Governor Cooper’s Budget Proposal Fights the COVID-19 Pandemic While Investing in North Carolina’s Future
Yesterday, Governor Cooper released his budget recommendations to fight the COVID-19 pandemic while strengthening the state's economy through long-term investments in education and infrastructure.
"We have to rise to the occasion of this pandemic response now and focus on ways to emerge from this crisis stronger than before,"
said Governor Cooper.
Governor Cooper's budget would invest $900 million that remains from the federal CARES Act money to directly address COVID-19 impacts. His proposal includes $175 million to fund public health priorities like testing, tracing, personal protective equipment and caring for aging adults. It also recommends $27.5 million to combine with other funds to create a $50 million relief program to support NC businesses with rent, mortgage and utility relief and $18 million to combine with other funds to create a $33 million grant program for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) that have been left out of other support programs.
The Governor proposes using $132 million of the federal money to help K-12 public schools to protect students, teachers and staff and ensure students most impacted by COVID-19 receive support to close the coverage gap, and invest in state education including teachers and support staff and bolster the state's health infrastructure, and affordable housing.
The "Support for a Determined North Carolina" budget would also invest state money by offering teachers a $2,000 bonus and school support staff a $1,000 bonus. It would close the health care coverage gap by expanding Medicaid and expand North Carolina's unemployment benefit program to help more people out of work because of COVID-19.
Finally, Governor Cooper's budget recommends taking advantage of historically low interest rates through bonds that can boost health care infrastructure, update water and sewer systems, and help with construction at K-12 public schools, universities and community colleges.
Read the full "Support for a Determined North Carolina
Read the Press Release
COVID-19 Updates: Staying Informed & Prepared
Information is changing rapidly, this update is current as of August 14, 2020
It's important to rely on trusted sources of information about COVID-19. Keep up with the latest information on Coronavirus in North Carolina HERE
to receive general information and updates about COVID-19 and North Carolina's response.
provides free, confidential information and is available 24 hours a day to help you find resources within your community. They can connect you with people and groups that can help with questions about access to food, shelter, health care, employment and child care.
Families who need food assistance for their children can text FOODNC
to find free meal sites in their communities.
Make sure to prioritize your overall wellness and don't hesitate to seek additional help. Optum has a toll-free 24-hour Emotional Support Help Line at 866-342-6892
for people who may be experiencing anxiety or stress due to Coronavirus.
You can track the disease in real time through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' COVID-19 NC Dashboard
. It includes detailed information about the state's COVID-19 confirmed cases, hospital capacity and more.
Child Care Hotline Extended to Families Seeking Child Care for School-Age Children
North Carolina families in need of childcare can call the child care hotline 1-888-600-1685
to be connected with child care options in their communities for school-age children up to age 12.
"Remote learning and new school schedules present challenges if you are a working parent. This resource can help make sure children have safe, reliable care. We will continue working on ways we can help families through this difficult time,"
said Governor Cooper.
The hotline is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Licensed child care professionals meeting the NCDHHS health and safety guidelines are available to provide care through this service. For more information about child care during COVID-19, visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/information/child-care/child-care-information-families
Free Community Testing Events Around NC
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has announced community free testing events in Edgecombe, Halifax, Hertford, Johnston, Northampton, Sampson and Wake counties. For an up-to-date list of events, visit the Community Testing Events
page. People who may not currently have symptoms but may have been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested, especially people from historically marginalized communities.
If someone tests positive for COVID-19, the COVID-19 Community Team will reach out to connect them with needed resources. People should answer when the Community Team reaches out, via phone, text from 45394, or email from NC-ARIAS-NoReply@dhhs.nc.gov
with further instructions.
Find a nearby testing site Find My Testing Place
For more information visit the NCDHHS FAQs about Testing
and FAQs about Contact Tracing
Complete the 2020 Census
Completing the census will help us count the number of people in our state, which is how the federal government divides tax dollars to states and communities. As of July, more than 40% of North Carolinians, over 4 million people, had not been counted, which could mean a loss of $7.4 billion dollars per year for North Carolina for health care, education, highways, and community and economic development is at risk.
An incomplete count puts representation in Congress and and federal funding our state needs in jeopardy.
The count is lagging behind in Eastern North Carolina where many of our military families live and where so many have been hit hard by recent storms. Encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to participate in the count. Census workers will begin knocking on doors on August 11th to ensure we all are counted.
You can complete the 2020 Census safely at home online at my2020census.gov
and by phone (844–330–2020 in English, 844–468–2020 in Spanish), or submit by mail.
Get All of the Latest Information in Spanish
During this time it is imperative that everyone is informed about what is going on in our state. Governor Cooper's administration has been working to get information and resources translated for the Spanish speaking population in our state. Many of the Governor's press conferences
, press releases
, and executive orders
are available in Spanish. Resources are also available in Spanish on the DHHS
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