RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislators want to make available another $300 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration to cover additional government expenses incurred due to the virus.
The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday for the measure, which would raise the amount distributed from North Carolina’s share of federal funds to Cooper’s state budget office for government operations to $370 million. They could be used in part to pay overtime at state institutions and purchase personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing at state prisons.
The measure now moves to the House. Last month, the legislature approved distributing close to half of the state’s $3.5 billion allocation from Congress for things like schools, hospitals, local governments and researchers.
House and Senate budget-writers also are advancing several spending bills using state funds for the next fiscal year. Republican leaders have said they won’t seek to approve an omnibus budget measure for next year given the state’s $4 billion decline in projected revenue through mid-2021 due to the economic downturn.
The full Senate on Tuesday voted to spend $2 million on military community initiatives and $16 million for infrastructure expenses at Western Carolina University. The House approved some spending bills last week.