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League Bulletin

February 5, 2021

WHAT HAPPENED: COVID-19 relief was the center of the state legislative universe this week as the 2021 lawmaking session continues its early expansion.

WHAT IT MEANS: While the relief package and recommendations Gov. Roy Cooper released this week contains elements of interest to municipalities, it was otherwise a quiet week on the bill-filing front as far as cities and towns broadly are concerned. 

ON TAP: But don't forget the deadlines coming up for the filing of bills, particularly those that would be specific to local governments. Find a list of deadlines below. 

THE SKINNY: The legislature is expected to have some no-voting days in the coming week, which is not unusual early in a long session. Read on for what you need to know from this week, from the latest legislature-approved relief package and more.

The legislature this week sent to Gov. Roy Cooper's desk a COVID-19 relief bill to assign nearly $2.25 billion from the federal government toward school reopenings, rent and utility assistance and more. Meanwhile, Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday released his “blueprint for emergency recovery and resilience for a stronger North Carolina as we battle a worldwide pandemic." That's how he described it in a letter to state House and Senate leaders asking support for the plan, which includes transportation and airport funding as well as $1 million for the Local Government Commission (LGC) Financial Assistance Program.

The legislature's bill, SB 36 COVID Relief Bill Modifications, sent to Governor Cooper on Thursday, includes up to $546 million in emergency rent help. It also marks $95 million for vaccine distribution. 

The Insider State Government News Service quotes House Democratic Leader Robert Reives calling the bill a “fine show of bipartisanship" and noted the governor voiced support for it as well. More COVID-19 relief efforts are expected as the session unfolds. 

“The General Assembly is delivering additional relief as soon as possible through bipartisan legislation that ensures state and federal funding reaches North Carolina communities now, and we will maintain this commitment to a strong recovery this session," Senior House Appropriations Committee Co- Chairs Jason Saine, Dean Arp, and Donny Lambeth said in a joint statement.

House Speaker Tim Moore added: “This legislation represents a strong beginning to another successful session delivering on our promises to serve North Carolinians in need, and I appreciate the bipartisan work of my General Assembly colleagues to accomplish this important step for families and businesses who are hurting."

Governor Cooper in his plan recommends $1 million for the LGC to support essential services to local governments on the Unit Assistance List. “This Fund would only be accessed if the LGC takes action under statute to assume financial control of the government unit," the plan states. 

It also recommends nearly $259 million for highway infrastructure and $63.3 million for airport grants-in-aid. Read the full plan online

​The N.C. League of Municipalities is proud to host the annual Town & State Social: A Virtual Town Hall Connecting Legislators and Local Leaders on Wednesday, March 3 at 5 p.m., this time presented in a virtual format.

Join us for this special evening to celebrate our cities and towns, and to discuss the most critical topics facing our local governments. This is a valuable opportunity for our local leaders and state legislators to meet, interact, and hear from one another regarding the pressing issues facing our cities and towns.

The event will include policy updates from numerous legislative leaders, town hall sessions between state and local officials, and networking opportunities that aim to strengthen relationships as we move into the 2021-22 legislative biennium. We will also be exploring NCLM's Municipal Advocacy Goals, as adopted by you, our local leaders, and look at how they intersect with the challenges facing your city or town.

This won't be just another Zoom meeting. Be ready for an engaging evening, full of entertaining and valuable segments that, by evening's end, will help us in “Working As One, Advancing All." 

CLICK: Information and registration.

​The 2021 legislative session continued its early stages this week, but moved closer to a set of deadlines for filing bills. Keep them in mind for your planning, particularly for local bills you would like your area legislators to file. 

Local bills in the House are due to the bill drafting office by March 3 and must be introduced by March 25.

Local bills in the Senate are due to bill drafting by Feb. 25 and must be introduced by March 11.

Local bills are filed by a legislator representing the affected area.

Other deadlines:


-Commission/interim committee recommended bills: Feb. 3 (bill drafting); March 25 (introduction)

-Agency Bills: Feb. 10; Feb. 25

-Non-appropriations/non-finance public bills: March 24; April 20

-Appropriations: March 31; April 27


All public bills: March 11; April 26.

You can follow along at