As layoffs increase, businesses shut down and the gloom mounts over the economic impact of our state’s fight against the spread of the coronavirus, there is a glimmer of hope. 

The money laid aside by our reform majority in the legislature – $5.9 billion – provides a ray of sunshine that could give us a boost on the way back as we struggle to get our economy back on its feet.

Two Republicans are proposing a plan – seemingly blessed by Senate leader Phil Berger according to press reports – that lawmakers use some of the surplus to jumpstart the N.C. economy and address the damage done to our families and businesses by the coronavirus.

“Supply chain interruptions and stock market volatility are generating concern from everyday citizens and small business owners about their economic future,” Sens. Ralph Hise and Ted Alexander wrote in an op-ed Wednesday for the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer.

“We should reassure them by announcing now a broad stimulus package that would, in effect, send one-time cash to North Carolinians using the substantial surplus we’ve accumulated.”

Thanks to disciplined, responsible financial management by the reform leadership, it is time for the state to use its $5.9 billion kitty to rev up our economy. And it’s a great time to cut taxes and assist people hurt by the virus.

The Charlotte Observer agreed in an editorial headline that it’s time to tap into the storehouse.

“…The rainy days are here. Give North Carolinians some of their money back.”

Thank goodness Governor Cooper couldn’t get his hands on this Rainy Day Fund money or he would have blown the money on big-spending programs. Wise leadership has prevailed and now the reform majority has the chance to show its wisdom and act in this crisis.