Neighbors on Call's Weekly Policy Update for 3/8/21

COVID

  • A bill to allocate $1.7 billion the state received last year as part of the federal pandemic relief CARES Act unanimously passed both state legislative chambers and will now go to Gov. Cooper. HB196 provides funds for virus testing and prevention and includes support for public universities and for child-care assistance. Democrats tried unsuccessfully to add state funding to pay bonuses to K-12 and college employees and to increase unemployment benefits.

  • On March 3 COVID-19 vaccines were made available to a large group of frontline essential workers in North Carolina, including firefighters, law enforcement, grocery store workers, migrant farmers, restaurant workers, postal workers, clergy and others. An increasing vaccine supply, including the recently approved Johnson & Johnson single-dose shot, has expedited the state’s vaccine timeline. It is expected that people with underlying medical conditions will be able to make vaccine appointments starting March 24.

Fair Representation


Education Policy

Economic and Housing Policy


Health Care Policy


Womens’ Rights


Gun Violence Prevention

  • A bill to permit people to carry concealed handguns at religious services held on school property passed the NC Senate. Current law allows concealed-carry at religious services except where schools operate on the property. SB 43, Protect Religious Meeting Places, would not allow concealed carry when school or extracurricular activities are in session. Proponents of the bill suggest concealed carry will protect churchgoers in an active-shooter situation, but opponents argue the law puts children at greater risk from accidental shootings and negatively impacts efforts to prevent gun violence at all schools. All Republican and three Democratic senators voted in favor of the bill.


Criminal Justice


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