September 15, 2020
The $2 trillion CARES Act signed into law on March 27, 2020, provided North Carolina with $3.59 billion to be spent by December 30, 2020. With $903 million of these funds still unspent, the North Carolina Legislature created NC House Bill 1105 to ensure all its federally allotted CARES Act dollars were utilized. On September 4, 2020, Governor Cooper signed HB 1105 into law, which is also referred to as the Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0.
A few highlights of HB1105 are below.
Extra Credit Grant Program
Of the $903 million in HB 1105, almost half of its funds ($440 million) are used to create a new grant program designed to economically assist parents of children under 17 years old with virtual schooling and childcare costs.
The Extra Credit Grant Program will be administered by the NC Department of Revenue (NCDOR) and will award $335 to eligible individuals who reported at least one qualifying child on their North Carolina 2019 income tax return.
A total of $335 will be given for each qualifying individual no matter how many qualifying children there are. Qualifying individuals who have already filed their 2019 state tax return will automatically receive the funds. 2019 state tax returns must be filed before October 15, 2020.
Those who did not meet the income threshold to mandate filing a 2019 state tax return but have at least one qualifying child, must apply to NCDOR on or before October 15, 2020.
NCDOR will automatically deposit or mail a check as quickly as possible by December 15, 2020. The Extra Credit Grant program is designed to provide funding only through December 2020. To learn more, click here.
While a significant portion of HB 1105 funds are directed to the Extra Credit Grant Program, there are a variety of other education and childcare assistance measures included. These include $19.8 million to support community-based organizations such as the YMCA, YWCA, and Boys and Girls Clubs in providing remote learning sites, $21 million to the Department of Public Instruction for home and community mobile internet access points, and granting allowance for discrepancy in the attendance formula used to receive funding.
HB 1105 consists of multiple healthcare-related measures including $34 million for COVID-19 testing and tracing. Among others, it also allocates $25 million to the NC Medical Society (NCMS) to distribute funds to independent medical practices in North Carolina struggling financially due to COVID-19.
The Department of Commerce was allotted funding for several different areas.
- Division of Employment Security received $87 million to add $50/week to unemployment checks through year-end or until funds are exhausted.
- The Job Retention Grant Program was awarded an additional $45.5 million to assist NC nonprofits and businesses in maintaining employees through payroll assistance.
- $1.5 million was granted to revive the state’s previously inactive One North Carolina Small Business Fund to foster research and innovative technology.
The Department of Information Technology received $32 million to boost rural broadband through the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology Fund.
With expenditure of funds to be made by December 30, 2020, and the NC General Assembly not due back to Raleigh until the new year, departments and agencies are moving quickly to ensure all of North Carolina’s CARES Act funding is used.
Do you and your business need help navigating these changing times? Contact JPS.
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