Bill Summary for S 172 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Apr 29 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 172 (Public) Filed Monday, March 1, 2021
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE STATE FISCAL RECOVERY RESERVE AND FUND, CORONAVIRUS CAPITAL PROJECTS RESERVE AND FUND, AND LOCAL FISCAL RECOVERY RESERVE AND FUND TO MAINTAIN FUNDS PAID TO THE STATE FROM THE CORONAVIRUS STATE FISCAL RECOVERY FUND, CORONAVIRUS CAPITAL PROJECTS FUND, AND CORONAVIRUS LOCAL FISCAL RECOVERY FUND; TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FROM THE LOCAL FISCAL RECOVERY FUND FOR DISTRIBUTION TO NONENTITLEMENT UNITS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT; TO APPROPRIATE CERTAIN FEDERAL GRANT FUNDS PROVIDED TO THE STATE UNDER THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT; AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL AND OTHER CHANGES.
Intro. by B. Jackson, Harrington, Hise.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute deletes the content of the 1st edition and replaces it with the following. Changes the act's long title. 

Part I.

Sets forth defined terms. Directs each State agency or department that receives federal grants funds in Section 3.2 from funds received by the State under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to quarterly report to the specified NCGA committee and division beginning July 15, 2021, and ending upon submission of the final report, no later than 90 days from the date the grant period ends for the relevant funds. Details required content of the reports. 

Part II.

Directs the State Controller to establish a State Fiscal Recovery Reserve in the General Fund to maintain federal funds received from the Coronavirus Relief Recovery Fund, and transfer funds on an as needed basis to the State Fiscal Recovery Fund, established below, at legislative direction and upon on request of the Director of the Budget. Provides that reserved funds are not appropriations made by law. 

Establishes the State Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund) as a special fund administered by the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) to respond to the public health emergency due to COVID-19 and its negative impact, respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 emergency, provide governmental services, and make necessary infrastructure investments. 

Directs the State Controller to establish a Coronavirus Capital Projects Reserve in the General Fund to maintain federal funds received from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund and transfer funds to the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, established below, at legislative direction and on request of the Director of the Budget. Provides that reserved funds are not appropriations made by law. 

Establishes the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (Projects Fund) as a special fund administered by OSBM to carry out critical capital projects directly enabling work, education, and health monitoring in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Directs the State Controller to establish a Local Fiscal Recovery Reserve (Local Reserve) in the General Fund to maintain federal funds received from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. Provides that reserved funds are not appropriations made by law. 

Establishes the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Local Fund) as a special fund administered by OSBM to provide funds consistent with section 603 of the Social Security Act (SSA) to nonentitlement units of local government, as defined to include non-metropolitan cities, to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pubic health emergency. 

Part III.

Directs the State Controller to transfer the total sum of funds in the Local Reserve to the Local Fund as soon as practicable. Appropriates the total sum from the Local Fund to OSBM to be distributed to and used by nonentitlement units of local government in accordance with applicable federal law and guidance. Directs OSBM to distribute the appropriated funds by the later of (1) 30 days from the date the funds are allocated to the State from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund or (2) the date to which an extension under section 603 of the SSA has been granted. Requires compliance with the allocation caps set forth in section 603 of the SSA. Requires OSBM to submit copies of any written extensions submitted to the US Secretary of the Treasury to the specified NCGA committee chairs and division within three days of the submission. Requires return of excess funds to the US Secretary of the Treasury. Directs OSBM to report to the specified NCGA committee chairs and division the amount of funds provided to each nonentitlement unit of government within 30 days from the date of the last distribution. 

Appropriates federal funds received by the State under the ARPA to specified programs in specified amounts equal to award notification amounts, as set forth in the schedule provided. Provides that funds received from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund are appropriated only up to the estimated amount set forth in the schedule for the program. Requires Director of the Budget approval for agency expenditure of the funds. Provides for termination of positions created with the funds when the funds are fully expended or by operation of a federal deadline. Identifies the NC Housing Finance Agency as the agency responsible for administering the Homeowner Assistance Fund funds. 

Defines Emergency Rental Assistance funds to mean funds appropriated for Emergency Rental Assistance under Section 5 of SL 2021-1, as amended, and this act. Repeals Section 5(e) through (h) of SL 2021-1, as amended. Identifies the Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR) as the agency responsible for administering the Emergency Rental Assistance funds. Requires ORR to reserve or allot a maximum amount of these funds to each of the 12 counties specified, as specified, minus any pro rata adjustments authorized by the act. Requires counties that received direct allocations from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance program to exhaust those allocations first. Directs ORR to reserve or allot a maximum amount of the funds to eligible residents in each modified council of government region, as identified and specified; excludes counties identified in the previous provision. Provides for awards based on the actual amount of monthly rent owed or utility costs owed. Requires partnering with the applicable regional council of government or regional planning commission. Requires ORR to report to the specified NCGA committee chairs and division within 30 days of the date the act becomes law on how it intends to use the regional councils and commissions for planning, dissemination of information, and application assistance, or any other services. Requires ORR to establish a hotline to provide eligible households with case management and other services related to the COVID-19 public health emergency, with ORR authorized to use up to 10% of the funds for the hotline, housing stability services, and administrative costs, with administrative costs and the hotline capped at 5%; requires deduction of allocations or allotments on a pro rata basis for expenses incurred for housing stability services or administrative costs. Directs ORR to report to the specified NCGA chairs and division by July 1, 2021. Details required content of the report. Provides for proportional distributions in the event the funds actually received differ from scheduled estimates. 

Restricts use of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund by the Department of Public Instruction to allocate federal grant funds to public school units pursuant to section 2001(d) of the ARPA.

Specifies that the Part does not appropriate funds paid to the State from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund or the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund pursuant to federal authorization. 

Part IV.

Specifies that funds allocated to OSBM to be used as directed grants under Section 2.1(2)f. and i. through l. of SL 2019-224 (providing for directed grants in specified amounts for specified projects in the City of Greensboro, Sampson County, and the Towns of Mount Olive, Fair Bluff, and Princeville) that are unexpended by June 30, 2021, are to remain available to implement the purposes of the directed grant until June 30, 2024, with reversion to the Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Fund. Makes conforming changes to Section 3.1(c) of that act. Effective June 30, 2021.

Amends Section 3.3(103a) of SL 2020-4, as amended, regarding Coronavirus Relief Fund funds OSBM is directed to allocate to YMCA of the Triangle Area Inc. (YMCA) for a remote learning grant program. Adds that the NC Alliance of YMCAs (Alliance) and the YMCA are permitted to use up to $500,000 (was $100,000) for administrative costs. Restricts existing program requirements to the first round of grants awarded through the grant program, and adds a new requirement for grantees to submit to the YMCA all involved detailing expenses for which they are seeking reimbursement from the grant program by May 30, 2021. Modifies the provisions to now provide for a learning loss grant program, requiring the Alliance to use funds that were appropriated but not allocated in the first round of grants to award a second round of grants to eligible organizations to address learning loss due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and teachers. Requires the YMCA to serve only as the fiscal agent for the Alliance for the learning loss grant program. Establishes requirements and qualifications for the learning loss grant program, including that all organizations that were eligible for the first round of grants are eligible to apply for a learning loss grant, and capping individual grants at $25,000.

Amends GS 143C-5-4, regarding the procedures and authorities triggered when the fiscal year begins with no Current Operations Appropriations Act enacted for that fiscal year. Authorizes the Director of the Budget to continue to allocate funds from all funds for expenditure by State entities up to the level of those funds in the recurring certified budget for the prior fiscal year (was, the level of recurring expenditures from those funds for the prior fiscal year). Bars the Director from allocating funds for items funded with nonrecurring funds during the prior fiscal year, except for funds appropriated for capital improvement projects or the implementation of information technology projects. Eliminates the provisions of subdivision (b)(8), which prohibited reserving funds to the Savings Reserve Account or the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund, and prohibits the State Controller from transferring funds from the unreserved fund balance to those accounts on June 30 of the prior fiscal year. Adds a new provision allowing State agencies to spend up to the greater of 1% or $10 million of the total amount of grants awarded during the current fiscal year to respond to an emergency with the approval of the Director; requires reporting to the specified NCGA committee within 30 days of receipt of funds. No longer eliminates the specified NCGA committee consultation requirement for the expenditure of any grants funds other than those threshold amounts specified when expenditure is in response to an emergency. Makes clarifying changes to appropriate grant funds received up to the applicable allowable amounts set forth in subdivision (b)(9). Defines emergency and grant. Grant is defined to mean funds received from a grant that was not included in the base budget for the fiscal year in which the grant was awarded. Modifies the subdivision to no longer explicitly include federal block grants. Effective June 30, 2021, and applies beginning with the 2021-22 fiscal year. 

Directs that as unspent funds are returned to the Coronavirus Relief Fund, OSBM must consult with the Director of the Budget to reallocate up to $10 million in nonrecurring funds to the Division of Emergency Management to be used for unmet needs related to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Program in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Appropriates those funds as necessary. Repeals Section 3.3(52) of SL 2020-4, as enacted by SL 2020-80 and amended by SL 2021-3, which allocated $80 million of Coronavirus Relief Fund funds to the Division of Emergency Management to be used as the State match for any Federal Emergency Management Agency public assistance funds provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amends Section 4.12(d) of SL 2020-4, as enacted by SL 2020-97 and amended by SL 2020-1, extending the deadline for the award of non-automatic grants from the Extra Credit Grant Program, established therein, from May 31, 2021, to July 1, 2021, subject to previously specified criteria and qualifications for taxpayers filing amended returns, or grant applicants.

Part V.

Provides for the effect of the act's reference parts. Includes a severability clause. 

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