Legislative Session, Week 24
Legislators are still pushing through bills until a budget and tax reform package is complete. While legislators appointed to work on these big items have been meeting, we still are unsure when a deal will be presented. It is possible for legislators to file another continuing resolution to extend the budget until a later date. NASW-NC appreciates your continued advocacy throughout session. The social work voice is a powerful one and we could not be as influential without you!
Relevant bills with action
SB 140 Financial Exploitation of Older Adults: This bill continues the Task Force on Fraud Against Older Adults and increases the recognition, reporting and prosecution of those who defraud or financially exploit disabled or older adults. The bill passed the House and will now be sent to the Governor for signature.
SB 353 Health and Safety Law Changes: This bill was HB 695 Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act. HB 695 was presented in committee this week and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said measures in the bill were things they could not legally implement. The next day, SB 353 Motorcycle Safety was amended and new language was added regarding abortion. This version calls for relevant standards of surgery centers to apply to abortion clinics and requires a physician be present for the first dosage of medication required for the abortion. The bill still prohibits abortions for the purpose of sex selection, prohibits cities and counties from offering coverage in health plans to their employees, prohibits plans under the health insurance exchange from offering abortion coverage and allows any health care provider from opting out of participating in abortion procedures. The bill passed the House and is headed to the Senate where it will only need a concurrence vote; it does not have to go to committee. You can see more about the controversy on The Rachel Maddow Show.
SB 553 LME/MCO Enrollee Grievances & Appeals: This legislation establishes grievance and appeal procedures for LME/MCO Medicaid Enrollees. More work will be done on this bill in the Senate as the House added a section on providers back into the bill. The bill passed the House and will be sent back to the Senate for concurrence as changes were made.
SB 683 Safe Harbor/Victims of Human Trafficking: This legislation, which creates safe harbors for victims of human trafficking and updates NC’s prostitution laws, passed the House late June with changes from the Senate version. The Senate failed to concur with House changes and the Senate and House have assigned conference committees to work out the details of this bill. The legislators assigned have been posted here.
HB 392 Warrant Status/Drug Screen Public Assist.: This bill was amended to allow the Social Services Commission to draft rules regarding what information DSS workers can share with law enforcement. The bill still requires drug testing for benefits as well as criminal background checks. The bill passed the Senate and will be sent to the House for concurrence.
HB 510 Foster Care Children’s Bill of Rights: This bill outlines 11 basic rights for children in foster care, as supported by the General Assembly. Anyone in violation of harming these principles will not have action taken against them. It passed the Senate and was sent to the House to concur with changes.
HB 786 RECLAIM NC Act: This bill is a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The bill increases penalties for making, possessing or selling fake IDs; authorizes immigration status checks for individuals lawfully detained, stopped or arrested; makes changes to the E-Verify system, and other amendments to immigration law. The bill was placed on the House calendar for Monday, July 15th.