Gov. Roy Cooper is proposing sending checks of up to $500 for eligible parents as North Carolina gets $5.7 billion in federal COVID relief funding.
The Governor’s recommendations, released Wednesday, include assisting families most impacted by the pandemic, upgrading infrastructure, helping more people get a degree or trade after high school, preparing the state’s workforce and promoting business development.
Extra Credit Grants implemented last year would be retooled to target lower-income families. Cooper called the new plan “Extra Credit Grants 2.0.”
Cooper’s grant proposal suggests checks from between $250 and $500 for North Carolina families:
- The $500 grants would go to families with an income of $15,000 – $30,000
- The $250 grants would go to families making between $30,000 and $60,000
The income thresholds would be based off 2019 income. Cooper’s administration estimated that nearly 700,000 families would be eligible for the grant.
“This pandemic brought us a once-in-a-generation challenge. And these funds have brought us a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Cooper said. “North Carolina’s funding from the American Rescue Plan positions our state for a shared recovery and allows us to create a North Carolina that works for all.”
Broadband, education, local infrastructure and targeted businesses are also in Cooper’s proposals to spend $5.7 billion in federal coronavirus relief plan.
The governor’s COVID-19 relief plan includes
- $1.2 billion for broadband internet expansion
- $74 million for affordable housing
- Other money for infrastructure support
Cooper on Wednesday unveiled his ideas to spend the latest tranche of aid coming from Washington. Cooper proposed to state legislators that $1.2 billion go toward fiber installation grants and other broadband projects.
“An unprecedented pandemic requires unprecedented investment,” Cooper said.
A higher-education package of $835 million would create new or expanded scholarships.
The legislature will now consider his ideas.