2014 Short Session, Week 2
By Kay Castillo, Director of Advocacy, Policy and Legislation
Week two brought us our first victory of the short session! On Wednesday night, the House debated and passed House Bill 725 (Raise the Age)! We will now shift our focus on this important legislation in the Senate. Not many social work related bills had action this week but other controversial issues were discussed such as fracking (which passed the Senate and was sent to the House). Most legislators were working behind the scenes on the Senate budget which we expect to see this week.
Relevant bills with action
HB 725 Young Offenders Rehabilitation Act: In a historic vote last week, house members voted 77-39 to pass Raise the Age. The bill was amended to exempt gang members and gang activity. The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote. More on Raise the Age.
SB 734 Regulatory Reform Act: This 61 page bill was discussed in committee and on the floor. A final vote will be made on 5/28. This bill concerns social workers in several sections but mostly section 1.10 as it allows occupational licensing boards to apply rules and regulations to professional corporations. A separate bill was also filed on this section.
Bills filed relevant to social work:
- HB 1161 Legalize Medical Marijuana/Const Amendment: This bill would allow NC Voters to vote on amending the state Constitution to legalize the medical use of marijuana.
- HB 1173 Licensing Boards Rules for Prof. Corps.: This bill allows for licensing boards to set rules for professional corporations. It is the same language that is in the Regulatory Reform Act bill that is moving forward in the Senate.
- HB 1179/SB 803 Status Reports Filed By Guardians: This bill amends required contents of status reports filed by public guardians. It was recommended by the Health and Human Services Committee.
- HB 1181 Partnership For A Healthy North Carolina 2014-AB: This bill outlines how Accountable Care Organizations can obtain certification and sets standards on how to set up this system. There are few details in this bill to lead us to full Medicaid Reform but we believe this bill is being used as a place holder while more details come.
- SB 804/HB 1132 Strategies for Improving MH-DD-SAS: This bill allows for the development of strategic planning in how the state administers MH/DD/SA Services in public and private behavioral health settings. The bill is really aiming for greater autonomy in how the state provides services in all LME/MCO catchment areas to ensure children, youth and families have access to services needed. The report will be presented in November to the Health and Human Services Committee.
- SB 813/HB 1110 Improve Oversight of Public Guardianship: This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the public guardianship system efficiently within child welfare and the Division of Aging. The bill also directs the Department to study whether utilization of care coordination services could provide needed oversight to safeguard against conflicts of interest when guardians serve as paid providers.
- SB 820/HB 1104 Study Oversight/Conflicts of Int./Foster Care: This bill requires the Health and Human Services Committee to study oversight of the Division of Social Services, conflicts on interest within DSS and how to address these issues. The bill comes from the Foster Care Committee that NASW-NC attended during the interim legislative session.
- SB 821/ HB 1103Verification/Jurisdiction in Juvenile Cases: This bill requires the court to consider whether a juvenile petition has been properly verified and jurisdiction has been invoked at the pre-adjudication hearing.
What to look for in the coming weeks:
- Moral Monday will be TUESDAY, May 27th this week! Find out more information from NC NAACP.
- Equality NC: Join Equality NC for a Day of Action to advocate on behalf of LGBT in NC on June 3rd. Register online!
- Autism Awareness Day at the General Assembly: Also on June 3rd, join the Autism Society of NC to advocate on the needs of persons living with autism in NC. This is a great opportunity to talk to your Senator about passing House Bill 498 Autism Health Insurance Coverage. Register online for this event!
- Medicaid Expansion Lobby Day: Join a coalition of groups to advocate for the expansion of Medicaid in NC on June 4th. Register online!
These legislative updates are provided by the National Association of Social Workers. North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC). NASW membership support advocacy efforts on behalf of social workers and their clients at the state and national level. Become a member of your professional association today by joining online at www.socialworkers.org.