Bill Summary for S 704 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Apr 29 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 704 (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 Brown, Harrington, B. Jackson, J. Alexander, T. Alexander, Ballard, Berger, Blue, Britt, Bryan, Burgin, Chaudhuri, Clark, Daniel, D. Davis, J. Davis, deViere, Edwards, Fitch, Ford, Foushee, Gallimore, Garrett, Gunn, Hise, Horner, Johnson, Krawiec, Lowe, Marcus, McInnis, Murdock, Newton, Perry, Peterson, Rabon, Robinson, Sanderson, Sawyer, Searcy, Smith, Steinburg, Tillman, Waddell, Wells, Woodard.

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Bill summary

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

Part II

Section 2.4

Modifies the stated legislative intent to now provide legislative intent to appropriate up to $150 million, rather than $300 million, if local governments experience a revenue shortfall and the federal CARES Act, PL 116-136, is amended to allow the use of federal funds for that purpose.

Part III

Section 3.1

Adds an additional directive for the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) to transfer $150 million from the Local Government Coronavirus Relief Fund (established by the act) to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (established by the act) for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Section 3.2

Increases the appropriation to OSBM from $473,090,000 to $623,090,000 in nonrecurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year to be allocated as provided in Section 3.3 of the act.

Section 3.3

Changes the recipient of the $50 million that is to be allocated to the NC Healthcare Foundation, NC Senior Living Association, and NC Medical Society for supplies and equipment and personal protective equipment, from the Department of Health and Human Service to the Department of Public Safety. Also expands upon the entities to receive a portion of this money to also include the State Highway Patrol and the NC National Guard.

Expands the uses set forth for the allocation to the Community Colleges System Office to include the provision of Small Business Center counselors for small business needs.

Adds to the allocation to OSBM for continuity of operation needs across State government. Specifies that expenditures incurred during the period that begins March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020, are eligible for funding under this provision, as referenced in Section 2.2 of the act. Also expands upon the allowable allocation to OSBM for the continuity of operation needs across State government to further include covering overtime costs at community corrections facilities. Also clarifies that the funding can be used to provide COVID-19 testing for employees of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice (was, Division of Prisons).

Modifies the allocation to UNC for the NC Policy Collaboratory to no longer identify entities for which the Collaboratory must coordinate and provide equal funds to for the previously specified purposes concerning COVID-19 response and research. Maintains the allocation and requires the Collaboratory to use the funds within the previously specified parameters. Makes conforming changes for the Collaboratory alone to report to the specified NCGA committee by September 1, 2020.

Adds to the allocations OSBM is required to make of the appropriated funds to now include $50 million to OSBM for the Pandemic Recovery Office established by the act to create a comprehensive grants program to assist eligible communities impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and $100 million to OSBM for counties that did not directly receive funding from the federal CARES Act, as specified.

Part IV

Section 4.2

Changes the cross-reference definition provided for the defined term compensation as it applies to the small business loan assistance program provisions. 

Part V

Section 5.11

Amends one of the items that must be addressed by a public school units Remote Instruction Plan (Plan) to require that the Plan ensure that remote instructional time, practice, and application components support learning growth that continues toward mastery of the standard course of study (was produce learning growth that is commensurate with what would have taken place had the remote instruction day been a non-remote instruction day). Delays the due date for submitting the Plan to the State Board from June 30, 2020, to July 20, 2020.

Makes clarifying and organizational changes to the school calendar requirements set forth for the 2020-21 school year for public school units and local school administrative units. Additionally, makes a correction to require local school administrative units to adopt a school calendar with a closing date no later than June 11, 2021 (was, June 11, 2020).

Part VI

Section 6.2

Expands upon the definition of credential, as it relates to extending the validity of credentials, to also include the following issued by the DMV: limited learner’s permit, limited provisional license, full provisional license, commercial learner’s permit, transportation network company permit, wholesaler license, driver training school instructor license, and professional housemoving license. Makes conforming changes. Adds that a driving eligibility certificate dated on or after February 9, 2020, and before March 10, 2020, remains valid and may be accepted by the DMV to meet the requirements for a license or permit until 30 days after the earlier of the date the Governor rescinds Executive Order No. 116 or the date DMV reopens all drivers license offices.

Section 6.6

Expands the definition given for the defined term health care facility in proposed Article 1L of GS Chapter 90, Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act, to include any clinical laboratory certified under the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments in specified federal law.

Section 6.8

Amends proposed GS 159-33.1(b) as follows. Requires that the finance officer of each county, municipality, water district or authority, sewer district or authority, sanitary district, and metropolitan sewage district (was, of each unit and public authority) submit the statement of financial information concerning the impact of COVID-19. Changes the due date of the statement from January 1, 2021, to February 15, 2021. Requires that the statement include monthly data for the period from July 1, 2019, to December 31, 2020, instead of a year-to-date comparison to calendar year 2020. Changes the expiration of (b) from January 1, 2021, to February 15, 2021. Amends proposed GS 159-33.1(c) by changing the due date of the Local Government Commission’s report from February 15, 2021, to March 15, 2021. Changes the expiration date of (c) from February 15, 2021, to March 15, 2021.

Section 6.13 

Amends the scope of proposed Article 3 of GS Chapter 10B concerning video witnessing during a state of emergency. Now requires signature by a principal physically located in the State.

Section 6.15

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.

Section 6.27

Modifies proposed Article 48 of GS Chapter 66, Limited Business Immunity, as follows. Expands civil immunity granted in the Article to include civil immunity for emergency response entities with respect to claims from any customer, user, or consumer for any injuries or death alleged to have been caused as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or while doing business with the emergency response entity. Makes conforming changes throughout to include emergency response entities. Defines emergency response entity to mean businesses, not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions, and governmental entities that manufacture, produce, or distribute personal protective equipment, testing equipment, or ventilators, or process COVID-19 testing results. Adds that the provisions of Section 6.27 apply to claims filed on or after March 27, 2020.

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