N.C. House sets up bipartisan COVID-19 committee

North Carolina State Legislative Building

RALEIGH — The North Carolina House has set up a bipartisan committee to deal with the issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis.

Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) will chair the House Select Committee on COVID-19 which consists of 72 other members of the House from both parties. Information for the newly formed committee can be found on the legislature website: https://ncleg.net

“I have encouraged Governor Cooper to take any lawful administrative action that he has available to support the economy at this time like delaying sales and unemployment tax remittance deadlines for businesses, extending state and local government permit expirations, and facilitating occupational licensure flexibility for working people in North Carolina dealing with this crisis,” Speaker Moore said in a statement.

The committee will examine and address “documented and anticipated economic impacts associated with the spread of COVID-19 virus on North Carolina’s economy, including workforce dislocation, health system resource management, declined consumer activity, and temporary industry contraction.”

“The General Assembly has prepared for times of crisis with smart savings and disaster readiness policy that enable the administration to respond effectively,” said Moore. “But for actions the administration cannot take on its own, the House Select Committee on COVID-19 and its crisis policy working groups will identify immediate and long-term reforms to assist North Carolinians through this emergency.”

Moore said that the state is in a strong fiscal position to handle the crisis, citing a $3.9 billion Unemployment Trust Fund balance, $1.1 billion in savings, a $74 million disaster relief fund, $184 million in Medicaid contingency reserves, and a $2.2 billion balance of unappropriated cash-on-hand.

The members of the committee have been broken down into smaller working groups covering the topics of Healthcare, Economic Support and Education. The working groups all have at least three co-chairs, but the Healthcare group has six.

A working group has also been established to cover the Continuity of State operations which will cover topics such as emergency services, elections and public safety.

The committee will hold meetings by telephone and remote participation.

The public will be able to listen to the committee’s meetings through the General Assembly’s audio page: https://www.ncleg.gov/Audio

In addition, the public can sign up for committee notices and will be able to access documents during the remote meetings on the committee’s website that will be hosted.

Meetings of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 could begin as early as this week.

About A.P. Dillon 279 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_