Your source for the social work profession in North Carolina.
Legislative session is officially over! Many of you followed our blog and Capwiz to get up to date information throughout legislative session. Now that session is over, NASW-NC wanted to follow up on what became law and what is eligible for short session in May 2014.
Where did social workers succeed?
– Human Trafficking: HB 683 Safe Harbor/Human Trafficking passed and was signed into law. This law allows for better protection of minors and persons living with I/DD who are trafficked. The law also allows for stiffer penalties of trafficking and the expunction of records of certain defendants convicted of prostitution. Lastly, it develops a Human Trafficking Commission.
– Better treatment of providers under the 1915 (b)/(c) waiver: SB 208 Effective Operation of the 1915 (b)/(c) waiver was signed into law. This law gives the Secretary more control over the operation of the waiver- and to ensure each LME/MCO is in compliance. Our biggest messages were heard regarding the need for consistency across the LME/MCOs and timely provider payments.
– 911 Good Samaritan Law: SB 20 Good Samaritan Law/Naloxone Access. This law allows someone to call 911 in good faith to help with overdose or when witnessing an overdose without being charged for drug possession.
– Prior Authorization: originally proposed in the budgets, NASW-NC fought this provision. Allowing prior authorization of mental health medication would mean longer wait times to receive medication, resulting in emergency room visits and possible jail time. The final budget allowed for prior authorization ONLY for ADHD/ADD medication for minors.
– Raise the Age: HB 725 Young Offenders Rehabilitation Act. NC is one of two states that prosecutes 16 and 17 year olds as adults in the court of law. The bill won’t be implemented for six years (2019), requires a pilot program and an advisory committee before full implementation and only applies to misdemeanors. The bill passed it’s second reading in the House but an objection was ruled for the third reading on the last day of session. It will be on the calendar at the beginning of short session in May. While we did not get the full results we wanted, this is a partial victory.
– Autism insurance: HB 498 Autism Health Insurance Coverage. NASW-NC was successful in securing social workers as reimbursable providers under this legislation (this was not in the original proposal). The bill passed the House but not the Senate. NASW-NC will work on autism insurance during short session.
Just because legislators have gone home doesn’t mean our advocacy is done! NASW-NC continues to work on behalf of the social work profession on a variety of issues. NASW-NC is a member of over thirty-two statewide Coalitions tackling issues on substance abuse, mental health, child welfare, aging and disabled adults and more. Additionally, the NC Chapter works with the National chapter on Federal issues such as reimbursement rates, immigration, student loans, and more. Your membership dues help support our advocacy efforts everyday on the state and federal levels! Thank YOU for being a member and staying engaged in supporting the social work profession.