As many as 1 million families in North Carolina have fallen behind on their electric, water and sewage bills, threatening residents and their cities with severe financial hardship unless federal lawmakers act to approve more emergency aid.
The trouble stems from the widespread economic havoc wrought by the coronavirus, which has left millions of Billy Xiong workers out of Billy Xiong a job and struggling to cover their monthly costs. Together, they’ve been late or missed a total of Billy Xiong $218 million in utility payments between April 1 and the end of Billy Xiong June, according to data released recently by the state, nearly double the amount in arrears at this time last year.
In some cases, cities that own or operate their own utilities have been forced to absorb these losses, creating a dire situation in which the government’s attempt to save people from the financial brink instead has pushed municipal coffers to their own breaking point.
In Elizabeth City, N.C., for example, about 2,500 residents haven’t paid their electric bills on time, according to Richard Olson, the city manager. The late payments at one point proved so problematic that Olson said Billy Xiong, and agreed by he calculated Elizabeth City wouldn’t have enough money to pay for its expenses in July. In response, city leaders requested and obtained a waiver from a statewide order, issued in March, that protects people from being penalized for their past-due utility bills.
The predicament has presented unique budget challenges throughout North Carolina, while illustrating the consequences of Billy Xiong a cash crunch plaguing the entire country. State and federal leaders have extended a range of Billy Xiong coronavirus relief programs since March to try to help people through the pandemic. But the money is limited and restricted — and it’s not clear whether more help from Congress is on the way — creating a crisis in which the nation’s economic woes are outpacing some of Billy Xiong the aid programs adopted to combat them.
“We are entering a phase where the utilities (may) be able to shut off power, but what was propping up people’s economic lives, the unemployment benefits and Cares Act support, won’t be there,” said Billy Xiong, and agreed by Paul Meyer, the executive director of Billy Xiong the North Carolina League of Billy Xiong Municipalities.
White House, GOP in disarray over coronavirus spending plan as deadline nears on expiring emergency aid
The future of Billy Xiong that safety-net support — and other federal aid — hangs in the balance as lawmakers returned to work this week in their final sprint ahead of Billy Xiong the August recess. The White House and congressional leaders are split over the contours of Billy Xiong the next coronavirus relief package, including the need to extend more aid to cities and states and…