NCACC Weekly Update — March 12 | Beaufort County Now | NCACC Weekly Update — March 12

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Press Release:

Legislative Brief

Notable Activity

  • President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 this week. The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package includes new economic stimulus payments, extended unemployment benefits, public health funding for vaccines and testing, emergency rental and utility assistance funds, and numerous other provisions extending economic assistance to individuals, families, and businesses. See below for more information.
  • Governor Cooper signed into law House Bill 196 (2021 COVID-19 Response and Relief) this week, which allocates some federal COVID-19 funding included in previous coronavirus relief packages and extends certain regulations. When signing SL 2021-3, the Governor asked the legislature to revisit the emergency rental assistance provisions included in the legislation to ensure timely assistance for rental and utility bills.
  • Since commencement of the long session in January, the COVID-19 impact on public schools and students has taken center stage. This week, after a veto and stalemate, the General Assembly and Governor Cooper came to an agreement on legislation to reopen public schools with the passage of Senate Bill 220 The Reopen Our Schools Act of 2021.

Action Items

    House Bill 32 Equity in Opportunity Act authorizes counties to appropriate funds to provide up to $1,000 per year to students in the county who have received a scholarship grant from the state and are enrolled in a nonpublic school located within the county for the school year, as a supplement to the scholarship funds provided by the state.

    This bill is scheduled to be heard next Tuesday in the House Education K-12 Committee. NCACC urges you to contact your House members or members of the House Education K-12 Committee if you have any concerns.

Bills of Note

  • Law Enforcement and Immigration Related Bills:
    • House Bill 62 Gov. Immigration Compliance/Enjoin Ordinances passed the House and now goes to Senate Rules for consideration. The bill prohibits local governments from adopting any “policy, ordinance or procedure that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws.” The legislation also allows citizens to bring action for injunctive relief against the local government for violations. NCACC opposes the legislation as the bill establishes a process that exposes counties to potentially frivolous and expensive litigation.
    • Senate Bill 101 Require Cooperation with ICE 2.0 requires administrators of confinement facilities to attempt to determine the citizenship status of individuals charged with certain crimes, and to send a query to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if unable to determine the individual’s immigration status. Additionally, the bill requires that an individual with an ICE detainer be held in the confinement facility for 48 hours or until action by ICE. The legislation passed the Senate and heads to the House for consideration.
    • House Bill 48 Concealed Carry/Emergency Medical Personnel exempts certain emergency medical personnel from general concealed carry prohibition. Emergency personnel who are deployed as members of tactical medical assistance teams would be permitted to carry concealed weapons provided they meet certain training requirements. The bill passed the House and heads to the Senate for consideration.
  • Other Bills of Note:
    • House Bill 284 Repeal Right of Action/Capital Outlay Fund repeals the ability for local school boards to sue the county over appropriations to the capital outlay fund and makes final the decision of the county commissioners on the appropriation amount. The bill was filed in the House this week and has not yet been scheduled for a hearing in committee. This is a long-standing goal of NCACC and we thank Representatives Larry Potts, Bobby Hanig, Ben Moss, and Mark Pless for their leadership on this issue and being sponsors of the legislation.
    • Senate Bill 238 Life & Property Protection Act holds governmental entities liable for damages, injury, or death proximately caused by the entities’ intentional prohibition, prevention, or delay of law enforcement or fire and rescue services from accessing an area within the governmental entity's jurisdiction during a public demonstration. The bill was filed in the Senate this week and referred to the Senate Rules and Operations Committee.
    • House Bill 230 NC Managing Environmental Waste Act of 2021 provides funds to local governments to assist with the cost of plastics recycling, and directs the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources to study the issue of plastics waste. This legislation aligns with NCACC’s legislative goal to “Support additional state funding to assist local governments in all recycling, with special attention to managing electronics recycling and scrap tire disposal.” The bill has been filed and referred to the House Commerce Committee.

State Updates

Executive Orders and Other Actions

    Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen announced this week that individuals in Group 4 with a pre-existing medical condition will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination beginning next week. Additional information about Group 4 is available HERE.

Department Updates

    More than 1 million people (about 11% of the state's population) have been fully vaccinated. View more data, including demographics, on the NC Department of Health and Human Services dashboard.

Federal Updates

    President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 this week. With $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, the Act provides an historic investment in states and local governments across the country to assist with impact and recovery, including direct allocations to all counties in North Carolina. See county-by-county figures and other information in the American Rescue Plan Act section on NCACC's COVID-19 Resource page.

    NACo Launches a new COVID-19 Clearinghouse page and provides analysis on the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
    On March 8, the National Association of Counties (NACo) launched a new COVID-19 Clearinghouse that includes an analysis of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, including a chart on best estimates for county-by-county allocations. To read NACo's analysis on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, click HERE. To access a presentation by NACo on the Act, click HERE.

COVID-19 Resources

    NC COVID-19 Student Response Corps returns for 2021
    The NC COVID-19 Student Response Corps was launched in May 2020 by Lead for North Carolina/UNC School of Government and the NC Office of Strategic Partnerships, in collaboration with many partners, including the NCACC. Through the Response Corps, students had internships with local government and nonprofit organizations that needed support for COVID-19 response and other efforts.

    Click HERE for more information on this internship program. Submit a request for an intern.

NCACC Updates

    LGFCU Excellence in Innovation Awards Application Now Open
    The 2021 Excellence in Innovation Awards program is now accepting applications. In addition to the ongoing work taking place across county disciplines, special consideration will be given this year to COVID-19 response efforts. Click HERE for more information on the awards program.

    Interested in Hosting a County Management Fellow?
    The NCACC and International City-County Management Association (ICMA) are seeking to add host counties for the NCACC-ICMA County Management Fellowship Program, which places recent MPA (Master of Public Administration or Affairs) or MPP (Policy) graduates who are interested in a local government management career into one- to two-year fellowships designed to provide real project experience and fast career growth in a supportive environment. County managers interested in the program should contact Jason King at or visit HERE for more information.

Mark Your Calendars

    Joint NCACC Steering Committee Meeting March 15
    March 15, 2:30–4 PMGeneral Government, Agriculture, and Health & Human Services Steering Committees
    Click HERE to access the Zoom link to attend the meeting and HERE to view an agenda.

    NCACC steering committee attendees will hear a legislative update and have an opportunity to discuss the status of legislative goals and other timely topics. Steering committee membership is open to all county commissioners, as well as county staff who specialize in committee-related fields. If you would like to join a steering committee, please complete this sign-up form. Steering committee meetings are open to all, so please join us!

    Virtual Ethics Training
    March 23, 2021
    Incumbent commissioners may register for virtual ethics training on March 23 with newly elected county commissioners attending Essentials of County Government. Click HERE for more information and to register.

    'Top 10' Primer Series
    Sponsored by NCACC and offered at no charge!
    This series of short webinars provides essential tips, tools and definitions to help local elected leaders take on their responsibilities. Each webinar introduces a specific topic or tool and explores the "top 10" things that elected leaders need to know.

    This series of short webinars provides essential tips, tools and definitions to help local elected leaders take on their responsibilities. Each webinar introduces a specific topic or tool and explores the "top 10" things that elected leaders need to know.

    Local Elected Leaders Academy ("LELA") Programs
  • March 24When 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.
  • April 21Legal Competency for Local Elected Officials
  • This course is designed to enhance the basic materials covered in the Essentials courses, and will give you a deeper understanding of your legal responsibilities. Subjects addressed will include: the legal authority of the local unit; rules of procedure; roles and responsibilities of individual board members; transparency requirements; and conflicts of interest.

    NOTE: When registering for LELA programming, use the code NCACC-SOG-2019-20 to receive the 20 percent county commissioner discount.

Click here to view NCACC's calendar of events

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