Appropriates $10 million on a nonrecurring basis for 2020-21 from the General Fund to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), to be allocated to the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) for an emergency assistance program for commercial fishermen and for-hire fishing operation license holder suffering an economic loss due to COVID-19.
Sets out the following requirements for the assistance program. Prohibits the grants from exceeding $2,500 to each qualifying person (after deducting administrative costs) and limits persons with more than one qualifying license to a grant for only one of those licenses. Requires DMF to notify qualifying persons that funds are not subject to State income tax. Reverts back to the General Fund any grants that are unclaimed after six months after all grants have been awarded. Allows DEQ to use up to 5% of the funds for the program's administrative costs.
Defines terms as they are used in the act. Defines qualifying license as a standard commercial fishing license, a retired standard commercial fishing license, a shellfish license, or a for-hire license, all of which must have been issued in accordance with the specified statutes. Defines qualifying person, with respect to a person holding a standard commercial fishing license, retired standard commercial fishing license, or a shellfish license, as a person holding one or more qualifying licenses on March 10, 2020, and engaged in an activity allowed by the license between July 1, 2019, and March 10, 2020, as demonstrated by landings reported on a trip ticket; with respect to other qualifying licenses, requires that the person have held the license on March 10, 2020.
Makes a conforming change to GS 105-153.5.
Requires DEQ to report on the implementation of the program by September 1, 2020, and quarterly thereafter to the specified NCGA committee and division. Reporting duties end with the submission of the quarterly report for the quarter in which all funds appropriated by the act have been distributed.
Bill Summaries: H1045 EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN.
Bill H 1045 (2019-2020)Summary date: Apr 28 2020 - View Summary