Expedited action to be quickest storm response in recent memory
Legislature to consider bipartisan solutions to post-disaster needs, prepare state budget for federal aid infusion
Raleigh, N.C. – On Tuesday the North Carolina General Assembly will consider an expedited Hurricane Florence relief package, the quickest emergency response to a major disaster in recent memory. Legislators will vote on a bipartisan package of solutions to immediate needs as they prepare to pass North Carolina’s fourth major disaster response appropriation since 2016.
Last week, legislative leaders shared conceptual ideas for immediate relief with the Governor, and earlier today they shared draft legislation implementing those concepts with the Governor. In a note to legislators late this afternoon, Governor Cooper indicated he supported nearly all of the measures described below and provided additional options for consideration during a future session.
In a joint statement, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said, “Many of our neighbors in eastern North Carolina face struggles more severe than any other time in their lives. Thankfully, we have the means to help them, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
The General Assembly will consider measures to:
- Provide certainty and funding for teachers and other school personnel who were concerned they would not be fully compensated for forced time off during school closures;
- Waive make-up requirements for missed school days in districts impacted by Hurricane Florence;
- Implement the budget mechanisms needed to appropriate federal aid dollars;
- Waive DMV fees for customers seeking duplicate documents;
- Allocate state matching funds in anticipation of federal aid;
- Extend the deadline for voter registration in counties with federal disaster declarations
- Provide flexibility to elections boards to replace storm-damaged polling places and registration sites.
- Authorize funding for voter education campaigns on elections changes in impacted districts;
- Help control the mosquito population.
Berger and Moore continued, “We will continue collaborating with our colleagues in the legislature and with the Governor to address the needs of storm victims.”