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State Government
Governor Cooper Creates Task Force To Address COVID-19 Impact On Communities of Color PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 15 June 2020 10:57
Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 143 to addresses the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Order directs state agencies and offices to provide targeted measures to help communities of color that have been affected by the pandemic. 
 
“COVID-19 is shining a light on disparities that have long existed in our health care and economic institutions for communities of color,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Today’s Executive Order will expand our state’s efforts to help North Carolinians recover from the pandemic and improve access to affordable healthcare and quality economic opportunities in our state.” 
 
To make sure all North Carolinians can recover physically and economically from the COVID-19 pandemic, this Order identifies specific actions North Carolina departments and agencies must take to eliminate disparities across sectors. 
 
The Order does the following: 
 
Establishes the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force to focus on economic stability, health disparities, and environmental justice in North Carolina;
Tasks the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office to ensure the equitable distribution of pandemic relief funds;
Directs the Historically Underutilized Business Office to provide small historically underutilized businesses with access to opportunities, tools, and resources that promote equitable economic recovery and procurement of State contracts;
Directs the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to ensure all communities have access to COVID-19 testing and related health care; 
Tasks the Office of Public Engagement to increase awareness about COVID-19, COVID-19 relief services and resources, and provide education on eliminating disparities; 
Directs the Division of Emergency Management to continue coordinating efforts to protect the food supply chain and support feeding operations at food banks and school systems;
Directs the North Carolina National Guard to provide planning and logistical support and personnel where feasible to support mass testing of food processing plant workers in impacted communities and migrant farm workers; and 
Tasks the Department of Environmental Quality to create a common discourse on environmental justice and coordinate with state executive agencies on the integration of environmental justice considerations into current and future policies, programs, and procedures.
COVID-19 disproportionately affects communities of color for several reasons, including existing social, environmental, and health inequities. Despite making up 22 percent of North Carolina’s population, as of June 1, African Americans account for 30 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases and 34 percent of COVID-19 deaths in cases where race is known. Similarly, Hispanics account for 39% of confirmed COVID-19 cases, in cases where race or ethnicity is known, despite only making up about 10% of the population in North Carolina. 
 
The Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force
 
The Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force will identify best practices to create economic stability, eliminate health disparities, and achieve environmental justice in North Carolina. Andrea Harris dedicated her life to eliminating disparities in North Carolina, co-founding the non-profit North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development and serving on the Advisory Council for Historically Underutilized Businesses. Secretary of the Department of Administration Machelle D. Sanders will chair the task force.
 
"Health inequities are the result of more than individual choice or random occurrence -- they are the result of the historic and ongoing interplay of inequitable structures, policies, and norms that shape lives," said NC Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders. "I am deeply honored to carry Andrea Harris' torch on this new task force, as we grapple with these complex and critical issues for North Carolina."
 
Direct Health Assistance
 
The Order directs the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to use funding from the COVID-19 Recovery Act to provide COVID-19 related health services to uninsured North Carolinians during this public health emergency. 
 
This will include health services provided by community health centers, local health departments, rural health centers, and clinics. NC DHHS is also tasked with reporting racial and ethnic demographic data; providing testing supplies and PPE to community health centers and nonprofit providers that service vulnerable communities; and partnering with community organizations to establish testing sites easily accessible to communities of color.
 
Economic Recovery for Historically Underutilized Businesses
 
Governor Cooper established the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO) to help North Carolina recover from the pandemic. In this Order, NCPRO has been tasked to work with each state agency to ensure COVID-19 related stimulus funds and resources are delivered equitably; to work with the Historically Underutilized Business program and advocate for the economic recovery of minority-owned businesses in the state; and to work with the Department of Commerce to guarantee the equitable distribution of Community Development Block Grants.
 
A certified historically underutilized business (HUB) is a business that is 51% owned by, and the day-to-day management and daily business operations are controlled by a person of color, woman, disabled, or socially and economically disadvantaged individual. The Historically Underutilized Business Office is tasked with developing and implementing a plan that stimulates economic recovery for small, historically underutilized businesses. 
 
Government-Wide Focus
 
The Order also involves the Governor’s Office of Public Engagement, the Division of Emergency Management, the North Carolina National Guard, and the Department of Environmental Quality. 
 
Speaker Moore Creates Task Force On Justice, Law Enforcement And Community Relations PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Donna Martinez   
Monday, 15 June 2020 10:46
House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) announced a new bipartisan Task Force on Justice, Law Enforcement, and Community Relations following the death of George Floyd and protests across North Carolina. The Task Force will convene after the end of the legislative short session.
 
Co-Chairs of the Task Force will be Representatives John Szoka (R-Cumberland), Kristin Baker (R-Cabarrus), and Howard Hunter (D-Hertford)

 

"Recent events have created a unique opportunity to address long-standing issues facing our society. In these difficult times, our job is to bring diverse perspectives together to listen and develop consensus solutions to move our State forward." Speaker Moore said. 
Last Updated on Monday, 15 June 2020 10:48
 
Budget Projection Anticipates $4.2 Billion Revenue Shortfall PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 29 May 2020 10:53

Analysts for both the General Assembly's nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division and the Office of State Budget and Management predicted a total net drop in expected collections of $5 billion for the current budget biennium. 

The figure includes an expected $4.2 billion drop, or 8.2%, in General Fund revenues plus an expected $774 million drop, or 9.7%, in the Highway Fund and Highway Trust Fund.

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) released a joint statement: 

"We continue to work collaboratively with the Governor on fiscal responses to this crisis, just as we did earlier this month with a consensus $1.6 billion COVID relief appropriation. We look forward to receiving the Governor’s budget recommendations as soon as possible to move forward with a plan of action."

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 29 May 2020 10:55
 
Governor Cooper And Sen. Berger Mourn The Passing Of Former Senator Tony Rand PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 29 May 2020 10:35

Governor Roy Cooper and Senate Leader Phil Berger mourned the death of former State Senator and Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand.

Governor Cooper issued the following statement: 

"My good friend, former State Senator Tony Rand was the muscle who moved good ideas into great laws. He fought tirelessly for public schools and the UNC system. Behind his brilliant wit and encyclopedic knowledge of North Carolina was a man who deeply loved his family, his state and his Tar Heels. Kristin and I send our love and deepest sympathy to his family and friends, especially his wife Karen and his sons Ripley and Craven."

Senator Berger released the following statement:
"Tony Rand was a long-serving leader in the North Carolina Senate and will be remembered as one of the most effective and influential political figures in North Carolina over the past 30 years. Those of us who served with him know that he revered the institution of the Senate even after he left its ranks. The Senate’s tradition of collegiality—fostered by Tony—continues today and will remain part of his enduring legacy. My condolences go out to his wife, Karen, and his children." 
Last Updated on Friday, 29 May 2020 11:42
 
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