Bill Summary for H 1038 (2019-2020)

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Summary date: 

Apr 29 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 1038 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Intro. by Lambeth, Carney, Dobson, P. Jones.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute rewrites the provisions of the 1st edition, with a few exceptions as noted, and now provides the following.

Part I.

Titles the act as the “Omnibus COVID-19 Response Act of 2019.”

Sets forth defined terms. Defines coronavirus or COVID-19 by federal cross-reference. Defines COVID-19 Recovery Legislation as: (1) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, PL 116-136; (2) Families First Coronavirus Response Act, PL 116-127; and (3) Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act 2020, PL 116-123. Defines the Coronavirus Relief Fund as funds received by the State during the 2019-20 fiscal year from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund created by the CARES Act.

Sets out NCGA findings and the purpose of the act.

Specifies that the appropriations and allocations made in the act are for maximum amounts necessary to implement the act. Requires State agencies to maximize the use of federal funds made available in the act wherever possible within the allowable uses before using other State funds.

Provides that if an allocation made in the act is disallowed by federal law, then the disallowed allocation is repealed and the amount of the disallowed funds is to be transferred to the new Coronavirus Relief Fund. 

Requires the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) to  work with the recipient State agencies to budget receipts awarded pursuant to COVID-19 Recovery Legislation according to the program needs and within the parameters of the respective granting entities and applicable federal laws and regulations. Prohibits State agencies from using these funds for recurring purposes. Specifies that revenue replacement is not a permissible use of funds received pursuant to the CARES Act. Allow the employment of additional temporary state personnel depending on the nature of the award.

Require OSBM to report to the specified NCGA commission and division by March 1, 2021, on the use of funds allocated under Section 3.3 of this act. Also requires recipient agencies and departments to report to the specified NCGA commission and division by no more than 90 days from the day the grant period ends on the use of funds. Specifies what information is to be included in the reports.

Directs the State Auditor to conduct a preliminary financial audit and a final performance audit on the Coronavirus Relief Fund, established by the act, by March 1, 2021.

Deems departmental receipts appropriated for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years up to the amounts needed for the act’s implementation.

Part II.

Requires the State Controller to establish a Coronavirus Relief Reserve (Reserve) in the General Fund to maintain federal funds received from the Coronavirus Relief Fund created under The CARES Act. Requires the transfer of funds to the Coronavirus Relief Fund established in this act only as needed to meet the appropriations in this act and only upon request of the Director of the Budget. Specifies that funds reserved in the Reserve do not constitute an "appropriation made by law," as used in Section 7(1) of Article V of the North Carolina Constitution.

Establishes the Coronavirus Relief Fund (Fund) to provide relief and assistance from the effects of COVID-19, consistent with the provisions of this act and subsequent legislation addressing the effects of COVID-19. Requires OSBM to administer the Fund. Requires funds allocated from the Fund to be used for necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the COVID-19 outbreak and limits funding eligibility to expenditures incurred from March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020.

Part III

Directs the State Controller to transfer $1,635,567,029 to the Fund from the Reserve for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Appropriates $1,635,567,029 in nonrecurring funds to OSBM for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Specifies that the funds do not revert and remain available until December 30, 2020.

Directs OSBM to allocate the funds in specified amount for specified purposes to the following entities, with specified restrictions, conditions, and reporting requirements:

(1) the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for school nutrition services;

(2) DPI to work with the Friday Institute for Education Innovation at NCSU regarding approaches for student internet connectivity and digital development;

(3) DPI for installing internet access points in school buses;

(4) DPI for providing community and home mobile internet access points;

(5) DPI for elementary or secondary schools to purchase computers and electronic devices for student use;

(6) DPI for elementary or secondary schools to purchase computers and electronic devices for personnel use;

(7) DPI to purchase pre-packaged digital curricula for grades K-12;

(8) DPI for statewide cybersecurity infrastructure and district cybersecurity monitoring and support;

(9) DPI for school health support personnel;

(10) DPI for local school administrative units, charter schools, and the Innovative School District (ISD) for supplemental summer learning programs;

(11) DPI to expand the learning management platform to assist and support public school units’ remote instruction;

(12) DPI to provide nondigital remote instruction to students with limited connectivity;

(13) DPI to provide Extended School Year Services or future services for qualified exceptional students;

(14) DPI for the School of the Blind, School for the Deaf, and School for the Deaf for school nutrition, cleaning and sanitizing, digital and nondigital remote learning resources, compensatory services, and Extended School Year Services;

(15) DPI for the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years for at-risk students, as specified;

(16) the Community Colleges System Office for enhanced online learning capacity, faculty and staff support, Small Business Center counselors, information technology, and facility sanitation;

(17) UNC Board of Governors (BOG) for online coursework expenses, digital learning accelerator, facility sanitation, and student and employee assistance;

(18) UNC BOG for the State Education Assistance Authority for private postsecondary institutions’ online education and student assistance;

(19) OSBM to establish the COVID-19 Response Research Fund for allocations to the NC Policy Collaboratory for the Duke University Human Vaccine Institute, the Gillings School of Global Public Health of UNC-Chapel Hill, the Brody School of Medicine of ECU, and the Wake Forest School of Medicine, and for Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine for COVID-19 response and developments (similar to previous section 9.1);

(20) the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to support response capacity of public health efforts, the State Laboratory of Public Health, local health departments, and rural health providers;

(21) DHHS to support behavioral health and crisis services, with allocations to each LME/MCO and the DHHS, Division of Mental Health, Development Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services;

(22) DHHS, Division of Health Benefits (DHB) for additional costs to the Medicaid program including provider support, COVID-19 testing and treatments, and increased enrollment;

(23) OSBM for DHHS and the Department of Public Safety (DPS), Division of Emergency Management (DEM) to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies and equipment related to emergency protective measures (similar to previous section 4.1);

(24) DHHS to expand public and private initiatives for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and trends tracking and analysis (similar to previous section 5.1);

(25) DHHS to provide funding for protective services and child care, including allocations to the State’s food banks and Reinvestment Partners (similar to previous section 6.1);

(26) DHHS, Division of Social Services (DSS) for foster care assistance (similar to previous section 6.2);

(27) DHHS, DSS for facilities licensed to accept State-County Special Assistance for resident services (similar to previous section 6.3);

(28) DHHS to support rural and underserved communities (similar to previous Section 7.1);

(29) OSBM to provide a directed grant to the NC Healthcare Foundation for grants awards to rural hospitals, as specified (similar to previous section 7.2);

(30) DHHS, Division of Central Management and Support, Office of Rural Health for directed grants to member clinics of the NC Association of Free and Charitable Clinics for health care and prescription medication costs (similar to previous section 7.3);

(31) DHHS to provide a directed grant to NC MedAssist for prescription medication costs for indigent or uninsured individuals (similar to previous section 7.4);

(32) OSBM to establish the COVID-19 Teaching Hospitals Relief Fund for directed grants to CMS classified teaching hospitals for patient care expenses, as specified (similar to previous section 8.1);

(33) OSBM to establish the COVID-19 General Hospitals Relief Fund for directed grants to hospitals not classified as teaching or rural hospitals for patient care expenses, as specified (similar to previous section 8.2);

(34) OSBM for the Department of Transportation (DOT), subject to specified conditions;

(35) OSBM for counties eligible to receive direct funding from the federal CARES Act;

(36) OSBM for State agencies for loss of anticipated receipts; and

(37) OSBM for the continuity of operations across state government, with allocations permitted for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) for animal depopulation and disposal activities, for the establishment of the NC Pandemic Recovery Office, and for the Office of the State Auditor.

Requires OSBM to provide a report to the specified NCGA committee by August 15, 2020, detailing the allocations. Details required content of the report.

Part III-A.

Maintains provisions from former Sections 3.2 through 3.5. Makes technical changes. Removes the appropriation that was in former Section 3.1, because it now appears in Section 3.2(22).

Part III-B.

Directs OSBM to establish a temporary NC Pandemic Recovery Office (Office), charged with oversight and coordination of funds made available under COVID-19 Recovery Legislation. Additionally requires the Office to provide technical assistance and ensure coordination of federal funds received by State agencies and local governments, and ensure property reporting and accounting. Terminates the Office and the authorities granted in the act 12 months after the date the act becomes law.

Part III-C.

Requires the Department of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services (DMH/DD/SAS) to use the $400,000 allocated to it to purchase units of opioid antagonist and distribute these opioid antagonist units for free to charge to opioid treatment programs (as defined) operating in this State.

Requires each opioid treatment program operating in this State to do all of the following within two weeks after receipt of the opioid antagonist: (1) provide a prescription for opioid antagonist for each program participant who is a Medicaid recipient, or has prescription drug coverage for opioid antagonist; (2) to the extent that units are available from those distributed by DMH/DD/SAS, provide at least one unit of opioid antagonist to each program participant who meets at least one of the following: (a) is uninsured, (b) lacks prescription drug coverage for opioid antagonist, or (c) is receiving opioid use disorder services funded by a grant, a local management entity/managed care organization, or another source of funding not associated with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or a commercial payor; and (3) to the extent that units are available from those distributed by DMH/DD/SAS, or otherwise available to program participants through the State's Medicaid program or other prescription drug coverage for opioid antagonist, provide each program participant who has take-home medication privileges with the opportunity to obtain prescription refills for opioid antagonist.

 Specifies that the NCGA is not obligated to appropriate funds for the purpose of this section, or as an entitlement to any opioid treatment program or any opioid treatment program participant to receive opioid antagonist under this section.

Part IV.

Provides that except for funds subject to the small business loan fund under the act or to Section 2.1 of the act, funds received from federal grants authorized under the COVID-19 Recovery Legislation are appropriated in the amounts specified in the award notification from the federal government or entity administering the funds. Allows State agencies, with approval from the Director of the Budget, to spend funds received from federal receipts and grants resulting from enactment of the COVID-19 Recovery Legislation that are not subject to Section 2.1 of the act. Specifies that Section 2.2(c) of SL 2019-192 (requiring that each program category under the Community Development Block Grant be increased by the same percentage as the increase in federal funds) for block grants appropriated by Congress in addition to the funds specified in the act) does not apply to grant funds received under the COVID-19 Recovery Legislation.

Sets out a schedule allocating specific funding amounts to 38 different specified programs. Provides that the programs and amounts ares estimates of the State's allocations from the COVID-19 Recovery Legislation and is illustrative of federal grants that have or will be received by the State in addition to the approximate $3.5 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Relief Fund under the CARES Act. Specifies that no funds authorized under the CARES Act for election security are appropriated in the act and that the NCGA intends to appropriate funds for election security in a subsequent act. 

States the legislative intent to address the State's additional elections needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in separate legislation. Prohibits funds appropriated in the act or in the State Board of Elections 2019-20 fiscal year budget to be expended to meet the matching requirements for additional federal funds awarded to the State after enactment of SL 2019-239 (Combat Absentee Ballot Fraud).

Part V.

Includes a severability clause (identical to previous part XII).

Part VI.

Includes a standard effective date provision (identical to previous part XIII).

Amends the act's titles.