Rep. James D. Gailliard Legislative Update September 2020

September Newsletter

From the Office of

Representative James D. Gailliard

District 25

Volume 1, Issue 19

STANDING COMMITTEES

2019-2020

· HEALTH

· APPROPRIATIONS

· APPROPRIATIONS EDUCATION

· EDUCATION K-12

· HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL SAFETY

Advocating for inclusive policies for Constituents in Nash County-Rocky Mount

General Assembly – Committee Updates

There are no Committee updates for the month of August.

COVID-19 Case Updates

Friends,

As of September 2nd, 2020, we have 169,424 confirmed cases in North Carolina. There are 100 counties with cases. There are 946 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Nash County has 1,703 cases and Edgecombe County has 968 cases. We have confirmed 2,741 deaths for

North Carolina, with 24 reported in Nash County and 20 reported in Edgecombe County

You can visit the DHHS Dashboard for updates:

https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard

Continue Prevention Measures to slow the spread of COVID-19:

COVID-19 – Recovered Statistics

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released the, “COVID-19 Patients Presumed to be Recovered,” report on August 31st. This number is calculated to be 145,884.

It’s important to note that this calculation is a rough estimate with several limitations to keep in mind:

· Patients’ actual recovery times could be shorter or longer depending on the severity of illness.

· These estimates cannot account for other factors that could impact a patient’s recovery time or disease severity, such as age and underlying health conditions.

· These estimates do not measure the amount of natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the population.

· There also appears to potentially be long-term negative health impacts for some people from having contracted COVID-19, which also isn’t accounted for in this number.

That full report it available below:

https://files.nc.gov/covid/documents/dashboard/Weekly-COVID19-Patients-Presumed-to-be-Recovered.pdf

COVID-19

North Carolina Moves to Phase 2.5

Yesterday, Governor Cooper announced that Safer at Home Phase 2.5 will begin this upcoming Friday (9/4) at 5:00pm and remains in effect through October 2. Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect and are even more important to contain the virus.

Phase 2.5 means the following for North Carolina:



· Mass gathering limits will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors from the current limit of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors.

· Playgrounds may open.

· Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity.

· Gyms and indoor exercise facilities, such as yoga studios, martial arts, and rock climbing, as well as skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor basketball, volleyball etc., may open at 30% capacity.

· Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment facilities, amusement parks, dance halls will remain closed.

· Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits.

In addition, NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen issued a Secretarial Order allowing for outdoor visitation at nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities. To participate, nursing homes must meet several requirements, including, but not limited, not having a current outbreak, having a testing plan and updated written Infection Control or Preparedness plan for COVID-19, and having adequate personal protective equipment. The Secretarial Order is also effective this Friday at 5 PM and remains in effect through September 22, 2020.

Read the Executive Order.

Read the Secretarial Order.

Read the Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 News

Governor Cooper Proposes Budget to Continue Fighting COVID-19

Governor Roy Cooper this week shared a recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. North Carolina has yet to pass a State Budget for 2020-2021 because the COVID-19 crisis pushed back tax filing deadlines from April 15 to July 15, making it more difficult to estimate revenues for this fiscal year.

Even with this uncertainty, it is important to pass a budget that uses remaining coronavirus federal funding and make responsible investments in the state’s future with the revenues we know we have.

North Carolina has more than $900 million left in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds from the federal CARES Act. Here is Governor Cooper’s plan to spend these funds:

· $175 million for critical public health services including:

· $25 million for testing and tracing;

· $50 million to target rural and historically marginalized populations; and

· $40 million for early childhood services;

· $49 million to build a state strategic stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE);

· $132 million to help K-12 public schools to protect students, teachers and staff and ensure students most impacted by COVID-19 receive support;

· $200 million in aid for local governments facing budget shortfalls;

· $50 million to establish an emergency grant program to expand high-speed internet access;

· $27.5 million to combine with other funds to create a $50 million relief program to support NC businesses with rent, mortgage and utility relief;

· $18 million to combine with other funds to create a $33 million grant program for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) that have been left out of other support programs;

· $25 million to provide equipment for health care and first responder workforce programs at community colleges to continue the state’s pipeline of necessary, qualified workers;

· $25 million to research obstacles to reliable, rapid COVID-19 testing;

· $50 million in direct aid to food banks, emergency feeding organizations, and community organizations for food and nutrition assistance.

The Governor’s budget also proposes a responsible investment of North Carolina’s state dollars to ensure the state has a stable foundation to succeed in the long-term and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger.

· A one-time $2,000 bonus to K-12 public school teachers, instructional support personnel, principals and assistant principals.

· A one-time $1,000 bonus to K-12 non-certified public school personnel.

· A one-time $1,500 bonus to UNC System and NC Community College System personnel.

· $50 million to support the highest needs students, schools, and districts and early childhood education as a part of the state’s commitment to providing a sound basic education to all students.

· $86.5 million to provide state matching funds for FEMA Recovery programs from Hurricanes Matthew, Florence, Dorian and Isaias, and to assist with recovery in Alleghany County after the August 9 earthquake.

The Governor’s proposal is just a first step, but it is a good with. Next legislators will work on their proposal. Whatever the legislature passes will end up going back to Governor Cooper for his approval or veto.

Supporting North Carolinians Out of Work

Governor Cooper’s budget also proposes a responsible expansion of the state’s unemployment benefits program. Currently, North Carolina has the worst benefits in the country for unemployed workers.

Cooper’s proposal would increase the duration of available benefits from 12 weeks to 24 weeks and increase the maximum weekly benefit to $500. Any formula-driven unemployment insurance tax increases would be suspended through 2022. This proposal would keep the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Balance above $2 billion. There is currently $3.05 billion in the fund.

Closing the Health Care Coverage Gap

Governor Cooper’s budget also recommends expanding Medicaid to cover 600,000 more North Carolinians who are currently in a health care coverage gap. Expansion is 90% funded by the federal government with the remaining cost paid by health care providers and insurance companies, leaving the state with no additional cost.

This will save lives, most importantly, but it will also bring billions of dollars back to North Carolina in federal funding to create health care jobs and expand our health care infrastructure.

Investing in Critical Infrastructure

Through the use of bonds, North Carolina can take advantage of historically low interest rates to improve the state’s health care infrastructure and response to COVID-19 as well as make other critical investments in schools, water and sewer systems and affordable housing.

The Governor proposes a $988 million health care infrastructure limited obligation bond to support health facilities, public health labs, and vaccine development. In addition, his budget recommends placing a $4.3 billion infrastructure general obligation bond on the November 2021 ballot that would invest:

· $2 billion in school construction;

· $800 million for water and sewer infrastructure;

· $500 million for UNC System facilities;

· $500 million for the Community College system; and

· $500 million for affordable housing.

Each $1 million in investment sustains or creates up to 13 direct jobs and 28 indirect jobs, helping support the economy as it recovers.

$175 million in COVID-19 relief for rent, utility help available for NC, governor says, The News & Observer, https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article245237590.html

Other News

Search for Unclaimed Property

Take a moment to see if the State of North Carolina has any unclaimed property that belongs to you. State law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, public agencies, and businesses to turn over unclaimed property to the state if there has been no contact with the owners for the statutory period of time.

From July 2019 through June 2020 the State has returned $39,759,941 in unclaimed property to people like you.

To search for property, go here: https://unclaimed.nccash.com/app/claim-search

To submit a claim, go here: https://unclaimed.nccash.com/app/claim-doc-upload

Missouri Becomes 38th State to Expand Medicaid

Missouri voters approved Medicaid Expansion in a referendum on Tuesday. North Carolina is now one of only twelve states to refuse to accept federal funding to expand health care coverage to 500,000 North Carolinians and to create health care-related jobs in our state.

The very first bill I sponsored in 2019 was Medicaid Expansion and the very first bill I sponsored in 2020 was Medicaid Expansion. While our current legislative leaders refuse to schedule a vote on the bill, I will continue to fight to improve health care and create health care jobs.

Missouri Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion Despite Resistance From Republican Leaders, WUNC, https://www.kunc.org/npr-news/2020-08-05/missouri-voters-approve-medicaid-expansion-despite-resistance-from-republican-leaders

Price Gouging and Disaster-Related Scams

The price-gouging law that protects people from disaster-related scammers is in effect in North Carolina.

You can report potential price gouging or scams by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/price-gouging/

Representative James D. Gailliard

committed to:

The People of Nash County-Rocky Mount

Progressive solutions for Rural Issues

Principles that foster Common Sense Legislation

City provides update to computer system disruption

City provides update to computer system disruption
Rocky Mount, N.C.

On August 14, 2020, the City of Rocky Mount discovered that certain City systems were infected with a malware impacting our ability to access those systems. The City immediately launched an investigation and notified law enforcement. Although this investigation is ongoing, the City has learned it was the victim of a sophisticated ransomware attack. Fortunately, the City maintains backup copies of impacted systems and data which is allowing the City to securely restore systems and City services.

Throughout this incident, the City’s emergency services continued to function, and the City has made significant progress in safely restoring other City services. In addition to causing a computer system disruption, the group responsible for this cyber-attack claim to have stolen City information and are threatening to publicly release the information unless the City pays a ransom. After consulting with our incident response partners, and at the recommendation of the FBI, the City declined to encourage the activities of these cyber criminals and refused to pay the ransom demand.

Please know that the City is dedicating all its resources to determining how this event occurred and what information is potentially impacted. Although the City is unable to confirm at this time the type of information potentially at risk, in an abundance of caution, the City is providing information regarding steps individuals can take to protect their information from potential fraud or misuse, including contact information for the credit reporting agencies and relevant state and federal agencies. The city is also providing individuals access to free credit monitoring services. This specific information is being provided to media outlets and will soon be provided on the City of Rocky Mount’s website.

Cyber-attacks continue to pose significant threats to both governments and businesses throughout the United States and the world. Unfortunately, this incident is not unique to the City of Rocky Mount. This has been an incredibly difficult time for our City, and we are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our IT Department and incident response partners. We also appreciate the support provided by law enforcement. Most importantly, we appreciate the continued patience and support we receive from our community as we securely restore our City systems and recover from this unprecedent event.