General Assembly Passes COVID Relief, to Consider Bill to Fully Reopen Bars, Restaurants | Beaufort County Now | The General Assembly has passed with a unanimous vote a new COVID relief bill that would direct nearly $1.7 billion in aid across the state.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

General Assembly Passes COVID Relief, to Consider Bill to Fully Reopen Bars, Restaurants

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is Andrew Dunn.

    The General Assembly has passed with a unanimous vote a new COVID relief bill that would direct nearly $1.7 billion in aid across the state.

    The legislature now will consider more contentious pandemic-related legislation, including a new bill that would allow the state's bars and restaurants to fully reopen.

    The COVID relief bill is the latest in a series that allocates money from the federal government. House Bill 196 includes $600 million in new spending, primarily for North Carolina's colleges and universities. It directs millions for K-12 schools, including money to evaluate how North Carolina handled the transition to remote learning and what the long-term effects of virtual schooling could be for the state's children.

    Joe Coletti, senior fellow of fiscal studies at the John Locke Foundation, said the adjustments in this bill are evidence the state legislature is prudently using the billions in relief from Congress.

    "The General Assembly is using the discretion and extra time it has with Coronavirus Relief Fund money, to better meet actual needs, reducing appropriations where they could not be used and increasing funding in other areas that could have more benefit," he said.

    Coletti said he would prefer if the federal government gave the flexibility to direct education relief money to families instead of only school systems.

    The bill passed by a vote of 117-0 in the House, 48-0 in the Senate. It is now in front of Gov. Roy Cooper. While the governor has vetoed many of the General Assembly's COVID-related bills, he did sign into law the prior $2-billion relief bill.

    Other legislation in front of the General Assembly will have a tougher time.

    Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, has said he will bring the chamber's school reopening bill back for another veto override attempt. The effort failed by one vote last week, with one Democrat who was a primary sponsor of the bill absent.

    A new bill introduced by Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Henderson, would allow the state's bars and restaurants to fully reopen.

    Currently, bars are limited to 30% capacity. They had been closed for nearly a year before being allowed to reopen at the end of February.

    Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity, and diners are required to wear masks even in their seats unless they are "actively eating or drinking."

    Under the bill, restaurants would have to put employees through daily temperature checks and health screenings, frequently clean "high-touch" areas and "deep clean" each night.

    Andrew Dunn is a freelance writer for Carolina Journal.


HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Lawmakers in the North Carolina House fast-tracked a bill today that would allow businesses that received Payroll Protection Program loans from the federal government to have any expenses the funds were used for deducted from state tax.
On Wednesday, former Vice-President Mike Pence, 61, had a pacemaker implanted after doctors determined his heart rate was too slow.
Joy Pullmann of the Federalist sees a clear motive for Big Tech companies to censor scientific evidence that contradicts the prevailing public narrative.
Leaders of the North Carolina High School Athletics Association are scheduled to testify before the newly created, Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations Subcommittee on Interscholastic Athletic
Dems should have seen this coming. The right of self defense inalienable

HbAD1

Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have consistently maintained that the risk of spread of the COVID-19 virus among young children is low.
Voters in North Carolina could decide next year to limit the governor’s emergency powers, under a proposed constitutional amendment filed Wednesday, April 14, in the N.C. House.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says people will “likely” need to take a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated and that many may need annual vaccinations against the virus.
A bill to expand the Opportunity Scholarship Program passed the N.C. House, 69-49, on Tuesday, April 13, following a floor debate that focused on accountability.
An unfolding case at Smith College shows how the obsession with race can blind administrators to facts and lead them to act in ways that harm innocent people.

HbAD2

 
Back to Top