Gov. Cooper signs $1 billion COVID-19 relief bill that includes stimulus payments for parents

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper will sign into law the $1 billion COVID-19 relief bill, according to a news release Friday evening from his office.

The bill passed through the Senate Wednesday by a 44-5 margin and through the House on Thursday. It includes $335 in direct payments to households that have at least one child. Those stimulus payments will cost about $440 million, according to Senate Republicans.

The payments would be distributed by Dec. 15.

Democrats tried unsuccessfully to make various changes to the relief bill Wednesday, including expanding Medicaid and boosting unemployment benefits higher than Republicans have supported.

“This budget followed my recommendations on school enrollment funding and invested in important areas like high speed internet access and disaster relief, but legislators should have done more to expand Medicaid, support small businesses, pay our educators, assist with rent and utilities relief and further help unemployed North Carolinians,” Cooper said in the release. “Obviously I don’t agree with every provision, but the funding for pandemic support in this budget is critical and must move forward.”

Republicans included a temporary increase to state unemployment benefits of $50 per week, which would last until the end of the year. That’s in addition to $300 per week in federal benefits recently authorized by President Donald Trump in an executive order.

Cooper will also sign into the Championship NC Act. Its aim is to “provide economic incentives for the purpose of bringing a sports championship employer to the state.

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