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The American Rescue Plan:
Impacts on North Carolina
The Need for Action in North Carolina
The pandemic and the associated economic crisis have had a severe impact on North Carolina. The need for action is clear:
• Since the pandemic began, more than 873,678 people have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 11,533 people have died.
• The unemployment rate is 6.1%, up from 3.6% before the pandemic.
• Since February 2020, more than 190,477 fewer people are employed.
• 783,000 adults – 11% of all adults in the state – report not having enough food to eat. This includes 477,000 adults living with children, or 17% of all adults living with children, who report that the children in their household do not have enough to eat.
• An estimated 435,000 renters or 19% of renters are not caught up on rent.
• An estimated 2,644,000 adults or 35% of all adults statewide report having difficulty covering normal household expenses.
The Effect of the American Rescue Plan on North Carolina
President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will provide North Carolina with:
• $5.609 billion in state fiscal relief
• $3.649 billion in local fiscal relief
• More than $3.693 billion in relief for K-12 schools
• Economic impact payments of up to $1,400 per person (above the $600 per person provided in December) for more than 6,582,400 adults and 2,693,100 children. This is 89% of all adults in the state and 89% of all children in the state.
• Additional relief of up to $1,600 per child through the Child Tax Credit to the families of 2,088,000 children, lifting 137,000 children out of poverty
• Additional relief of up to nearly $1,000 through the Earned Income Tax Credit to 603,000 childless workers, including many in frontline jobs
• Marketplace health insurance premiums that are $1,661 lower per month for a 60-year old couple earning $75,000 per year
Voting Rights Act
Voting Rights Act Would Benefit Us All Voting records show that North Carolina and Macon County had the largest voter turnout ever in the last election. That’s great, because our democracy depends on citizens voting. And that’s why it’s important to understand the proposed voting rights act that is heading to the U.S. Senate for consideration. It was created from well-established voting practices, from both red and blue states.
The proposed law would ensure that registered voters in all states have access to early voting for at least 14 days. Were you one of the 12,813 Maconians who voted early? Both Republican and Democratic voters regularly take advantage of early voting. Currently, 39 states provide for early voting. Why not adopt this for all states?
Do you know someone who registered to vote at the DMV while renewing their license? This was a time saver for me. My friends have also registered to vote online via NC State Board of Election website. Sixteen states already offer this type of voter registration. The proposed law would expand these conveniences to all states. Doesn’t that make sense? More voters cast their ballots by mail in 2020 than ever before including 3,625 in Macon County. And 29 states, from Alaska to Florida currently allow voters to request a mail-in ballot without providing an excuse. This law will standardize procedures for voting by mail to make them secure, easy to navigate, and limit rejections of ballots cast by eligible voters. Why not implement best practices for all states?
Some people say that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in elections. Article I, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the authority to enact voting laws. These laws have historically been supported by both Republicans and Democrats. This bill would strengthen existing laws to ensure one person one vote. Over 60% of Americans across the political spectrum support this law. Now is the time for unity. Republicans and Democrats can come together to strengthen and unify our voting system.
Please contact Senators Tillis and Burr and ask them to support this voting rights act. One last thing. Would you like to see fewer political TV ads? This law will tackle the influence of big money in politics and prohibit foreign money in U.S. elections. Then maybe the political budgets will dry up and we can get back to watching Dancing with the Stars.