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Afternoon News Update, 2/5/21

By Stephen Leverton

In community news, The Appalachian reports that the Boone Town Council has introduced a LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinance. While it’s unclear what exactly the ordinance will include, it’s a step forward in making Boone more accepting of the LGBTQ community. The town council will hear from their attorney either later this month or next month to see what their next steps will be in creating what will become the anti-discrimination ordinance.

In state news, Governor Roy Cooper released his new COVID-19 relief budget on February 4th, according to The News & Observer. Cooper’s budget mainly focuses on one time teacher bonuses for both K-12 teachers and UNC system professors. The budget also includes increased funding for vaccine distribution, COVID testing, and highway infrastructure maintenance. Cooper also calls for increased funding for small businesses to help keep them afloat. Governor Cooper, however, did not say when this budget will be finalized

In national news, The New York Times reports that on February 4th, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for President Biden to cancel $50,000 in student debt. Biden supports canceling student debt, but originally called for $10,000 in relief. If passed, the relief would not go towards students who have already paid off their debt or to those who are about to request loans. Republican senators mostly oppose the proposal, making its future uncertain.

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