Gov. Roy Cooper signs $1 billion N.C. coronavirus relief bill, includes direct payments to parents

Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0

RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has signed a $1 billion coronavirus relief bill into law that includes sending direct payments to families with school-aged children.

The North Carolina legislature recently finalized the plan to spend $1.1 billion of the state’s remaining COVID-19 relief funds from Washington. Republican leaders in the General Assembly proposed the Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0 this week.

Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly for the package, which includes direct cash payments of $335 to families with school-age children.

The purpose of the payments are to help families with qualifying children in North Carolina by providing economic support to assist with virtual schooling and child-care costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $335 payments would be distributed by Dec. 15.

The package also provides a temporary $50 increase in weekly unemployment benefits and more funds for testing, tracing and personal protective equipment.

The $50 weekly increase to state unemployment benefits would last until the end of the year. The package also provides relief money for poll workers, public health agencies and others.

Governor Cooper shared this statement on the bill.

“This budget followed my recommendations on school enrollment funding and invested in important areas like high speed internet access and disaster relief, but legislators should have done more to expand Medicaid, support small businesses, pay our educators, assist with rent and utilities relief and further help unemployed North Carolinians. Obviously I don’t agree with every provision, but the funding for pandemic support in this budget is critical and must move forward.”

The bill was finalized as lawmakers wrapped up two days of work and likely ended their two-year session.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved. Associated Press contributed to this report.