The Senate’s omnibus bill to address COVID-19 gets its first committee hearing this morning.
The 51-page, COVID-19 Recovery Act has dozens of earmarks designed to offer relief to the state. Here are six notable expenditures:
$50 million – for the Department of Health and Human Services to allocate at their discretion. The funds will primarily be used to increase the purchase of items such as ventilators, touch-free thermometers, gowns, disinfectant, sanitizing wipes and more personal protective equipment.
$125 million – for the Golden LEAF Foundation to provide “bridge loans” to assist small businesses with their needs in recovering from this economic hardship
$6 million – to the Department of Health and Human Services to be allocated equally among the state’s six food banks. In turn, the food banks are being encouraged to use those funds to purchase food from North Carolina farmers and vendors
$15 million – would be allocated to Duke University’s Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to get to the public as soon as possible
$20 million – would go to Wake Forest University Health Services to be used to expand its COVID-19 study to include syndromic surveillance and representative sample antibody testing, providing policymakers and researchers with near real-time coronavirus prevalence, hospitalization,and fatality data
$5 million – would be used by to the Department of Commerce to help the tourism industry recover. Funds here would be used to develop COVID-19-specific strategies and materials to educate people on how to travel in a safe and socially distant way and prevent community reintroduction of the virus
The Senate appropriations committee will take up the bill this morning at 10:00am. A vote by the full Senate could come as early as this afternoon.
Read Senate Bill 704 here.