Bills of Note
- House Bill 51 Eastern Counties/Public Notice — is a local bill would allow 12 counties in Eastern NC to publish public notices on their county websites rather than newspapers. This legislation aligns with NCACC's legislative goal to seek legislation allowing public bodies to provide meeting notices by electronic means in addition to allowing notice through a newspaper with general circulation within the county. The bill was filed this week but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
- House Bill 36 2020 COVID-19 Relief Bill Modifications — was approved by the General Assembly this week. The bill makes a number of changes to COVID-19 legislation passed last session in light of new federal guidelines. The bulk of the bill shifts deadlines for spending CRF funds. The bill also swaps money from the States General Fund to pay for GREAT grants previously thought to be eligible for CRF funding. The bill has been ratified and now heads to Governor Cooper for his approval.
- Senate Bill 31 Political Subdivisions/Local Bidders Notice — requires counties to, in addition to newspaper advertisement, notify interested people or businesses by regular or electronic mail of work over $50,000 being let to bid. The bill was filed this week but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
- Senate Bill 37 In-Person Learning Choice For Families — requires school districts to offer in-person instruction to students in grades K-12 for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Encourages, but does not require, school districts to coordinate with local health departments and vaccine providers to facilitate scheduling COVID-19 vaccination events for frontline K-12 school-based employees. The bill passed its first and second reading this week in the Senate and will receive its final vote in the Senate before going to the House for further consideration next week.
- Governor Cooper proposed supplemental budget modifications this week, including bonuses for K-12 community college, and UNC System personnel, additional internet hotspots, and an expansion of state unemployment benefits. These proposals, in addition to a forthcoming budget proposal for 2021-23, will be reviewed by the legislature. Both Governor Cooper and the legislature have discussed allocations from the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, and the General Assembly approved House Bill 36 (2020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications) this week to distribute some of the federal funds to applicable state agencies.
- The NC Department of Justice announced this week North Carolina is part of a multi-state $573 million settlement with the consulting firm of McKinsey & Company to resolve the firm’s role in advising opioid companies to overprescribe opioid products. North Carolina will receive almost $19 million over five years, which will help fund opioid treatment and prevention efforts. This settlement is separate from the multi-district national litigation involving multiple local governments in North Carolina and across the country. Negotiations are ongoing and productive discussions continue between the NCACC-convened “5-5-5" workgroup and the NC Attorney’s General Office.
- NC Department of Health and Human Services opened applications for Behavioral Health I/DD Tailored Plans this week, applying a silent period on behalf of the Department’s communications with external partners through the award period. Tailored plans are scheduled to launch July 1, 2022, as part of the transition to Medicaid managed care, and will serve individuals with significant behavioral health needs and other special populations.
- While vaccine supplies remain limited, NC DHHS released a searchable tool to locate vaccine providers. Governor Cooper, NC Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Catherine Truitt, and NC DHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen sent a joint letter to school boards and superintendents this week recommending in-person instruction provided in conjunction with NC Strong Schools safety protocols.
FEMA will provide $100 million federal grant to NC Emergency Management to reimburse 100% of costs related to the state's vaccination program for a 90-day period. Click HERE
to read the article.
- The NC City & County Management Association held its Winter Seminar Tuesday through Friday. On Thursday, NCACC Executive Director Kevin Leonard provided an Association update during the Business Meeting, and Director of Education and Conferences Jason King facilitated a panel discussion on managing rural water and wastewater systems during one of the concurrent sessions.
- NC County Attorneys met virtually this week for their annual winter conference. NCACC Deputy Director and General Counsel Amy Bason, Legislative Counsel Adam Pridemore and Associate General Counsel Paige Worsham provided a legislative update.
Mark Your Calendars
Virtual Ethics Training
February 26 or March 23, 2021
Incumbent commissioners may register for virtual ethics training on February 26 or March 23 with newly elected county commissioners attending Essentials of County Government. Click HERE
for more information and to register.
Local Elected Leaders Academy ("LELA") Programs
— Working Better Together: Governing Guidance
While most public officials want to offer positive leadership, working well together as a group isn't automatic, easy, or simple. Attend this course to learn how being a leader also entails being a team member.
— Evaluating Manager and Board Performance
Participants who complete this program will learn how to develop a successful board self-assessment and manager evaluation process, customize an evaluation process that works for their jurisdiction, and how to avoid common pitfalls.
— When Differences of Opinion Escalate: Conflict Resolution Skills for Local Elected Officials
In this workshop, you will strengthen your ability to effectively manage conflict in a variety of settings by identifying when differences of opinion are about to escalate; adding tools that help in deescalating conflicts; and practicing five methods for conflict resolution. This highly interactive video workshop will help you develop the leadership skills that allow you to express principled differences in a civil way.
NOTE: When registering for LELA programming, use the code NCACC-SOG-2019-20 to receive the 20 percent county commissioner discount.