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SB 704 - Establishes the COVID-19 Response Act - North Carolina Key Vote

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Title: Establishes the COVID-19 Response Act

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to amend and pass a bill that establishes the COVID-19 Response Act, to provide an emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Highlights:

 

  • Authorizes immunizing pharmacists to administer the recommended immunization for COVID-19 by means of a statewide standing order in the event that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends such an immunization (Sec. 3D.3).

  • Specifies that a driving eligibility certificate dated on or after February 9, 2020, and before March 10, 2020, remains valid and may be accepted by the Division of Motor Vehicles to meet the requirements for a license or permit until 30 days after the date the governor rescinds executive order 116 or the date of the Division reopens all drivers license offices, whichever is earlier (Sec. 4.7).

  • Specifies that the Secretary of Revenue has extended the franchise, corporate income, and individual income tax payment deadline from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020 (Sec. 1.1).

  • Specifies that for the 2019-2020 school year, end-of-grade and end-of-course testing requirements are waived (Sec. 2.3).

  • Authorizes the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to, from available funds credited to its Tourism Development Fund, provide up to $5 million to an agency experienced in emergency management funding for grants to assist small businesses that have closed or been otherwise significantly affected due to the economic hardship occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic with the costs of recommending business activities (Sec. 1.5).

  • Specifies that a grant provided under the program is limited to no more than $50,000 per business (Sec. 1.5).

  • Specifies that the North Carolina General Assembly supports the various actions taken by the North Carolina Medical Board, the Noth Carolina Board of Nursing, other health care licensing providers, and their efforts to address the workforce supply challenges presented by the COVID-19 emergency (Sec. 3B.1).

  • Specifies that the general assembly supports each of the following initiatives, including, but not limited to (Sec. 3B.1):

    • As COVID-19 antibody tests become available, encouraging all persons authorized under state law to administer such tests to give priority to front-line care providers, including emergency medical services personnel, firefighters, rescue squad workers, law enforcement officers, licensed health care providers, long-term care providers, child care providers, and other persons essential to the provision of medical care, dental care, long-term care, or child care; 

    • Pursuing any federally available waiver or program allowance regarding child welfare, including waivers regarding virtual visitation for children in foster care, temporary suspension of relicensing requirements for foster parents, and the continuation of payments for youth in foster care ages 18021, regardless of education or employment requirements; and

    • Providing ongoing flexibility to teaching institutions to ensure students seeking degrees in health care professionals can complete necessary clinical hours.

  • Establishes immunity from civil or criminal liability for the following individuals (Sec. 3D.3):

    • The State Health Director acting pursuant to this act; and

    • Any pharmacist who administers a COVID-19 immunization or vaccine pursuant to a statewide standing order.

  • Requires the governing body of each public school unit to develop a remote instruction plan for the 2020-2021 school year and submit its plan to the State Board of Education no later than July 20, 2020 (Sec. 2.11).

  • Specifies that the purpose of the plan is to provide a detailed framework for delivering quality remote instruction to all students within the public school unit during the 2020-2021 school year (Sec. 2.11).

  • Requires the 2020-2021 school year to consist of 215 days (Sec. 2.11).

See How Your Politicians Voted

Title: Establishes the COVID-19 Response Act

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that establishes the COVID-19 Response Act, to provide an emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Highlights:

 

  • Appropriates $6 million to the Department of Health and Human Services to allocate equally among the 6 food banks in the state (Sec 3).

  • Appropriates $15 million to the Department of Health and Human Services for facilities licensed to accept State-County Special Assistance (Sec 3). 

  • Appropriates $2.25 million to the Department of Health and Human Services to assist children in foster care during the COVID-19 emergency (Sec 3). 

  • Appropriates $56 million to the Department of Public Instruction to be used for school nutrition services in response to COVID-19 by public schools participating in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program (Sec 3).

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