RALEIGH — The state House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation on Wednesday (March 3), directing $1.7 billion of additional relief funding to help meet the needs in North Carolina communities, according to a report from U.S. News.

House Bill 196 2021 COVID-19 Response & Relief Act extends COVID-19 regulatory relief for North Carolinians. The bill directs over $600 million statewide for testing, tracing, and prevention needs, as well as $100 million for K-12 public school needs and $290 million for higher education emergency relief, according to a press release. It includes another $40 million to support summer learning programs in addition to education funds approved by the legislature last month.

House Bill 196 also provides funds for farms, fisheries, food banks, small business grants, broadband, summer school programs, mental health and substance abuse services and upgrades to the NC COVID Vaccine Management System.