NC Legislative Update

By Cady Thomas

Activity Updates

Resurfacing Projects Awarded

Wake, Franklin and Granville Counties

Bridge Replacement and Paving 

Lenior County

Bills and Legislation


About $500 million apart, the House and Senate have yet to agree to an overall spending amount for the 2021-2022 budget. This has delayed the release of the Senate’s budget. It is their turn to start the process, but the House is meeting this week to start review of their priorities. This is unprecedented and could stall the process even further. We all wait to and see what happens next.

COVID-19 Funding – SB172 Additional COVID-19 Response & Relief

The federal government has appropriated $5.7 billion to NC and the General Assembly has spent the first round of funds from the American Recovery Plan. SB 172 appropriates $9.7 billion. Highlights:

  • $3 billion for an emergency relief fund for elementary and secondary schools.

  • $701 million for an emergency relief fund for higher education.

  • $805 million for child care stabilization grants.

  • $556 million for rental assistance.

  • $273 million for the Homeowner Assistance Fund to be used to avert foreclosures.

  • $4 million to community health centers to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines.

  • $3.4 billion for local governments across the state.



Numbers as of June 1:

  • 1,001,154 total cases

  • 13.078 deaths

  • 694 currently hospitalized

  • 43.1% percentage of positive tests each day

  • 48.8% of adult population fully vaccinated

Other Important Items

Governor Cooper’s ARP Budget Recommendations 

Governor Cooper released his recommendations for use of the $5.7 billion appropriated to NC by the federal government’s American Recovery Plan. The funds were spent primarily on digital infrastructure, workforce preparation, business development, education, and support for those impacted by COVID-19:

  • $1.2 billion to expand broadband and provide access to affordable, high-speed internet across the state;

  • $350 million to promote economic recovery for the hospitality industry and small businesses;

  • $45 million for motorsports and outdoor event opportunities;

  • $800 million to support water and wastewater infrastructure improvements;

  • $50 million in recovery grants for museums, libraries and other cultural centers and $10 million for the film industry;

  • $300 million to build the educator pipeline, promote early literacy development and support other educational investments;

  • $250 million to continue the legislature’s Extra Credit Grants program for families, with an emphasis on providing grants to low and middle-income families;

  • $150 million for workforce technology training in areas including STEM, healthcare and construction, with the funding being divided into $45 million for the UNC System, $75 million for the community college system and $30 million for the state’s independent colleges and universities; and

  • $575 million to address the state’s housing needs.

The NC General Assembly will have to appropriate these funds through spending bills which will be sent to Governor Cooper for signature.

Unemployment Benefits

Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 216 reinstating the work search requirements for people receiving unemployment benefits.


In 2020, the NCGA required the NCDOT to do a report on several items, including the “advance construction” projects for roads using federal funding. State Auditor Beth Wood was required to do an audit of this report which she released last week. The audit determined the report showed the NCDOT did not provide adequate oversight of this practice and the report provided did not include all the information required by the NCGA. According to the audit, “oversight bodies had limited ability to monitor and evaluate advance construction risks.”

Secretary Boyette is assuring the NCGA that NCDOT has made improvements when it comes to their oversight of these projects within the last year. He stated, “DOT created an advanced construction dashboard, developed a policy with programmatic parameters, launched a website that helps detail the process, and provided data that supports the decisions contained within the process.”

NCDEQ Assistant Secretary Named

Acting Assistant Secretary of Environmental Quality Sushma Masemore was officially given the role this week. She has served 13 years with DEQ in the State Energy Office and the DIvision of Air Quality. She previously worked in the private sector implementing environmental solutions for private businesses.