Despite weeks of negotiations, we are still nowhere near the next relief package. Moreover, the chances of receiving the second stimulus checks are getting slimmer as we move closer to the election. The same, however, is not true for North Carolina residents. There are reports that Republican state lawmakers have plans to send coronavirus stimulus checks to NC parents, as well as temporarily boosting state unemployment benefits.
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Coronavirus stimulus checks to NC parents
As per the reports, the lawmakers are planning to propose coronavirus stimulus checks of hundreds of dollars to NC parents. The News & Observer, citing sources in the legislature, noted that lawmakers are negotiating the proposal to give parents money to take care of child care and virtual learning needs.
It is being reported that lawmakers are discussing sending checks to parents worth at least $200. The lawmakers would use the funds that the state received under the CARES Act. Further, these checks could be a flat amount or an amount based on per child. The proposal to send coronavirus stimulus checks to NC parents is still under discussion.
It is not clear how much the total checks will cost to the state, but the amount is expected to run into hundreds of millions of dollars. More details about these checks to parents are expected to come this week. The lawmakers will be in Raleigh this week to decide how much they can spend from the remaining $900 million from the CARES Act.
As per the legislature’s fiscal research division, the lawmakers can’t spend $351.5 million of the federal money until a change is made to the CARES Act to help states meet their budget deficits.
Plans to up unemployment benefit by $50
Along with giving coronavirus stimulus checks to NC parents, the Republican lawmakers also have plans to increase the state unemployment benefits by $50 per week for this year. For this also, they would use the money they got from the CARES Act. Provided the proposal is passed, the increased unemployment benefit would apply to people who qualify for benefits starting September.
“We simply have to look for ways to help supplement their income right now until the governor is able to, or at least willing to, help folks get back to work,” said Sen. Chuck Edwards, according to CBS17.
This $50 increase in the unemployment benefit would be in addition to the $300 per week benefit introduced by President Donald Trump through the executive orders last month. Trump came out with the executive orders after Democrats and Republicans failed to reach a consensus on the relief package.
Sen. Wiley Nickel (D-Wake), however, believes that the state can give a bigger boost to unemployment than the $50 per week. Nickel says the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund has a balance of about $3 billion.