Bill Summary for S 172 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Mar 1 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021-2022 Session
Senate Bill 172 (Public) Filed Monday, March 1, 2021
AN ACT TO MAKE MODIFICATIONS TO COVID-19 RELIEF LEGISLATION AND PROVIDE ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF FEDERAL COVID-19 PANDEMIC RELIEF FUNDS.
Intro. by B. Jackson, Harrington, Hise.

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Bill summary

Identical to H 196, filed 3/1/2021.

Part I

Section 1.1

Appropriates federal funds received by the State under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, in the amounts provided in the award notifications and authorizes State agencies to spend the funds, subject to Director of Budget approval. Provides a schedule of the programs and grant amounts with estimates of allocations to be deposited in the State's Treasury and administered by State agencies. Appropriates additional federal funds of which the final amount awarded is not yet known, as specified.

Sections 1.2 and 1.3

Enacts subsection (c1) to SL 2020-1 (2020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications) to require the State Board of Education (State Board) to reserve a portion of funds remaining after the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) allocated federal funds to public school units pursuant to subsection (c) made available from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief II (ESSER II) Fund to be used to meet emergency needs of the elementary and secondary schools of the State pursuant to Section 5A of that act, as enacted.

Enacts Section 5A to SL 2021-1 to direct DPI to use the federal funds reserved pursuant to subsection (c1) of that act, as enacted, in specified amounts and specified purposes as follows: $500,000 to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) for the State Library for the NC Kids Digital Library project; $500,000 to the Governor Morehead School for the Blind, the Eastern NC School for the Deaf, and the NC School for the Deaf; $1 million to the UNC Board of Governors for the NC New Teacher Support Program; $1 million to contract with a third-party to collect, analyze, and report data related to the overall impacts of COVID-19 on public school units, students, and families, with reporting by DPI to the specified NCGA committee in a preliminary report by March 15, 2022, and a final report by December 15, 2022; $1.2 million to the Wildlife Resources Commission for the Outdoor Heritage Special Fund and the Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council's NC Schools Go Outside program; $10 million to be allocated to each public school unit to ensure every public school unit received a total amount from the ESSER II Fund of at least $180 per pupil in federal grant funds, as specified; $10 million to be allocated in a manner consistent with the formula for Instructional Support Allotment for contracted health support personnel services; $10 million to be allocated to public school units participating in a federal school nutrition program, with prioritization as specified; $1 million to contract with a third-party entity to conduct a statewide assessment of the cybersecurity capabilities of public schools and threats posed to public schools in response to COVID-19, with DPI reporting to specified NCGA committee chairs by June 20, 2021; $9 million to implement a statewide cybersecurity program to implement a statewide cybersecurity program in public schools, with DPI administered program components, as specified; $12 million to contract with Voyager Sopris Learning, Inc. to provide Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling training for specified PreK to fifth grade educators during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years; $15 million for the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program for grants of up to $500,000 a year to eligible programs with certified $3:$1 nongrant matching funds, with DPI using up to $200,000 for Program administration, as specified, and reporting to the specified NCGA committee annually by February 15; $40,000,000 to be held in reserve to be allocated to public school units to support in-person instruction programs to address learning loss and provide enrichment activities in the summer, prioritized based on need; $26,046,144 to be held in reserve to be allocated to public school units to support COVID-19 related needs, prioritizing based on need; up to $8,012,955 to be used for DPI's administrative costs; $1 million to contract with a third-party entity to conduct a statewide assessment of the cybersecurity capabilities of public schools and threats posed to public schools, with DPI reporting to specified NCGA committee chairs by June 30, 2021; and $9 million to contract with a third-party entity to implement a statewide cybersecurity program in public school infrastructure, as specified. Except for funds allocated for the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program, DPI administrative costs, and the third-party contract for the statewide assessment of the cybersecurity capabilities of public schools under subdivision 16 and 17, requires any remaining ESSER II funds on August 15, 2022 to be reallocated to the reserve to be used for expenditure on or after that date to meet additional emergency needs of the elementary and secondary schools of the State, as determined by the State Board.

Section 1.4

Further amends Section 5 of SL 2021-1, adjusting the estimate set out in the schedule for the State's allocation from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, for Emergency Rental Assistance, to be administered by the Office of Recovery and Resiliency and the Office of State Budget and Management, from $546,597,070 to $546,596,104. Makes conforming changes. 

Enacts new subsection (e) to Section 5 of SL 2020-1, directing the Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR) to administer federal funds received for the Emergency Rental Assistance program (program) to local governments that received direct allocations from the federal program in their maximum allotment amount, as specified for each county, with ORR managing the funds in accordance with local priorities and federal requirements, subject to first exhausting their respective direct allocations from the federal program before expending any State allotment. Allows reallotment following specified reporting. Further directs ORR to administer federal funds received for the program to local governments that did not receive direct allocations from the federal program in their maximum aggregate amount allocation specified, to be provided to recipients renting housing in the respective county, with ORR reserving the maximum amount to the respective county minus pro-rata adjustments. Requires ORR to provide awards based on actual monthly rent owed by the tenant or the actual amount of utility costs owed. Requires ORR to continue to provide awards to each county that did not receive direct allocations from the federal program until maximum allotment amounts specified have been exhausted. Requires ORR to establish a hotline to provide eligible households with case management and other related pandemic services, with ORR authorized to use up to 10% for the hotline, housing sustainability services, and administrative costs, and up to 3% for administrative costs, deducted pro-rata from the maximum county allotments. Requires ORR to report to the specified NCGA committee chairs and division by May 15, 2021, as specified. Provides for proportional distribution of actual federal funds received from the program.

Section 1.5

Appropriates from federal Child Care and Development Block Grant funds received for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Child Development and Early Education (Division) $335,912,393 for cleaning and sanitation and copayment assistance for families receiving subsidized childcare, with legislative encouragement to use the some of the funds to address early childhood education learning loss, with authorization to use funds remaining upon maximizing the use for previously specified initiatives, for operational grants to childcare providers, as specified. Bars using the funds for staff bonuses.

Appropriates from the federal Community Mental Health Grant funds received for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, to DHHS, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services $47,465,800 for mental health services in response to COVID-19. Requires $2.1 million of the funds to be allocated to the NC Statewide Telepsychiatry Program (NC-STeP).

Appropriates from the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block grants received for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, to DHHS, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services $11,249,046 to provide services across the State to those in need due to the pandemic.

Section 1.6

Allocates funds received pursuant to Division M, Title III of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, appropriated under Section 1.1 of this act as Enhancing Detection Through Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Funds, to DHHS, Division of Public Health in the amount received in the notification award for use in accordance with specified federal guidance, with $84 million to be allocated to local health departments and $15 million to be allocated to the NC Policy Collaboratory at UNC-Chapel Hill to meet specified requirements of the Emerging and Infection Disease Program Enhancing Detection Expansion cooperative agreement, and developing and managing a plan for an initiative to implement alternative COVID-19 surveillance methods throughout the State using UNC and other partnership resources, as specified. Details plan requirements, requiring CDC approval prior to fund allocation to the Collaboratory. Bars CDC-disapproved plan components and allows the Division of Public Health to use unexpended funds from disapproved plan components for any other CDC-approved activity allowed under the cooperative agreement grant. 

Section 1.6A

Directs DHHS to allocate up to $3 million to the Department of Information Technology, Government Data Analytics Center (GDAC) from the COVID-19 Vaccine Preparedness grant funds (described in Section 5(b) of SL 2020-1) or from FEMA funds, to the extent allowed under applicable federal law and guidance and not exceeding actual costs of authorized projects. Restricts use of funds to: (1) integration of the NC COVID Vaccine Management System (CVMS) with the statewide health information exchange network (NC HealthConnex); and (2) added functionality to both CVMS and NC HealthConnex to support existing efforts to improve the State's public health response to COVID-19. Provides for alternatively allocating up to $3 million of the funds of the ELC Enhancing Detection through Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental funds described in Section 1.1 of this act to GDAC to cover the costs of the authorized projects in the event the federal government disapproved DHHS allocating the Section 5(b) of SL 2020-1 or FEMA funds to GDAC for these purposes.

Section 1.7

Appropriates $1,085,486 of federal funds received pursuant to the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) for Grants-In-Aid for Airports to the Department of Transportation (DOT) in amounts specified in the FAA guidance to be used and allocated by DOT as specified. 

Appropriates federal funds received pursuant to the CRRSAA for Highway Infrastructure Programs to DOT in amounts specified in federal guidance to be used and allocated by DOT with $3o million to DOT for maintenance activities within the Roadside Environmental Unit for litter removal and other programmed activities, $199,282,615 to the Highway Trust Fund to advance the State Transportation Improvement Program delayed projects and delayed bridge replacement and interstate maintenance, and $29,454,289 to be suballocated to urbanized areas with a population of over 200,000 as set forth in federal guidance. 

Appropriates $781,861 of federal funds received pursuant to the CRRSAA for the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and People with Disabilities Program to DOT in the amounts specified in federal guidance to be used and allocated by DOT in accordance with federal and Department guidance.

Prohibits using appropriated CRRSAA funds for employee salary or benefits.

Requires allocating $30 million of the funds appropriated from the Highway Fund to DOT for 2020-21 to the Roadside Environmental Fund for litter removal and other programmed activities within the Unit, in addition to the $90 million authorized in the Spend Plan, as specified. 

Requires DOT to quarterly report to the specified NCGA committee on the use of appropriated CRRSAA funds. 

Section 1.8

Requires federal grant funds received under Part I of the act to be quarterly reported on as specified, including quarterly reporting by public school units and DPI, and State agencies and Departments.

Specifies that the appropriations of Part I do not obligate or create ongoing obligations of the State for future appropriations for programs or other purposes for which the funds must be used.

Part II

Section 2.1

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 2.2

Amends Section 3.3 of SL 2020-4 (2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act), as amended, subdivision (8) concerning the allocation of $21 million to DPI for the provision of community and home mobile internet access points for students. Regarding the prohibition against using the funds for subscription services, specifies that subscription services excludes internet service provided as part of the purchase price of a device or internet service purchased for a device without an ongoing monthly subscription. 

Section 2.3

Amends Section 2.28 of SL 2020-3 (COVID-19 Recovery Act) to now prohibit UNC constituent institutions from accruing or charging any interest to a past-due account receival held by a student between March 13, 2020, and December 31, 2021 (was, September 15, 2020).

Section 2.4

Authorizes UNC employees subject to the NC Human Resources Act to use accrues sick, vacation, and bonus leave for any COVID-19 related absences. Excludes leave options related to terminal leave payouts for transfers, separations, or reductions in force, terminal use of leave prior to retirement, or unpaid time due to placement on a temporary emergency furlough. Expires December 31, 2021. 

Section 2.5

Amends Section 3.2 of SL 2020-97 (Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0) to allow the two virtual charter schools to increase enrollment for the 2021-22 school year as authorized for the 2020-21 school year. Adds a March 15, 2022 and a November 15, 2022 reporting deadline. Makes conforming changes.

Section 2.6

Amends Section 4.2 of SL 2019-245, extending the period for which civil actions for sexual child abuse otherwise time-barred under GS 1-52 as it existed immediately before the enactment of SL 2019-245, to January 1, 2020, until December 31, 2022 (was, December 31, 2021).

Section 2.7

Requires local governments to issue a temporary certificate of compliance and temporary certificate of occupancy to a health service facility allowing for the full operation use of the facility in three circumstances, as described, including that the facility is currently under construction and the scheduled completion date will occur before rescission of the COVID-19 emergency declaration. Defines local government, health care facility, and COVID-19 emergency declaration. Expires upon the later of the recession of the COVID-19 emergency declaration or upon completion of the roadway improvements agreed to by the facility.

Section 2.8

Amends Section 3D.3 of SL 2020-3, regarding the authorization process for immunizing pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Enacts a new subdivision to require the State Health Director to amend, reissue, or replace existing statewide standing order issued under Section 3D.3 to ensure that the statewide standing order is consistent with federal law and guidance pertaining to qualified individuals who can administer COVID-19 vaccines, as specified. Makes conforming changes to the civil and criminal immunity provisions. 

Section 2.9

Amends GS 90-85.15B to authorize an immunizing pharmacist to administer a long-acting injectable medication to persons 18 or older pursuant to a specific prescription order by a prescriber, so long as the immunizing pharmacist maintains specified records of administration in a patient profile or record, and notified the patient's primary care provider within 72 hours of administration. Makes conforming changes to GS 90-85.3. 

Authorizes the NC Board of Pharmacy to adopt temporary implementing rules.

Effective October 1, 2021.

Section 2.10

Amends GS 10B-25 and GS 10B-200 to extend the expiration of the temporary authorizations for emergency video notarization and emergency video witnessing from March 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021. Effective March 1, 2021.

Section 2.11

Authorizes the NC Appraisal Board to amend, extend, or adopt emergency rules to modify any educational requirements implemented by the Board in accordance with specified uncodified law, with adopted emergency rules expiring December 31, 2021.

Section 2.12

Amends the effective date of Section 3E.3 of SL 2020-3, which (1) suspended all annual and biennial inspections and regular monitoring requirements for specified licensed facilities except as necessary to avoid serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to employees, residents, or patients of these facilities or as directed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and (2) required training on infection control and the proper use of personal protective equipment for employees of facilities that were determined to be in violation, assessed penalties, or placed on probation within the six-month period preceding the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency, for noncompliance with rules, statutes, or guidelines on infection control or the proper use of personal protective equipment. Provides that this expires upon the earlier of 60 days after Executive Order No. 116 is rescinded or December 31, 2021 (was, or December 32, 2020).

Section 2.13

Amends Section 3D.7 of SL 2020-3, which enacted Article 1L, Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act, by making the section applicable to acts or omissions occurring during the time of Executive Order No. 116  (previously, also included any subsequent time period during which a state of emergency is declared to be in effect during 2020 by the Governor). Applies retroactively to acts and omissions occurring on or after May 4, 2020.

Section 2.14

Amends GS 90-21.132 to also include in the definition of health care provider (as it applies to Article 1L, Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act), an individual who volunteers to assist a State agency, department, or approved organization in the administration of COVID-19 vaccinations, including clinical, clinical support, and nonclinical support activities.

Section 2.15

Amends GS 131D-2.4, concerning the license of adult care homes, as follows. Adds definitions for the following terms as they are used in the statute: personowneraffiliate, and principal. Amends the conditions under which an applicant for licensure is the owner, principal, or affiliate of an adult care home and is responsible for the operation of the facility that had its license downgraded to provisional status or had its admissions suspended due to the specified types of violations, is prohibited from being issued a new license so that it is now until the date of (was, until six months from the date of) restoration from provisional to full licensure, termination of the provisional license, or lifting or termination of the suspension of admissions, as applicable. Adds that a provisional license or suspension of admissions for which an appeal is pending is exempt. Makes additional clarifying changes. Specifies that this supersedes any provision of the NC Administrative Code to the contrary. Requires the Medical Care Commission, as promptly as practicable, to amend and update the specified rule and any other impacted rule to reflect the changes made in this section. Specifies that this section applies to (1) applications for new licenses submitted to the Division of Health Service Regulation (DHSR) on or after the effective date of this section, (2) applications for the renewal of existing licenses submitted to the DHSR on or after the effective date of this section, and (3) licenses downgraded by DHSR within the six-month period preceding the effective date of this section.

Section 2.16

Repeals Section 2.6(b) of SL 2020-80, which, effective March 15, 2021, would have amended GS 116B-67 to allow a person claiming property paid or delivered to the Treasurer to file a claim on a form no matter the amount of the claim (current law limits it to when the amount claimed exceeds $250, with all other claims paid by the Unclaimed Property Division upon verification of ownership).

Section 2.17

Extends the expiration of Section 3D.5(e) of SL 2020-3 (which prohibited enforcing any provision of the quality improvement plan rules to the extent specified, prohibited enforcing any provision of the quality improvement plan rules or the application fee rules to the extent they require any individual to fill out an application or pay a fee for individuals providing volunteer health care services in response to the pandemic, and prohibited enforcing any provision of the annual review rules) from December 31, 2021, to December 31, 2022.

Section 2.18

Allows a pharmacist to dispense the following controlled substances to individuals who present a valid prescription (if one is required under current law), and an NC drivers license or identification card that expired while Executive Order No. 116 (2020) remains in effect: (1) paregoric, U.S.P.; (2) any Schedule II controlled substances; (3) any of the Schedule III controlled substances listed in subdivisions (1) through (8) of subsection (d) of GS 90-91 (materials, compounds, mixtures, or preparations containing limited quantities of any of the specified narcotic drugs); (4) any Schedule V controlled substances; and (5) pseudoephedrine products. Expires six months after the earlier of the date the Governor signs an executive order rescinding Executive Order No. 116 (2020), or December 31, 2021.

Section 2.19

Enacts Article 21 in GS Chapter 153A (applicable to counties) and Article 31 in GS Chapter 160A (applicable to cities), entitled “Tourism Development Authorities,” providing as follows. Allows a tourism development authority to enter into a PPP loan. Requires compliance with all the requirements and limitations of the PPP loan program and requires applying for forgiveness of the loan in a timely manner. Prohibits a tourism development authority from obligating the State or the county/city (as applicable) that established the authority to repay a PPP loan and has no power to pledge the credit of the State or the county/city that established the authority. Requires a tourism development authority to give written notice to the board of commissioners/city council (as applicable) within 30 days of its acceptance of a PPP loan; specifies items to be included in the notice. Requires a tourism development authority for which a PPP loan is not forgiven to repay the loan and interest from occupancy tax proceeds remitted to the authority on or after receipt of the PPP loan proceeds. Repeals both Articles January 1, 2028.

Section 2.20

Requires the Department of Health and Human Services, by July 1, 2021, to give each prepaid health plan (as defined by statute) access to client-specific immunization information contained within the North Carolina Immunization Registry.

Section 2.21

Amends Section 3.21 of SL 2020-97, which extended by 120 days the expiration of any development approval and associated vested rights of any development approval that was current and valid at any point during the period beginning September 2, 2020, and ending 30 days after Executive Order No. 116 is rescinded. Amends the extension to now automatically extend the approval for 150 days from the date the Executive Order is rescinded. Makes conforming changes. Applies retroactively to vested rights existing on and after September 4, 2020.

Section 2.22

Amends Section 4.2A of SL 2020-4, as amended, by expanding the entities eligible for meat processing grants, to include facilities producing further processed meat products for which the USDA contracts with DACS inspectors to conduct federal inspection activities authorized by the Talmadge-Aiken Act of 1962 at the plant, or which is a State-inspected facility, or which is a USDA inspected processor of shelf-stable meat or meat products. Makes conforming changes to the NCGA’s findings related to the grant program.

Part III.

Section 3.1

Amends Section 3.3 of SL 2020-4, as amended, by amending the amounts allocated by OSBM (from funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund) as follows. Increases the allocation for Golden LEAF for small business loan assistance from $75 million to $83 million. Increases the amount allocated to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) to support meat processing facilities and seafood processing facilities from $20,250,000, to $26,250,000. Decreases the amount allocated to the Division of Emergency Management to be used as the State match for any FEMA public assistance funds provided in response to the pandemic from $120 million to $80 million. Removes the allocation meant for the PPE-NC Initiative that was to be allocated as a grant to Conover (see the replacement allocation described below); requires that the already specified allocation of $5.3 million be allocated to OSBM for a grant to Gaston County to construct an Incubator and Extrusion Center for Advanced Fibers, no longer allocating through the PPE-NC Initiative. Adds an allocation of $6 million to DACS to be distributed equally among the state’s food banks; encourages the food banks to use the funds to purchase food from NC-based farmers and vendors. Adds an allocation of $8 million to the Department of Administration for the ReTOOLNC grant program to provide additional funds to assist state-certified, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses in their recovery. Adds an allocation of $3 million to the Department of Commerce for a North Carolina nonprofit with which the Department contracts as a stimulus investment in Visit North Carolina’s marketing budget to be used to market the state as a business and tourism destination. Adds an allocation of $1 million to DACS to market the state’s agricultural products and state-owned attractions. Adds an allocation of $2 million to DACS for the Farm Worker Quarantine Program, to reimburse eligible expenses (as defined) for eligible farm workers (defined as a worker who is an alien under federal law who is performing agricultural labor or service on a farm in this state) required to quarantine apart from family or coworkers following a positive COVID-19 test.

Section 3.2

Appropriates $9 million for 2020-21 from the General Fund to OSBM to be allocated as a grant to Conover as follows: (1) $7.25 million for a facility to house testing labs, rapid prototyping, and a textile sourcing library; (2) $1.25 million for a clean room upfit for MSC facilities; and (3) $500,000 for equipment, materials, and logistics for a rapid prototyping pilot line to create products and train a workforce for US PPE manufactures (these are the same funds and purposes as previously allocated, and now deleted, to the PPE-NC Initiative). Specifies that these funds do not revert until June 30, 2022.

Section 3.3

Amends Section 4.1 of SL 2021-1, as follows. Increases the amount transferred from the General Fund to the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund from $39 million to $45 million for 2020-21. Make a corresponding increase in the amount appropriated from the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund to the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology Fund; also increases by $6 million the amount of those funds that are to be distributed in the special supplementary grant process.

Section 3.4

Amends Section 8 of SL 2020-64, as amended, as follows. Increases the amount to be transferred from the Coronavirus Relief Reserve to the Fund, from $684.4 million to $699.4 million; makes a corresponding increase in the amount that is appropriated from the Fund to OSBM for 2020-21 to offset General Fund appropriations across State government for allowable expenditure of funds from the Fund. Increases the amount of the beginning negative appropriation balance in the Statewide Reserve for Appropriations from $684.4 million to $699.4 million.

Section 3.5

Amends Section 3.1 of SL 2020-4, as amended, to decrease the amount that the State Controller must transfer for 2019-20 from the Reserve to the Fund, from $2,324,390,646 to $2,309,390,646. Amends Section 3.2 of the act to decrease the amount appropriated from the Fund to OSBM in 2019-20 to be allocated and used as provided in Section 3.3 of the act from $2,624,390,646, to $2,609,390,646.

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