Lawmakers in both Washington, DC and Raleigh are back to work after the holiday break. The General Assembly started its long session on January 13th, when it decides the two-year state budget and key priorities, which are expected to include COVID relief, healthcare, broadband and transportation. Centralina has launched a new effort called Raleigh Relations to monitor legislation and strengthen relationships with the 39 elected officials representing our region. We are also engaging with key lawmakers on our CONNECT Beyond regional mobility initiative. Centralina is working with EQV Strategic on our Raleigh Relations strategy.
Meanwhile in Washington just prior to the holiday, Congress passed and the President signed a $2.3 trillion omnibus spending package that funded the federal government through September 2021 and included approximately $900 billion in COVID-19 stimulus. State and local aid and additional flexibility was not included, but we anticipate another relief bill as the 117th session of Congress and the incoming Biden Administration get underway. This bill does, however, extend availability by one year (until December 31, 2021) all funds provided to states and localities by the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) in the CARES Act. Centralina has provided a full summary of the bill on its online Member Portal.
Centralina Executive Board approved the 2021 Federal Action Plan which outlines legislative priorities that will benefit Centralina member governments and their constituents. Key priorities include the reauthorization of federal transportation and workforce development bills, which provide important funding for Centralina programs and regional infrastructure needs. Centralina looks forward to working with our Congressional delegation on these priorities. We also welcome Congresswoman Virginia Foxx to our delegation as the 5th Congressional District now includes Gaston County. Congresswoman Foxx has served North Carolina in Congress for over sixteen years and is the Republican Leader of the House Committee on Education and Labor.