Week 5 of the 2013 Legislative Session went quickly this week with legislators working on many bills affecting the social work profession. While we had a few victories this week, such as the passage of House Bill 5 (see below), Senate Bill 4 (No Medicaid Expansion) also passed; denying as many as 500,000 of our citizens the opportunity for health care. Many bills were filed this week that impact the profession and we will be sending updates as needed on each bill.
As always, feel free to contact Kay Paksoy, firstname.lastname@example.org, at the chapter office with concerns or questions on any legislation.
Bills Presented to the Governor:
House Bill 5– Temporary Funding/Group Homes & SCUs. This bill was supported by NASW-NC. It will allow a temporary extension of funding for group homes and special care units.
Senate Bill 4– No N.C. Exchange/No Medicaid Expansion. This bill passed both the House and Senate this week after a special conference committee was appointed to take it up. It was presented to the Governor and he is expected to sign it into law. This is a huge loss for the state and comes at the heels of other Republican led states such as Florida and New Jersey announcing they will expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Action Taken this week:
Senate Bill 20– Good Samaritan Law/Naloxone Access. This bill passed out of Committee with no opposition.
Senate Bill 33– Use of Criminal History Records by Lic. Bds. This bill passed out of Committee with no opposition.
Senate Bill 91– Prohibit Expunction Inquiry. This bill passed out of Committee with no opposition.
Senate Bill 45– Incapacity to Proceed. Discussion only. Will be heard again next week.
Senate Bill 122– Sex Trafficking/Sex Offender Registration. This bill passed out of Committee.
Bills Filed this week:
House Bill 166– PED Study Occ. Lic Bd. Agency- This bill was filed in the Senate during the beginning of session. It authorizes the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee to direct the Program Evaluation Division to study the feasibility of creating a single state agency to oversee the administration of occupational licensing boards. It was referred to the House Committee on Finance.
House Bill 167– Use of Criminal History Records by Lic. Bds. This bill was also filed earlier in session by the Senate. The bill requires licensing boards to consider a candidate with a criminal record before automatically denying a license to someone.
House Bill 184– Allow Drivers Licenses for DACA Beneficiaries. This bill clarifies that beneficiaries of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative are eligible for a drivers license.
Senate Bill 137– Prohibit Co-pay Waiver/Medicaid Providers. This bill is a BIG deal to any Medicaid providers. It would create hardships for those that do not collect a co-payment from Medicaid clients. It was amended this week to better impact our profession and we are actively monitoring and advocating for the profession with this bill.
Senate Bill 140- Financial Exploitation of Older Adults. This bill increases recognition, reporting and prosecution of exploiting older adults financially or fraudulently. It also continues the task force on Fraud Against Older Adults.