Publisher's note: The author of this post is Mitch Kokai for the John Locke Foundation.
John Locke Foundation CEO Amy Cooke submits the following:
From health care workers to wait staff, from ride-share drivers to truck drivers, North Carolinians, like the rest of the country, are in for a rough few weeks, possibly even a rough few months or more.
Demanding that the federal government act isn't a solution. It's a delay that we can't afford. Not right now. Whether we are staring down a hurricane or dealing with a pandemic, we come together to take care of our own.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency, tapping into additional authority and resources to deal with the current coronavirus situation. We commend him for lifting the regulation requiring hospitals to secure state permission before adding more beds, which allows hospitals to treat coronavirus patients and move those who are unaffected.
Over the next few days and weeks, more will need to be done. The good news is thanks to several years of fiscally responsible budgeting at the General Assembly, we have resources - over $2 billion (even more if need be) - to implement temporary measures to alleviate some of the pain for impacted patients and workers while immediately reforming our health care system to relieve the stress that it undoubtedly will experience.
As the General Assembly contemplates a special session ahead of the 2020 short session, the John Locke Foundation has prepared a series of policy solutions to address health care, education, affected workers, the economy, the budget, and regulations. Our Coronavirus Policy Brief series will be released next week beginning Monday. See the schedule below:
- Monday: Health Care and the State Budget
- Tuesday: K-12 Education and Affected Workers (paid sick leave and unemployment)
- Wednesday: Reducing Red Tape and Regulations and the Economy
During this time of uncertainty, we know that our lawmakers are up to the challenge of implementing solutions that will work for North Carolinians now and in the future.