NC Lawmakers Fail to Bring Relief to Struggling Residents
Thursday, August 27, 2020
RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina's economy is hurting, yet residents can expect little in the way of federal relief.
U.S. Senate lawmakers have recessed without passing a fifth coronavirus relief package, meaning the earliest Americans could expect any form of aid would be mid-September.
According to census survey data, nearly half of North Carolina households included someone who had lost employment income between March and the end of July.
Lindsay Saunders, board member of the anti-poverty group RESULTS, said elected officials aren't treating the situation with the urgency it deserves.
"Our own Sen. Thom Tillis sits on the banking committee," Saunders said. "Our chapters across North Carolina have had multiple conversations with our senators' offices over the past few months. Those have been great conversations, but we're not getting clear answers on what they're willing to commit to in terms of assistance for North Carolinians who are really struggling."
Census survey data shows more than 34% of Latino households in North Carolina have experienced earnings losses since March 13, as have 55% of Black households, 44% of white households and 41% of Asian households.
More than 1.2 million people have applied for unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic.
Earlier this week, Gov. Roy Cooper announced $175 million in funding to local governments to help residents with rent and utility payments.
Saunders said lawmakers' refusal to expand Medicaid has left more residents without options for coverage after losing their job or income during the pandemic.
She pointed out while the coronavirus crisis is making glaring disparities worse, there are concrete steps that could be taken.
"We also need to increase SNAP benefits to address food insecurity," Saunders said. "As I said, North Carolina is a really food-insecure state. And, raise the minimum benefit from $16 to $30 per month. Those are solutions we're calling for as advocates."
Saunders added since the onset of the pandemic, 21% of Latino households and 13% of white households with children in North Carolina reported "sometimes" or "often" not having enough to eat.
get more stories like this via email
This afternoon, members of the public will get to have a say on the management plan for the first new aquatic preserve created in Florida in 32 years…
After two decades of drought and with no relief in sight, many Utahns are looking for ways to conserve water, and for many residents, part of the …
May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and state officials are encouraging Coloradans to get up to speed on prevention and emergency-exit strategies if …
The White House is fielding pitches from top Democratic lawmakers about their desire to dramatically expand student loan forgiveness. While a …
Health and Wellness
As the school year winds down, education leaders are shedding light on increased mental-health demands among students, including thoughts of suicide…
A new report found dishonest employers steal from some 213,000 people in Ohio each year by paying them less than the minimum wage; and it is just one …
Illinois has a new law banning the sale and possession of "ghost guns," essentially untraceable firearms that are sold in kit-form online or at gun sh…
With firearm deaths in Connecticut and across the country on the rise, a new initiative in Hartford aims to interrupt gun violence through a …