NCACC Weekly Update — May 8 | Beaufort County Now

NCACC staff continues to work with local, state, and federal partners this week as counties maintain critical efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and work to ensure continuation of county operations and services county commissioners, NCACC, coronavirus, covid-19, updates, county operations, critical efforts, may 11, 2020
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

NCACC Weekly Update — May 8

NCACC COVID-19 Response Efforts

    NCACC staff continues to work with local, state, and federal partners this week as counties maintain critical efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and work to ensure continuation of county operations and services:

  • On Monday, May 4th, NCACC Government Relations Director Amber Harris moderated a call with US Congressman Dan Bishop and county officials in North Carolina's 9th District.
  • On Wednesday, May 6th, NCACC participated in a meeting with county managers facilitated by the new NC Pandemic Recovery Office (NC PRO) in the NC Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM). This was the first meeting to discuss county distributions of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) monies from the federal CARES Act.
  • On Thursday, May 7th, NCACC held a call with county managers that focused on legislative updates, as well as discussion of the NC PRO guidance on county distributions of the CRF.
  • On Friday, May 8th, NCACC held the first meeting of the Opioid Litigation Settlement Allocation Work Group, comprised of five commissioners, five county managers and five county attorneys. This group will continue to meet to discuss this important issue.
  • NCACC staff continues to monitor state and federal briefings in order to share important updates with all counties.



COVID-19 Resource Page

    NCACC continues to compile resources aimed at aiding and addressing county issues related to COVID-19. That resource page can be found HERE.

    Access NCACC COVID-19 Revenue & Budget Updates Report for April 2020

    Click HERE for specific resources for Small Businesses and the Agriculture Industry.

    Report your budgeted changes for FY 2020-21 and personnel actions in response to COVID-19 in this COVID-19 County Budget Impact Estimates Google doc. The survey includes broad categories for reporting budgeted changes in certain county revenue streams and other general budget actions like providing hazard pay taken in response to COVID-19. Please feel free to add your own estimates as they will prove helpful to other counties.

Executive Order

    Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 138 this week, which eases certain travel, business operation, and gathering restrictions as North Carolina enters Phase 1 of modifying its stay-at-home order. EO 138 is effective Friday, May 8, at 5:00pm.

    Read more about the modified stay-at-home order and access the FAQs HERE.

Partner Resources

  • The new Pandemic Recovery Office in OSBM holds meeting on CRF County Distributions
  • Visit this page to access a recording of the presentation and related, required documents for counties to submit to receive their CRF distribution.
  • U.S. Treasury Releases Additional Guidance on CRF Distributions for States and Local Governments
  • Click HERE to read the latest US Treasury Guidance for states and local governments.
  • Governor Signs 5-Month Extension for Certain DMV Services, Including Driver License and Vehicle Registration Renewal
  • Click HERE for more information and read the DMV bulletin on the extension HERE.
  • N.C. Chief Justice Sends Letter to County Commissioners
  • Click HERE to read the letter of support to local government officials from N.C. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley
  • Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Participants May Purchase Groceries Online Using Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Cards.
  • Currently, Amazon and Walmart are the only authorized retailers approved for online FNS purchases. Click HERE for more information about the FNS program. Click HERE to learn more about the online purchasing initiative.
  • NACo Launches We Are Counties Campaign
  • The National Association of Counties' We Are Counties campaign aims to put faces on the many frontline services counties provide. Click HERE to learn more and discover how to participate.



How Is Your County Responding?

    NCACC is seeking positive stories about innovative ways counties are responding and adapting to the COVID-19 crisis. Please contact communications@ncacc.org to share your county COVID-19 story.



Federal & State Updates

Federal

    The U.S. Senate resumed work on Monday, and the U.S. House of Representatives will return May 11. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week that her starting point for the next COVID-19 relief package (Phase 4) is up to $1 trillion in aid for states and local governments that allows making up for lost revenues. She and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agree that aid should be focused on the losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic and not for pension liabilities or other budget shortfalls from the past. McConnell said this week it's time to pause on additional aid.

    Speaker Pelosi also called for funding in other areas including:

  • another $80 billion for broadband development;
  • infusion of funds for the postal system;
  • expand voting by mail;
  • adding funds for education, public housing, renters' aid, direct small business grants, hospitals, health care workers, hazard pay, jobless benefits, employee-retention credits, Medicaid, food stamps, and student debt relief;
  • another round of cash payments to individuals -- perhaps as much as $2,000 per adult rather than the prior $1,200; and
  • possibly a limited infrastructure package focused on broadband, water access and community health centers.

    Achieving bipartisan consensus on the next package(s) could be more difficult. The Senate will wait for the House to act first, which is expected to start drafting a bill that lawmakers may consider this summer.



N.C. General Assembly

    House COVID-19 Work Groups set to reconvene next week

    Following last week's work on its first COVID-19 response measures, the General Assembly is set to return on May 18, 2020. In addition to beginning work on non-COVID-19 policy matters, legislators are expected to begin crafting a second round of policy and financial relief related to the pandemic. To that end, the House COVID-19 work groups are set to resume meeting remotely next week to gather more information on what additional financial and policy relief is needed as the state looks to allocate more funds from the Coronavirus Relief Funds in the federal CARES Act.

    Late last week the General Assembly finalized the first round of COVID-19 relief with a $1.57 billion spending package in CRF funding and other regulatory changes. NCACC's analysis of this first round of financial and regulatory relief can be found HERE.



NCACC Updates

    NCACC Board of Directors Elects Bertie County Vice Chair Tammy Lee to Serve as NACo Director

    On May 1, 2020, members of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) Board of Directors met virtually via teleconference and elected Bertie County Vice Chair Tammy Lee to fill the NCACC NACo Director, Seat 3. The seat was vacated by Ray Jeffers, Person County Commissioner, who was recently elected to serve on NACO's Executive Committee as the South Region representative. Commissioner Lee will join Tracey Johnson, Chair of the Washington County Board of Commissioners, Kay Cashion Guilford County Commissioner, and Gloria Whisenhunt, Forsyth County Commissioner as NCACC representatives on NACo's Board of Directors.

    Since Commissioner Lee was elected in 2014, she has held various leadership positions, including serving on the NCACC Board of Directors and Vice Chair of NACo's Law Enforcement Subcommittee. Lee also serves on the NCACC Justice and Public Safety Committee, the NACo Justice and Public Safety Committee, the NACo Veterans and Military Services Steering Committee, and on many local boards and committees. Commissioner Lee has nearly 20 years of experience as a law enforcement professional, including hostage negotiation, and previously worked for Bertie County Public Schools.



Save the Dates!

    County commissioners and staff are encouraged to participate in the virtual events described below. Appointment notices with call-in details and agendas will be sent to county commissioners, managers and clerks. No registration required.

    May 13 — NCACC Steering Committee Meeting

    All NCACC steering committees will come together virtually on Wednesday, May 13, 10am-12pm, to receive briefings from NC Department of Health and Human Services, NC Emergency Management and the North Carolina office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, as well as legislative and fiscal updates from NCACC. All steering committee chairs will share comments, followed by moderated dialogue among meeting attendees.

    May 20 — County Assembly Day

    NCACC annually holds County Assembly Day for North Carolina county officials to hear from and meet with state legislative leaders and representatives. Please join your fellow county leaders on Wednesday, May 20, 9:30-11:30am, for a virtual County Assembly Day. State leaders will address the group, and attendees will receive a comprehensive legislative update and tools to help with advocacy efforts.

    Coffee Talks

    NCACC will host several "Coffee Talks" to provide a digital forum for county leaders to connect and share what you're hearing as you undertake advocacy outreach efforts. So, grab a cup of coffee, settle in and talk!

    Refer to the map at this link for districts.

  • Thursday, May 28, 10-11am — Coffee Talk for Districts 1, 2, 7, 8
  • Friday, May 29, 10-11am — Coffee Talk for Districts 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Monday, June 1, 10-11am — Coffee Talk for Districts 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Tuesday, June 2, 10-11am — Coffee Talk for Districts 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

    Please keep a look out for an email next week with more details on these upcoming events, which will be hosted virtually.



    NACo Accepting Applications for 2020 Aspire Awards to Honor Counties for Innovative Solutions and Promoting Employee Retirement Savings.

    Deadline to submit is June 12. Click HERE for more information.



    Interested in a Student Intern for the Summer?

    County governments have many needs as they work to respond to COVID-19 and move forward with efforts that were under way prior to COVID-19. Many of our state's undergraduate and graduate students have lost internship opportunities that were scheduled to begin soon. Representatives of state government, higher education, and local government — including the NCACC — are collaborating to develop internship possibilities for these students, who can support local government agencies and organizations with COVID-19 response and other efforts.

    Responses to this brief survey will help gauge the level and type of interest. Contact Jason King, NCACC Director of Education and Conferences, with questions or feedback at 919-715-0045 or jason.king@ncacc.org.



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