North Carolina lawmakers gaveled in Tuesday for a legislative session unlike any other — their first since the coronavirus pandemic hit the state.
The State Legislative Building was quiet, and much more empty than usual. The doors were locked, and only legislators, staffers and media were allowed inside. Many of those in chambers wore masks and abided by physical distancing requirements, while others ignored protocol and sat right next to each other. The main goal for the General Assembly in this short session is to dole out COVID-19 relief funds.
Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii about the debate over how the pandemic dollars should be spent and previews other big questions state lawmakers are facing: What will the November election look like? What if another major hurricane hits North Carolina? Is there enough of a surplus fund to help cover the expected budget shortfalls of local governments?