AN ACT TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR GRANTS TO SMALL AND INDEPENDENT MEAT PROCESSORS TO ALLEVIATE NEGATIVE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN IMPACTS DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND FOR TECHNOLOGY-BASED MARKETING TO RESPOND TO COVID-19 RELATED CHANGES IN CONSUMER PURCHASES OF FOOD AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL AND CLARIFYING CHANGES TO THE NORTH CAROLINA FARM ACT OF 2019-2020.
States legislative findings concerning the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on small livestock producers and independent meat processors.
Directs the State Controller to transfer $25 million from the Coronavirus Relief Reserve to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (both established by SL 2020-4) for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Appropriates the transferred funds on a nonrecurring basis to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Provides for the funds to remain available until December 30, 2020.
Requires DACS to allocate the appropriated funds by providing grants to eligible meat processing facilities consistent with the identified US Department of Treasury guidance or subsequent congressional act. Requires DACS to develop policies and procedures for the disbursement of grants that includes four specified restrictions and requirements, including that grant eligibility be restricted to meat processing plants that contract with independent livestock producers to process animals owned by the producers, and the USDA contracts with DACS to conduct federal inspection activities authorized by federal law at the plant, or the plant is a State-inspected facility. Also provides for use restrictions, prioritization of projects with job creation, and setting grant maximums and matching requirements.
Directs DACS to report to the specified NCGA committee and division by October 1, 2020, on its distribution of funds, and by February 1, 2021, on the use of funds by recipients.
Provides for repayment of grant funding for fixtures or equipment purchased with the grant funds and disposed of, as defined, during a period of time DACS can specify following their placement in service.
Provides for the repeal of the grant program provisions if an allocation made in this act is disallowed under federal law, and requires DACS to transfer the disallowed allocation as specified for ultimate transfer back to the Coronavirus Relief Reserve.
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