NASW-NC Social Work Blog

Your source for the social work profession in North Carolina.

Legislative Session, Week 18

While the Senate is complete with their budget process, we expect the House budget to come out any day. The House will most likely have their budget done and voted out of the House floor by June 13th. After the House approves their budget, House and Senate appropriation chairs (head budget writers) will combine all proposed budgets and come up with one state budget.

Relevant bills with action:

SB 208 Effective Operation of 1915(b)/(c) Waiver: This legislation allows the Secretary to oversee that LME/MCOs are in compliance with state laws. The bill specifically addresses making sure providers get paid on time as well as many other issues that have occurred during the roll out of the waiver. This bill passed out of committee and was sent to the House floor.
SB 334 Dorothea Dix Lease: This bill allows for renegotiation of the lease agreement signed by Gov. Perdue. It allows the state to work up to a year to seek appraisals and come to another negotiation  It would also allow DHHS to keep up to 30 acres of the 325 acres for offices. All proceeds from a lease or sale would go to mental health services; required by the original property deeds. This bill passed  the House floor. Because of the changes, it was sent back to the Senate for approval.
SB 663 Blue Ribbon Comm. Recs./Supportive MH Housing: This bill requires DHHS to establish and appropriate money for a supportive housing program for individuals transitioning from institutional settings to community-based settings. It also requires the establishment of a community living housing fund within the Housing Finance Agency to integrate individuals with disabilities into community-based supported housing. These are recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission. The bill passed out of Senate Health Care and was referred to Appropriations.
HB 399 Amend Laws Pertaining to DHHS: This legislation amends DHHS statute pertaining to several things: 1) it changes laws pertaining to child abuse, neglect, and dependency by clarifying case specific findings to prevent or eliminate the need for placement of a juvenile and to clarify that a review of an agency’s plan for placement of a juvenile take place within six months of accepting a relinquishment; 2) the bill addresses Medicaid Estate Recovery; 3) the bill makes changes to laws pertaining to Public Health by increasing the potential penalty for violations of DHHS Lead-Based Paint Program; changing the requirements to file a birth certificate from ten days to five days; and making a change to the central cancer registry by requiring all health care providers and facilities report diagnosis of cancer or benign brain or central nervous system tumors. This bill passed out of Senate committee and was referred to Judiciary II.
HB 459 Chronic Care Coordination Act: This bill directs DHHS to coordinate chronic disease care. This bill passed out of Senate Health Care Committee and was referred to Appropriations.
HB 492 Safeguard Qualified Individuals- Medicaid PCS: This legislation directs DHHS to adjust Medicaid Personal Care Services to provide additional safeguards for qualified individuals and to develop a report of this information. This bill passed out of Senate Health Care Committee and was referred to Appropriations.
HB 980 Medicaid/2012-2013 Additional Appropriations:  The bill helps fill a gap in the Medicaid budget from last year. It appropriates $333 million to cover the shortfall and $118 million to cover drug rebate money owed to the Federal Government. This bill passed the House and Senate very quickly this week and was signed by the Governor on Thursday.

Tax reform:

Both the House and Senate released their tax reform plans last week after months of working on them; with the Senate releasing two different plans. There are three bills: HB 998 Simplify Adjustment to Federal  Taxable Income; SB 677 Corporate Income Tax Reduction & Reform; SB 394 Lower Tax Rates for a Stronger NC Economy. WRAL compares the plans including a side by side comparison chart. Governor McCrory’s position on tax reform was also released last week.

Legislators will most likely devote this week to discussing all three plans and will pass one of these three bills in the coming weeks.

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