RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly is starting its annual session during the COVID-19 health threat to quickly approve emergency response funding and ease rules for conducting business and government activities.
The House and Senate planned to gavel in at midday Tuesday for what’s planned to be a few days of debate and voting.
Lawmakers are expected to support bills being worked on by members of both parties and Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration. Cooper asked lawmakers to distribute $1.4 billion in federal funds for expanded coronavirus testing, purchase addtional personal protective equipment and provided relief to local governments and the Department of Transportation. Proposed legislation also would delay car inspections and cancel interest on pending tax bills once due April 15.
The Legislative Building is closed to the public as the statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect. Lawmakers will hold committees online and practice social distancing while voting on the floor.
Protesters will also once again take to the streets of downtown Raleigh to protest the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the third week in a row for the ReOpen NC group.
Tuesdays protest comes the day after one of the group’s leaders announced she had tested positive for COVID-19 weeks earlier. She said she will not be in attendance today.