Cooper Administration Failed on Getting Extra Credit Grants to Low-Income Families, Audit Says | Eastern North Carolina Now

Gov. Roy Cooper’s Department of Revenue did not do enough to get “Extra Credit” grants to low-income families eligible for them, a new audit finds.

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

State Auditor Beth Wood at a Local Government Commission meeting. | Photo: Carolina Journal

    Gov. Roy Cooper's Department of Revenue did not do enough to get "Extra Credit" grants to low-income families eligible for them, a new audit finds.

    The General Assembly created the grant program in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, using federal dollars to give families $335 to use for virtual schooling and child care.

    Roughly $366 million was distributed to 1.1 million families who qualified automatically because they filed a tax return for 2019. Another $8.2 million was sent to 25,000 families who applied for the payment with the Department of Revenue.

    But the audit from State Auditor Beth Wood found that the Cooper administration failed to take several steps that would have helped low-income families.

    Instead, the department sent nearly $63 million remaining in the grant program back to the general fund.

    Many of these families did not file a state tax return because they earned less than $10,000 if single or $20,000 if married and filing jointly.

    The Cooper administration should have created a simple-to-use application in plain language for these families, the audit states. Instead, the application the Department of Revenue used tax terminology and jargon.

    The state could also have done more to promote the program and have better methods for processing applications, according to the audit.

    The General Assembly should consider requiring that state agencies use all available methods for granting automatic payments in the future, including using records from welfare benefits.

    The General Assembly has since extended the deadline to apply for the Extra Credit grants. Applications are now due by May 31.

    This audit was the latest in a string of reports outlining failures of the Cooper administration to effectively manage aid and grant programs.

    North Carolina was determined to be a "slow spender" of disaster relief money sent to help the eastern part of the state recover from Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. Two years after the storms, the state had not spent a single dollar, while South Carolina had rebuilt hundreds of homes.

    The Cooper administration also failed to distribute unemployment benefits after shutting down wide swaths of the economy, leaving workers waiting for months to receive money. Another audit found that Cooper's Department of Health and Human Services failed to adequately oversee Medicaid grants.

    Andrew Dunn is a freelance writer for Carolina Journal.
Go Back


Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )




Parents Share Stories as School Choice Expansion Advances in N.C. Senate Carolina Journal, Editorials, Op-Ed & Politics John Locke Foundation: Prudent Policy / Impeccable Research - Volume DCXXI


HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Standards for DACA, championed by President Joe Biden, were set so low
If you want to show how NOT to build a school there is no better example than this new Eastern Elementary School being planned in secret.
A rule that compels speech and engages in such viewpoint discrimination is impermissible
Tucker Carlson, Fox News Channel’s biggest prime time star, has left the cable news giant.

HbAD1

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made his first trip overseas since 2019 this week, meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Monday to discuss economic matters as the 44-year-old gears up for a likely presidential campaign.
Judge has ruled that her case can proceed on charges of civil conspiracy and fraud
now Democrat candidate in Texas and faked hate creime against GOP opponent
President Joe Biden delivered remarks on Tuesday at gun control advocacy group Everytown’s annual conference, Gun Sense University — and as is often the case when Biden speaks about guns, critics were quick to point out a series of factual errors.

HbAD2


HbAD3

 
Back to Top