Money for families, internet expansion, hard-hit businesses part of Cooper’s plans for $5.7B in federal pandemic aid

On Wednesday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper unveiled a list of proposals for North Carolina’s $5.7 billion share from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed by federal lawmakers in March

Calling it a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to make transformational changes, Gov. Cooper proposed widespread investments to expand high-speed internet access across the state, give checks to families with school-age children, invest in much-needed infrastructure upgrades and give relief to struggling businesses.

As the pandemic has highlighted, access to high-speed internet that can open access to telehealth, adequate early childhood programs, affordable housing and expanding local public health departments are all vital in order to ensure our state has a just recovery.

With billions of federal funding in hand, state lawmakers have the opportunity to put people first and make long-term investments, as recommended by Gov. Cooper, that strengthens our economy, helps our communities to thrive and sets our state on a sustainable path to more equitable outcomes.

Bottom Line:

The reality is that the only way to make sure the recovery from the pandemic doesn’t deepen inequities is if our lawmakers consider policies that ensure every North Carolinian can connect to opportunity.

As the legislature considers a budget proposal this week, our state lawmakers must consider investments that are designed with North Carolinians’ well-being at the center, and ensure that it is a just recovery that puts us all on more solid ground for the future.

Alanna Joyner

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