beneficiaries between March 10, 2020, and August 1, 2020, to apply only to individuals retiring prior to April 1, 2020, and returning to positions needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as certified to RSD by the employing agency.

    Similarly, limits the scope of the impact of any earnings received by or paid to a law enforcement officer or retired law enforcement officer for separation allowances under Article 12D of GS Chapter 143 for any work performed between March 10, 2020, and August 1, 2020, to apply only to individuals who return to positions needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as certified to RSD by the employing unit.


  • Summary date: Apr 28 2020 - More information

    Section 1

    Amends Rule 5, GS 1A-1 to allow service upon a party’s attorney of record by email, requiring the email to be sent by 5:00 pm on a regular business day; if it is sent after that time, it will be deemed to have been sent on the next business day. Similarly allows service upon a party by email, if the party has consented to email service in the case and a copy of the consent is filed with the court. Requires when email is used to provide service that the certificate of service include the email addresses of each person served by email. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Section 2

    Enacts new GS 10B-25 to allow a notary to perform an emergency video notarization using video conference technology if the requirements of the statute are met (new GS 10B-25 does not apply to any notarization under Article 20 of GS Chapter 163, addressing absentee ballots). Specifies that a notary not satisfied that the principal’s identify has been proven by satisfactory evidence is not required to complete an emergency video notarization. Provides that an emergency video notarization does not change any originality verification requirements for recording with a Register of Deeds, Clerk of Superior Court, or other government or private office in this State.

    Specifies that video conference technology is electronic communication that: (1) occurs in real time; (2) allows direct interaction between the principal seeking the notary's services and the notary so that each can communicate simultaneously by sight and sound through an electronic device or process; (3) includes audio with sound clear enough that each participant in the notarial act can hear and understand all other participants; (4) has sufficient quality to allow a clear and unobstructed visual observation of each participant’s face and any identification provided by the principal for a sufficient time to allow the notary to determine if it is satisfactory evidence; (5) is not pre-recorded video or audio or both; and (6) may be capable of recording (a) the video conference technology's recording and storage services, (b) an independent video recording device, or (c) electronically-saved screen shots clearly showing each participant's face, identification presented by the principal, and the notarized document.

    Provides that the requirement of personal appearance, appear in person before a notary, physical presence, and presence are satisfied for emergency video notarization purposes if (1) notary is physically present in North Carolina, (2) the principal verifies to the notary that he or she is physically present in the state at the time of the notarization, (3) the notary identifies the county where he or she is located at the time of the notarial act, and (4) the principal and notary use video conference technology that complies with the requirements in this statute.

    Allows a notary with personal knowledge of a principal to rely on the video conference technology to verify the principal’s identity unless the notary requires satisfactory evidence. Requires a notary who does not have personal knowledge of a principal to require satisfactory evidence of the principal’s identity; sets out requirements for documents that are used as satisfactory evidence.

    Sets out the process for signing the document to be notarized. Sets out the procedure for submitting the signed document to the notary and for the notary notarizing the document, with procedures varying according to whether or not an original wet-signed notarization on an original wet-signed document is required.

    Requires that a notary administer an oath or affirmation using video conference technology. Sets out the items that must be included in an acknowledgement or jurat certificate for an emergency video notarization, including a specified statement.

    Requires a notary performing an emergency video notarization to record information about the notarization in a notary journal that is to be retained by the notary for at least 10 years; allows the journal to be maintained electronically. Specifies nine pieces of information that, at a minimum, must be recorded in the journal for each emergency video notarization. Allows a third party involved in an emergency video notarization transaction to require additional information to be included in the journal.

    Requires a notary to maintain the confidentiality of a principal’s documents at all times. Allows for the issuance of interpretive guidance or emergency or temporary rules to assure the integrity of the emergency video notarization measures.

    Sets the statute to expire at 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 2020; however, specifies that all notarial acts made in accordance with the statute and while the statute is in effect remain effective and do not need to be reaffirmed.

    Makes a conforming change to GS 10B-3 by adding and defining the term emergency video notarization. Specifies that emergency video notarization must not include a verification of proof.

    Amends GS 10B-10 to provide that if the North Carolina Secretary of State grants a notary commission after March 9, 2020, and before August 1, 2020, the appointee has 90 days (instead of the usual 45 days) to appear and take the oath of office. Allows the oath to be administered using video conference technology, as specified. Makes conforming changes.

    Section 3

    Enacts new Article 3, Video Witnessing During State of Emergency, in GS Chapter 10B, applicable to the witnessing and signature of all records signed on after the effective date of this act; sets the Article to expire on August 1, 2020. Specifies that no action described in the Article (1) constitutes a notarial act and (2) is governed by Article 1 (Notary Public Act) or Article 2 (Electronic Notary Act).

    Provides that any person who witnesses the signature of a record through videoconference technology is considered to be an "in-person" witness and the record is considered to have been signed by the principal signer "in the presence of" such witness, provided that the video conference technology allows for direct, real-time audio and video interaction between each principal signer and the witness. Considers an attesting witness to a record to have signed the record in the presence of the principal signer, if: (1) the signature of the principal signer is witnessed by the attesting witness in accordance with the requirements the statute; and (2) the attesting witness immediately thereafter signs the record while the video conference technology still allows for direct, real-time audio and video interaction between the principal signer and the attesting witness. Sets out information that must be included in a record witnessed under the statute. Allows any record witnessed under this Article to be signed in counterpart.

    Section 4

    Amends GS 14-12.11 by adding to the instances in which a person may wear a mask without violating the specified prohibitions on masks on certain public and private premises to include wearing a mask for the purpose of ensuring the physical health or safety of the wearer or others. Requires a person wearing a mask for that purpose to remove the mask during a traffic stop or when approached by a law enforcement officer. Makes technical changes.

    Section 5

    Allows the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to extend for up to six months the validity of any license, permit, registration, or other credential issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) under GS Chapter 20 that expires during the Coronavirus emergency (the period from March 10, 2020, through August 1, 2020). Sets any credential so extended to expire on the date designated by the DMV up to six months from the date it otherwise expired. Requires DMV to waive any fines, fees, or penalties associated with failing to renew a license, permit, registration, or other credential during the period of time the credential is valid by extension. Extends due dates for motor vehicle taxes that are tied to registration expiration to correspond with extended expiration dates designated by DMV. Specifies that nothing in this section waives a vehicle owner's duty to maintain continuous financial responsibility. Provides that a person may not be convicted or found responsible for any offense resulting from failure to renew a license, permit, registration, or other credential issued by the DMV if, when tried for that offense, the person shows that the offense occurred during the period of time the credential is valid by extension. Requires DMV, within 30 days of making any extension, to report to the specified NCGA committee and division on the credentials affected and the duration of the extension. Effective retroactively to March 10, 2020, and applies to expirations occurring on or after that date.

    Section 6

    Amends GS 20-7 to allow DMV to offer remote renewal of identification cards under the same procedures used for remote renewal of a driver's license.

    Section 7

    Amends Section 34.24(a) of SL 2018-5 to require DMV employees and contractors working at the building on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh to begin vacating the property by October 1, 2020 (was, must vacate by October 1, 2020).

    Section 8

    Enacts new GS 32A-16A to waive the requirement that a health care power of attorney be executed in the presence of two qualified witnesses for all instruments executed on or after the effective date of this section and prior to termination of the State of Emergency declared by Governor Cooper in Executive Order No. 116, on March 10, 2020, as may be extended by any subsequent Executive Order, such that an instrument that is signed by the principal, properly acknowledged before a notary public, and otherwise executed in compliance with the provisions of this Article, governing health care powers of attorney, are not invalidated by the principal's failure to execute the health care power of attorney in the presence of two qualified witnesses. Requires health care powers of attorney executed during this time without two qualified witnesses to contain a statement indicating that the instrument was executed in accordance with this statute. Expires at 12:01 a.m. on March 1, 2021, but all instruments made in accordance with the statute and while the statute is in effect remain effective and do not need to be reaffirmed.

    Makes conforming changes to GS 32A-16.

    Enacts GS 90-321A enacting the same waiver of the witness requirement as above, applicable to advance directive for a natural death declarations. Sets this statute to expire at 12:01 am on August 1, 2020.

    Makes conforming changes to 90-321A.

    Section 9

    Amend GS 35A-1109 by adding that if personal service is not possible because the respondent resides in a facility that restricts visitors due to a public health emergency, the respondent may be served by the sheriff leaving copies of the petition and initial notice of hearing at the facility with a person employed by the facility who is apparently in charge of the office or who has apparent authority to receive documents intended for residents. Requires that employee present the copies to the respondent as soon as practicable. Provides that proof of service is by return of service filed with the clerk showing the respondent was personally served or copies were left with the facility. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Section 10

    Enacts new GS 45A-4.1 allowing, upon issuance of a declaration of emergency, in real estate transactions involving one-to-four family residential dwelling or a lot restricted to residential use, a settlement agent to disburse closing funds before recording the deeds, deeds of trust, and any other required loan documents with the register of deeds.

    Sets out the following requirements to be met in order to allow the disbursement of closing fund before recordation: (1) on the date of closing, the office of the register of deeds where the deeds, deeds of trust, and any other required loan documents are to be recorded, is located within the emergency area, closed to the public as a result of the declaration of emergency, and unable to accept documents for recording by any method; (2) the lender's closing instructions authorize disbursement of closing funds prior to recording; (3) all parties agree in writing to all the following: (a) to waive the requirement that the settlement agent not disburse closing funds until the deeds, deeds of trust, and any other required loan documents are recorded in the office of the register of deeds and the requirement closing funds be disbursed only upon collected funds excepted as provided; (b) that they acknowledge that the recordation date may not be known on the date of closing and the date of recordation by the settlement agent is governed by this statute; (c) that they are aware of the risks and implications of proceeding with disbursement of closing funds and, if applicable, transfer of possession of property prior to recordation; (d) that after disbursement of closing funds and prior to recordation no party to the transaction will take any action to impair the quality of the title in law or equity; and (e) any other terms the parties or the closing instructions require as a condition of disbursement of closing funds prior to recording; and (4) the settlement agent complies with all conditions of the closing instructions, procures a commitment of title insurance providing for title insurance that includes indemnity coverage for the gap period, and updates the applicable title from the date of the preliminary title opinion to the time of disbursement using those public records reasonably available to the settlement agent on the date of disbursement.

    Requires in all transactions under this statute in which funds are disbursed prior to recordation, the settlement agent must hold in a fiduciary capacity until the time provided below, all deeds, deeds of trust, and any other required loan documents that are to be recorded.

    Terminates the authority under this statute for the settlement agent to disburse closing proceeds prior to recordation of the deeds, deeds of trust, and any other required loan documents on the earlier of the date the office of the register of deeds reopens for public business or begins to accept documents for electronic recording. Requires within three business days of this time frame, that the settlement agent record all deeds, deeds of trust, and any other required loan documents being held under the statute and immediately notify all parties that the documents have been recorded.

    Section 11

    Amends GS 51-8 to allow a register of deeds, throughout the duration of any declaration of emergency, to issue a license for marriage through remote audio-video communication if the register of deeds can positively identify each applicant.

    Amends GS 51-16 by extending the validity of a marriage license from 60 to 120 days.

    Applies to marriage licenses issued on or after February 1, 2020, and expires August 1, 2020, and makes any marriage license issued on or before that date valid for 120 days.

    Section 12

    Amends GS 74C-3 by including in the term private protective services profession, any person, firm, association, or corporation providing a security guard on a contractual basis for another for a fee or consideration and performing security services related to entry and exit, direction and movement of individuals at entry and exit, security working towers, and perimeter security patrols at State prisons.

    Enacts new GS 148-5.5 to require any licensed security guard and patrol professional who is employed to provide security services related to entry and exit, direction and movement of individuals at entry and exit, security working towers, or perimeter security patrols at a State prison facility, to be trained on State prison policies, including on the use of force, before providing security services at a State prison. Gives security guard and patrol professionals receiving such training the authority to detain and use necessary force to prevent contraband entry or inmate escape.

    Expires August 1, 2020.

    Section 12.5

    Allows, in response to the coronavirus emergency, a justice or judge to administer the required new attorney oath remotely using live video conferencing, so long as the individual taking the oath is personally known to the justice or judge or provides satisfactory evidence of identity. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Section 13

    Provides that the 2020 report by the Local Government Commission to the NCGA on the level of each county’s appropriations for public school capital outlay, is due July 1, 2020.

    Section 13.5

    Provides that funds appropriated for 2019-20 from the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund to the State Public School Fund for drivers education that are unexpended and unencumbered at the end of the 2019-20 fiscal do not revert, but remain available until the end of 2020-21. Effective June 30, 2020.

    Section 14

    Authorizes a city or county’s governing board to establish an expedited process for designating and training personnel, other than law enforcement officers, for custody and transportation of persons as required by involuntary commitment proceedings. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Section 15

    Amends GS 122C-263 by expanding the definition of telemedicine, as used for involuntary commitment exams, to be the use of two-way real-time interactive audio and video where the respondent and commitment examiner can hear and see each other (was, two-way real-time interactive audio and video between places of lesser and greater medical capability or expertise to provide and support health care when distance separates participants who are in different geographical locations; also previously required a referral).

    Amends GS 122C-266, GS 122C-283, and GS 122C-285 to allow exams after commitment to be conducted face-to-face, or through telemedicine. Requires a respondent to be taken for a face-to-face-exam in the physical presence of a physician when a physician is not satisfied to a reasonable medical certainty that the required findings would not be different if the exam was done in person instead of via telemedicine.

    Expires August 1, 2020.

    Section 16

    Amends GS 130A-143 to allow for the release of confidential information and records that identify a person with a disease or reportable condition, when the release is made to a local enforcement official to (1) prevent or lessen a serious or imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public to the extent that disclose is allowed under HIPPA; (2) enforce this Article (Communicable Diseases) or Article 22 (Terrorist Incident Using Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical Agents); or (3) investigate a terrorist incident using nuclear, biological or chemical agents (this is the only of the three instances already in current law). These releases are subject to limitations on further release of the information, as they exist in current law. Also allows the release when the release is made to another tribal health agency for preventing or controlling the spread of a communicable disease or communicable condition. Makes additional clarifying and technical changes.

    Section 16.2

    Allows a licensed soil scientist to prepare signed and sealed soil and site evaluations, specifications, plans, and reports for a site layout, construction, operations, and maintenance of a wastewater system at the owner’s request without obtaining further certification from the NC On-Site Wastewater On-Site Contractors and Inspectors Board. Additionally, allows a licensed soil scientist engaged by the owner of a proposed on-site wastewater system to conduct all necessary inspection, certifications, and approvals, including a final inspection and certifying report. Requires compliance with GS 130A-336.2, which governs improvement permits and authorization for wastewater system construction, and rules adopted thereunder. Requires the owner to notify the local health department if engaging a licensed soil scientist pursuant to the authority of this act. Grants the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), its agents, and local health departments immunity from liability for systems developed, constructed, installed, or approved pursuant to the authority in this act. Requires the licensed soil scientists to maintain an errors and omissions insurance policy by a licensed insurer in an amount commensurate with the risk. Expires August 1, 2020, but allows a licensed soil scientist to complete a proposed system begun before the sunset date.

    Section 16.3

    Allows a county or city to petition the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for a waiver from the prohibition on disposal of yard trash in a landfill if the county or city can show that the prohibition would constitute economic hardship or a real potential public health risk. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Section 17

    Amends GS 130A-382 to allow the Chief Medical Examiner to appoint as county medical examiners retired physicians previously licensed in the State, certified medicolegal death investigators, and pathologists’ assistants.

    Amends GS 130A-383 to require the medical examiner to release the body to the next of kin or other person who will assume responsibility for the final disposition upon collection of investigative information necessary as determined by the medical examiner (was, upon completion of the investigation). Adds that if the body is unclaimed, the Chief Medical Examiner must dispose of the body by cremation. Sets parameters for unclaimed to mean either (1) that no individual has notified the person in possession of the body of the desire to dispose of the body within 10 days after the date of death, or (2) individuals that have expressed interest in arranging for disposition have ceased communication with the person in possession for at least five consecutive days, the person in possession has used reasonable efforts to contact all interested individuals, and at least ten 10 days have passed since the date of death.

    Section 18

    Amends GS 131F-5 to extend the time by which the Secretary of State must notify a charitable organization or sponsor that requirements for a submitted charitable solicitation application have not been satisfied from 10 to 20 days after receipt of the application. Additionally, allows the Department of State to extend the time for any license renewal and the annual filing of updated information until August 1, 2020. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Section 19

    Effective retroactively to January 1, 2020, enacts GS 135-48.39 to authorize the State Treasurer to allow State Health Plan members, employing units, or both, adversely affected by a state of disaster, as defined, to have the option to defer premiums or debt payments that are due during the state of disaster, subject to approval of the State Health Plan’s Board of Trustees. Allows the State Treasurer to order the expiration of this option prior to the end of the state of disaster, but prohibits extension beyond the period of the state of disaster. Sets a 30-day deferral period and specifies that the deferral period can include any state law or contract provision that imposes a time limit on the Plan or a member to perform an act during the time period in which there is a state of disaster. Allows the deferral period to be extended in 30-day increments, subject to Board of Trustees’ approval, but prohibits a deferral period from lasting beyond 90 days from the last day of the state of disaster. Provides for the option to be limited to specific categories of members or employing units. Specifies that the statute does not authorize the non-payment of premiums or debt and requires all payments in arrears to be paid. Failure to pay premiums in arrears results in lapse as of the last day of the month for which premiums were paid in full. Provides that members are responsible for all medical expenses incurred since an effective lapse in coverage. Makes conforming changes to GS 135-48.30, concerning the authority of the State Treasurer.

    Section 20

    Allows for the Director of the Retirement Systems Division (Director) of the Department of State Treasurer, or the Director’s designee, to make interim determinations or certifications regarding member eligibility for disability benefits for members of the following retirement systems: Legislative Retirement System; Retirement System for Counties, Cities, and Towns; Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees; Judicial Retirement System; and the State Disability Income Plan. Sunsets this authority on August 1, 2020. Prohibits the Director from making a determination of ineligibility. Specifies that interim determinations and certifications are valid until final determinations and certifications are made. Requires the respective medical board to review any interim determinations or certifications as soon as practicable and make final determinations and certifications for disability benefits. Allows a subsequent determination by a medical board of ineligibility to apply prospectively only.

    Section 21

    Institutes a one-month, rather than a six-month, separation requirement for retirement to become effective for retirees of the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) for individuals that retired on or after October 1, 2019, but before April 1, 2020. Sets forth further provisions applicable upon the expiration of the temporary changes to TSERS, August 1, 2020, including that for eligible retirees during the identified period, any time worked between March 10, 2020, and the time the changes expire is not considered work for purposes of the separation requirement.

    Adds that any earnings received between March 10, 2020, and August 1, 2020, are not earnings by a TSERS beneficiary law or earnings by a beneficiary of the Local Government Employees Retirement System under state law.

    Provides that any benefits received by or paid to a law enforcement officer or retired law enforcement officer for separation allowances under Article 12D of GS Chapter 143 cannot be impacted by any work performed between March 10, 2020, and August 1, 2020.

    Expires August 1, 2020.

    Section 21

    Extends the validity of any probationary certificates issued to Code-enforcement officials by the NC Code Officials Qualification Board that are set to expire between March 10, 2020, and July 31, 2020, to August 1, 2020.

    Section 22

    Amends GS 150B-21.1 to require an agency that published notice of a public hearing on proposed temporary rules which was subsequently canceled to publish five days’ notice of any rescheduled hearing. Effective retroactively to March 10, 2020.

    Section 23

    Effective retroactively to March 10, 2020, amends GS 150B-23 to authorize an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to extend the time period limiting the filing of a petition for a contested case when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court declares that catastrophic conditions exist or have existed in one or more counties and issues an order to that effect. Requires the ALJ’s extension order to be written and extend the limitation to a date certain that must be no fewer than 10 days after the effective date of the order. Provides that the order is effective for each affected county upon the date set forth in the order or the date the order is signed, if no date is set forth. Requires that the order state its expiration upon the expiration of the Chief Justice’s order.

    Section 24

    Amends GS 159-32, concerning the daily deposit requirement under the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act, to allow the Secretary of the Local Government Commission to set the amount of moneys on hand requiring daily deposits and require deposits on less than a daily basis during an emergency declaration. Requires moneys to be maintained in a secure location and deposited at least weekly.

    Section 25

    Effective retroactively to July 1, 2019, reenacts GS 159I-30, repealed by SL 2019-32 (Reconstitute/Clarify Boards and Commissions), as it existed immediately before its repeal on July 1, 2019. Recodifies GS 159I-30 as GS 159-146 of Article 7A of GS Chapter 159, Special Obligation Bonds and Notes. Grants local governments the authority to borrow money for financing or refinancing its cost of the acquisition or construction of a project and issue obligation bonds and notes subject to the requirements and restrictions set forth in the statute. Specifies that the authority extends to any unit of local government, any combination of units, any joint agency of units, any regional solid waste management authority, and any consolidated city-county. Limits the scope of the act to the following projects: (1) solid waste management projects and capital expenditures to implement such projects (excluding operational and maintenance costs of solid waste management facilities or programs, general planning or feasibility studies, or the purchase of land unless purchased for recycling or a landfill); (2) water supply systems, water conservation projects, water reuse projects, wastewater collection systems, and wastewater treatment works; and (3) any service or facility provided in a municipal service district in a city. Details requirements, restrictions, and powers regarding issuance of special obligation bonds and notes under the statute, including pledging sources of payment, granting a security interest in the project financed and/or the property on which the project is located. Limits maturity to 40 years from the bond date(s), subject to state law amendment. Subjects issuance to Local Government Commission approval and requires sale by the Commission. Details further parameters for special obligation bonds and notes, including payment and interest specifications, proceed restrictions, interim document and replacement bond or note issuance, supremacy of the statute’s provisions, security by trust agreement, remedies for bond or note owners, application of the UCC, investment eligibility, and tax exemption. Makes conforming changes to GS 113A-115.1(h), GS 153A-427(a)(13), GS 159-7(4), GS 159-35(c), GS 159-123(b), GS 159-148, and GS 159-165. Makes technical change to GS 159-148.

    Section 26

    Amends Section 3.2 of SL 2019-11 to postpone the effective date of Part II of the act, which reorganizes, consolidates and makes changes to local planning and development statutes and enacts new GS Chapter 160D, from January 1, 2021, to August 1, 2021.

    Section 27

    Enacts GS 166A-19.24 to authorize any public body to conduct remote meetings upon a gubernatorial or legislative declaration of emergency under GS 166A-19.20 that restricts the number of individuals that can gather in one place in order to protect the public and the public health. Limits the authority to public bodies within the emergency area during the declaration and requires compliance with Article 33 of GS Chapter 143, which governs meetings of public bodies.

    Details nine requirements remote meetings must meet, including (1) proper notice of the remote meeting and notice of the means of public access, (2) identification of members participating by simultaneous communication for roll call, participation in deliberation, and voting, (3) roll call voting for every vote taken, and (4) simultaneous streaming live online with a telephonic option for the public. Defines simultaneous communication as any communication by conference telephone, conference video, or other electronic means. Specifies that a member participating by simultaneous communication is present for quorum purposes and voting as if physically present while that communication is maintained for that member.

    Allows for a public body to conduct public hearings during a remote meeting and take action thereon so long as written comments are allowed to be submitted between publication of any required notice and 24 hours after the public hearing. Allows for a public body to conduct a quasi-judicial proceeding as a remote meeting if (1) the right of an individual to a hearing and decision occurring during an emergency, (2) all persons subject to the proceeding who have standing to participate have been given notice and consent, and (3) all due process rights of the parties affected are protected.

    Clarifies that the statute applies only during emergency declarations and does not supersede any authority for electronic meetings under Article 33C of GS Chapter 143. Makes conforming changes to GS 143-318.10(a), GS 143-318.14A(e), GS 153A-43, GS 160A-74, and GS 160A-75. Amends GS 166A-318.13 to exclude meetings conducted under new GS 166A-19.24 from electronic meetings requirements, except for compliance with subsection (c) prohibiting actions by reference.

    Applies throughout the duration of any emergency declaration issued under GS 166A-19.20 in effect on or after the date the act becomes law. Provides a savings clause for the actions of any public body in an open meeting conducted by simultaneous communication between March 10, 2020, and the date the act becomes law. Specifies that new GS 166A-19.24 does not affect SL 2008-111, which amends GS 143-318.13 to authorize electronic meetings.

    Section 28

    Extends the date by which all State agencies, boards, and commissions that have power to define conduct as a crime in the Administrative Code must create a list of all crimes so defined that are in effect or pending implementation, as well as certain described counties, cities, towns, and metropolitan sewerage districts that have adopted an ordinance subject to criminal punishment must create a list of applicable ordinances, and submit the lists to the specified NCGA committee, as required by SL 2018-69 from November 1, 2019, to March 1, 2021.

    Section 29

    Amends Section 5 of SL 2019-198 to prohibit any county, city, or town ordinance adopted on or after May 1, 2021 (was, January 1, 2020), and before May 1, 2023 (was, January 1, 2022), by a municipality required to report pursuant to SL 2018-69, as amended, from being subject to criminal penalty under GS 14-4 unless the required report is submitted on or before March 1, 2021 (was, November 1, 2019). Further amends SL 2019-198 to require the General Statutes Commission to report the 2021 General Assembly, rather than the 2020 Regular Session of the 2019 General Assembly, and the specified NCGA committee on or before March 1, 2021 (was, May 1, 2020), regarding its study of the reports received pursuant to SL 2018-69, as amended.

    Section 30.5

    Authorizes the chief district judge of a judicial district in which a criminal judgement requiring a defendant to serve periods of confinement or imprisonment in a local confinement facility to modify the order if the chief district court judge finds three requirements are met. Requirements are: (1) the defendant is unable to serve one or more periods of confinement or imprisonment due to the local confinement facility’s restrictions on inmates during the COVID-19 State of Emergency; (2) without modification, the defendant will be in violation of the judgement; and (3) the District Attorney consents to modification. Requires any modification to be as minimal as possible to allow for compliance. Expires August 1, 2020.

    Section 30.6

    Section 4.1

     

    Requires the Department of Transportation to maintain an available cash balance at the end of each month equal to at least $125 million. Provides that if this amount is not maintained, no further transportation project contracts can be entered into until the cash balance has been regained. Expires one year from the date that it becomes effective. 

    Section 31

    Includes a severability clause.

    Section 32

    Provides for a standard effective date provision.


Printer-friendly: Click to view