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.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Adds to the legislative findings concerning the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on small livestock producers and independent meat processors, as well as consumers.
Changes the fund transfer directive to now direct the State Controller to transfer $17.7 million, rather than $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. Maintains availability of the funds until December 30, 2020. Makes organizational changes.
Previously, required all appropriated funds to be used for grants to local meat processors. Now, allocates $15 million of the funds to provide grants and $2.7 million for technology-based marketing initiatives that support the agriculture industry, as specified.
Now more specifically authorizes DACS to provide the following three categories of grants: capacity enhancement grant, workforce development grant, and planning grant. Describes the availability and permitted uses of each grant, with capacity enhancement and workforce development grants provided to eligible meat processing facilities and planning grants available to nonprofits and higher education institutions. Maintains the eligibility requirements for facilities to receive a grant. Now allows for prioritization of projects that will create additional jobs (no longer specifying priority for projects that will create additional jobs at the facility), and requires recipients to match funds at $1 for every $2 in grant funds (previously, authorized DACS to set grant maximums and matching requirements).
Maintains the previously provided reporting requirements. Now requires the February 1, 2021, report to include the types and impacts of technology-based advertising funded by the act.
No longer provides for the repeal of the grant program provisions if an allocation made in this act is disallowed under federal law. However, maintains the requirement for DACS to transfer the disallowed allocation as specified for ultimate transfer back to the Coronavirus Relief Reserve.
Changes the act's titles.
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