Political Notebook: Rep. Warren says work still being done on second COVID-19 funding

Published 5:40 am Monday, June 15, 2020

State Rep. Harry Warren, R-76, says both the North Carolina House and Senate are doing their due diligence on crafting legislation that could use the remaining $1.5 billion in federal funds for a second wave of COVID-19 funding.

Though a loss of $3-$5 billion in revenue is estimated due to COVID-19, Warren said there will be a clearer picture on the state’s total revenue reduction toward the end of July as tax return deadlines are due July 15.

Gov. Cooper still looking at trends for another phased reopening

During a press briefing on Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper said state officials are still looking at trends and metrics to make a decision on a Phase 2.5 or Phase 3 reopening. Neither, he said, are “off the table.”

Cooper called the current rate of cases “concerning” as the state on Friday saw its highest rate of new cases, at 1,768 new cases, since the start of the pandemic.

“Our numbers aren’t where we want them to be, but it doesn’t have to stay that way,” he said. “It’s going to take all of us doing our part — but North Carolinians know how to work together to defeat it.”

House unanimously passes “Second Chance” Act
On June 10, North Carolina representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 562, also called the Second Chance Act. The bill was crafted to provide state citizens convicted of certain minor offenses a “second chance” in life by expunging their records, based upon meeting some specific requirements.
Key provisions of the legislation include:
  • Allowing the expunction of certain misdemeanors and felonies committed when a person was less than 18 years of age but at least 16 years of age, (excludes impaired driving or any offense requiring registration as a sex offender).
  • Criminal charges that are dismissed or result in findings of not guilty after Dec. 1, 2020, will be automatically expunged.
  • District attorneys are empowered to petition courts for expunctions of dismissed charges and for charges in which a petitioner was found not guilty.
  • Permits individuals to petition for expunction of all nonviolent misdemeanor convictions after a 7-year wait period.

Victims’ rights provisions are included in the bill.

Law enforcement officials and district attorneys will still have access to the records, which can be considered by a court in sentencing an expunged person who has committed a crime.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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