ADVOCATE! EDUCATE! CELEBRATE!
Session Status- It is hard to believe that a hectic 8 weeks of session are behind us and legislators have adjourned! In the next week a summary of all bills we followed this session will be prepared and available online.
Bills of Interest
Provisional Status: HB 1081 has been signed into law by the Governor! Affective immediately, Provisionals will now use the title- Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate (LCSWA). In the recent Medicaid bulletin, H Codes have been extended and Associates can use this form of billing until direct enrollment is approved by CMS.
Please be patient with the Licensing Board as they work to make necessary changes. You will be contacted by them with appropriate information. When direct billing is approved, you will be notified accordingly.
SB 525- Critical Access Behavioral Health Agencies: a bill further defining the staffing and service requirements for a CABHA.
SB 191- LME Governance: A complex bill with qualifications for LME boards of directors and guardianship requirements.
HB 910-Sale of a Minor/Felony Offense: A bill we have reported on in prior updates- the name was changed to Sale of a Minor from Sale of a Child is a great start to protecting our state’s children. This bill passed and is being sent to the Governor for signature.
HB 1012- Expunction/Nonviolent Offender: Another bill we’ve been following this session that allows nonviolent offenders to apply to clear their records after 15 years of no new offenses.
HB 799- Licensure by Endorsement for Military Personnel and Military Spouses: A bill we closely followed during the long session was brought back up at the end of this session and passed and is on to the Governor for signature. The bill allows occupational licensing boards to issue licenses and certifications of military personnel or spouses when a license or certificate was held in another state and eliminate the burden of the licensure process with every move.
Raise the Age: While we did not see victory in the passage of this bill during the short session, we did make significant strides for the future. S626: LRC to study ferry tolls/Juv. Justice Reform is a new bill that orders the Legislative Research Commission to study how to implement raise the age fiscally. We are very hopeful this commission will report favorable legislation to enact raise the age in the long session.
SB 635 Minors/Sentencing for 1st Degree Murder: In response to a recent Supreme Court ruling, states like North Carolina can no longer impose mandatory life sentences for juveniles. According to the ruling, such a sentence violates the 8th Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment. NC’s new proposed law ensures judges hold sentencing hearings for convictions of life in prison without parole before sentencing. For felonies murders, juveniles could be eligible for parole after 25 years. This bill has been sent to the Governor.
Budget: Getting just enough Democrats to vote to override, the House voted late in the night on Monday to override the Governor’s veto of the budget bill. The Governor vetoed the budget late Friday afternoon and legislators worked over the weekend to secure enough votes.
Racial Justice Act: Another late Monday night maneuver, legislators were able to override a bill the repeals the Racial Justice Act (Session Law 2009). SB 416: Amend Death Penalty Procedures was vetoed by the Governor last week and legislators successfully overrode her veto late in the night. The new law limits defendants’ use of statistics they think prove racial bias from a time span 10 years before a slaying and two years after a sentence and also states that statistics alone cannot prove that race was a factor in sentencing.