Bill Summary for H 192 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Mar 1 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021-2022 Session
House Bill 192 (Public) Filed Monday, March 1, 2021
AN ACT PROVIDING ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR THE CONTINUITY OF OPERATIONS, TO SUPPLEMENT COVID-19 RELIEF AND RESPONSE, AND FOR OTHER STATE NEEDS DURING THE 2020-2021 FISCAL YEAR.
Intro. by Reives, Adcock, Harris, Lofton.

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Bill summary

Section 1.1

Specifies that the General Fund availability statement set out in Section 2.1A of SL 2019-242 (2019-21 Base Budgets/Certain Agencies), as amended, applies to the 2019-20 fiscal year only. Provides the General Fund availability used in adjusting the 2020-21 budget, with a revised total General Fund availability of $28,481,489,856, subtotal net General Fund Appropriations of $25,180,207,717, and unappropriated balance of $3,301,282,139. 

Section 1.2

Appropriates $20 million from the General Fund to the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) for 2020-21 to be allocated to provide additional funds for the continuity of State agency operations experiencing increased costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic (pandemic). Specifies four authorized uses of the funds, including incurred COVID-19 related expenses and the continuation of providing critical services. 

Appropriates $10 million from the General Fund to OSBM for 2020-21 to be allocated to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) to provide for fee-supported activities and programs at each agency that has experienced substantial declines in revenue due to the pandemic. Specifies authorized uses, including planning for post-pandemic resumption of normal service levels.

Section 1.3

Appropriates $1 million from the General Fund to the Office of the State Treasurer, Local Government Commission for 2020-21 to support essential services provided by local government units whose control of financial affairs is fully assumed by the Commission.

Section 2.1

Appropriates $10 million from the General Fund to DACS for 2020-21 to provide grants to food banks experiencing increased demand due to the pandemic.

Section 2.2

Appropriates $30 million from the General Fund to OSBM for 2020-21 to be allocated to enhance high-speed internet access across the State through a multipronged approach. Authorizes use of the funds in specified amounts for specified projects and purposes by certain entities, including $12 million to the Community College System Office, $15.5 million to the Office of the Governor, and $2.5 million to DNCR.

Section 2.3

Appropriates $3 million from the General Fund to OSBM for counseling services to support small businesses. Requires allocation of $1 million each to the UNC Board of Governors, the Community College System Office, and the nonprofit contractor of the Department of Commerce.

Section 2.4

Appropriates $3 million from the General Fund to the following entities in specified amounts for 2020-21 to be used as a stimulus investment in their marketing budgets as specified: DACS ($500,000); DNCR ($500,000); Department of Commerce ($2 million).

Section 2.5

Appropriates $11.1 million from the General Fund to OSBM for 2020-21 to be allocated to The Golden L.E.A.F. Inc., for the Rapid Loan Recovery Program established in SL 2020-4 (2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act).

Section 2.6

Appropriates $20 million from the General Fund to the Department of Administration, Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses for 2020-21 for the RETOOLNC grant program for additional funding to assist State certified minority-owned and women-owned businesses in their pandemic recovery. 

Section 3.1

Appropriates from the General Fund to OSBM $4 million for 2020-21 for the NC Pandemic Recovery Office (NC PRO) to provide grants to nonprofits providing housing-related legal services to renters and homeowners facing hardship, eviction, or foreclosure due to the pandemic. Appropriates $500,000 from the General Fund to the Office of Administrative Hearings for 2020-21 to fund temporary positions needed to assist in handling fair housing discrimination case filings that have increased due to the pandemic. 

Section 4.1

Bars the ABC Commission from imposing a fee for the following:

(1) permit renewals under GS 18B-903(a)(5) (applicable to ABC permits other than permits valid indefinitely (on-premises and off-premises malt beverage, unfortified wine, and fortified wine permits, culinary permits) and limited special occasion permits, special one-time permits, and temporary permits) for the period from May 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022, for active permits as of April 30, 2021;

(2) limited special occasion permit, special one-time permit, and temporary permit renewals under GS 18B-903(a)(2) through (a)(4) from May 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022; and

(3) malt beverage, fortified wine, or unfortified wine permit registration under GS 18B-903(b1) due May 1, 2021, for active permits as of April 30, 2021.

Authorizes refunds for prepaid fees waived by the act and requires the Commission to collaborate with the Department of Public Safety to refund the full amount within 30 days of request.

Section 5.1

Appropriates $50 million from the General Fund to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for 2020-21 to continue communicable disease emergency pay for employees who work in conditions that put them at increased risk of exposure. Restricts use to hazard pay for work performed during the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Section 5.2 

Requires the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to administer a one-time, lump sum bonus of $2,500 for qualifying public school employees, and $1,500 for noncertified public school employees who are permanent, full-time employees on a 12-month contract. Requires payment by April 20, 2021, and requires salaries to be supported from State funds and employment in their positions as of April 1, 2021. Provides for prorated and equitable one-time, lump sum bonuses for permanent, full-time employees on a contract for fewer than 12 months, permanent part-time employees, and temporary and permanent hourly employees. Defines public school unit. Defines qualifying public school to include a school in a local administrative unit, charter and regional schools, as well as State-supported and agency-operated schools. Defines qualifying public school employee to include teachers, instructional support personnel, principals, and assistant principals. Specifies the bonuses are in addition to regular wages or other bonuses, are not compensation under the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS), and do not supplant local funds. Requires allocation to charter, regional, innovative, and laboratory schools on the basis of the funded average daily membership of each school. Excludes employees no longer employed prior to April 1, 2021. 

Appropriates $280 million and $77 million from the General Fund to OSBM for 2020-21 to be allocated to the specified agencies for bonuses for qualifying public school employees and noncertified public school employees, respectively.

Section 5.3

Appropriates $111 million from the General Fund to OSBM for 2020-21 to be allocated to the Community College System Board (CC System Board) and to the UNC Board of Governors (BOG) to fund one-time $2,000 compensation bonuses for their respective State-funded employees. Requires payment by April 30, 2021, to employees employed in State-funded positions on April 1, 2021. Excludes employees no longer employed prior to April 1, 2021. Specifies the bonuses are not compensation under TSERS. Requires adjustment pro rata for part-time employees. Requires payment regardless of placement within the employee's salary range. Specifies eligibility for recipients of disability benefits who have not terminated employment.

Section 5.4

Appropriates $64.5 million from the General Fund to the Department of State Treasurer for 2020-21 to be used for COVID-19 related expenses incurred by the NC State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees (SHP).

Section 6.1

Amends Section 4.6 of SL 2020-4, which directs the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to increase the fee-for-service Medicaid rates paid directly by the Division of Heath Benefits by 5%, effective March 1, 2020, to extend the provision's expiration to the earlier of (1) the date the declared nationwide public health emergency as a result of the 2019 novel cornavirus expires, (2) the date Executive Order No. 116 expires or is rescinded, or (3) June 30, 2021 (was, March 31, 2021).

Section 7.1

Enacts GS 96-14.2(a1), establishing a new weekly unemployment benefit amount as follows. Effective for new claims filed after February 20, 2021, sets the weekly benefit amount for an individual who is totally unemployed at an amount equal to the wages paid to the individual in the last two completed quarters of the individual's base period divided by 52 and rounded to the next lower whole dollar. Excludes from eligibility individuals whose amount calculated using the specified formula is less than $15. Caps the weekly benefit amount under the new provision at $500.

Section 7.2

Amends GS 96-14.3 to set the maximum duration for individuals eligible to receive unemployment benefits at 26 weeks for new unemployment insurance claims filed for any period beginning after November 28, 2020 (current law provides for 12 to 20 weeks based on the seasonal adjusted unemployment rate). Makes conforming changes. 

Section 7.3

Amends GS 96-9.2, regarding the contribution rate for experienced-rated employers, to specify that total insured wages under the statute means total wages reported by employers taxable under the statute for the 12-month period ending June 30 preceding the compensation date (previously referred to total wages reported by all insured employers). Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2022.

Section 8.1

Amends Section 4.3 of SL 2020-4, which creates the  NC PRO, to provide for the authorization to continue through the later of the date when (1) the Governor signs an executive order rescinding Executive Order No. 116, or (2) all funds are appropriated from the COVID-19 Recovery Legislation and subsequent COVID-related funding have been expended (previously, expires and terminates 12 months from May 4, 2020).

Extends the reporting deadline set in Section 1.7 of SL 2020-4 for OSBM detailing the use of funds allocated in Section 3.3. of SL 2020-4, from April 1, 2021, to April 1, 2022.

Section 9.1

Appropriates federal funds received by the State under the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 in amounts provided in the award notification. Authorizes State agencies to spend the funds subject to Director of Budget approval. Provides a schedule of estimated programs and grant amounts to be deposited in the State's Treasury and administered by State agencies. Appropriates additional amounts of which the final amount of federal funds awarded for the programs is not yet known.

Section 10.1

Appropriates federal funds received under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act , 2021, for Highway Infrastructure Programs, Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and People with Disabilities, and Grants-In-Aid for Airports to the Department of Transportation (DOT) as set forth in specified federal guidance. 

 

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