NASW-NC Social Work Blog

Your source for the social work profession in North Carolina.

2014 Short Session, Week 3

By Kay Castillo, Director of Advocacy, Policy and Legislation

Week 3 of the short session was busy and controversial! The Senate released a very bad budget late on Wednesday night, took it to committee first thing Thursday morning, and met Friday night and Saturday in the early hours of the morning to approve the budget. While the Senate was busy with the budget, the House quickly passed a controversial tax bill and a bill to approve fracking.

What’s in the Senate budget?

The Senate budget is full of a lot of cuts, reduction and more to the Health and Human Services Budget. Some big changes are captured below with page numbers so you can locate the details but many more are included in the full budget and money report.

Report on Continuation, Expansion, and Capital Budgets: Money Report
SB 744 Appropriations Act of 2014

  • Provides grants to various nonprofits that support any state health and wellness initiatives such as youth aging out of foster care, services for autism, food distribution for needy individuals and more. A complete list can be found on page 70 in SB 744.
  • Provides funds for a child welfare improvement initiative to help reduce caseload, performance of DSS’ statewide and conflicts of interest- pg 74
  • Prior Authorization for mental health medication is also included but a little different from the Governor’s budget- pg 93
  • Personal Care Services rate cuts- pg 95
  • Publish Medicaid payments to providers with names and information of providers that serve Medicaid clients- pg 97
  • Gives a $618 increase in salary and benefits to non-instructional public school employees- pg F-1 of the money report
  • Provides a $1,000 annual salary and benefit increase for full-time employees of the university and community college systems- pg F-9 of the money report
  • Eliminates funding for Wright School in Durham- page 86
  • Predicts a shortfall of $93.9 billion in Medicaid which is higher than the Governor’s prediction- pg 66 of the money report
  • $4.9 million to create committee to reorganize Medicaid and allow private organizations to bid for operations of Medicaid- money report, pg G-22
  • Almost $1 million in cuts to the Home and Community Care Block Grant- pg 110
  • 2% rate cut to providers not under contracts or capitation- pg G-20 of the money report
  • Eliminates Medicaid coverage for people who qualify as Medically Needy- pg 92
  • Optional services for aged, blind and disabled adults proposed elimination for almost 375,000 of these adults on Medicaid. Optional services include dental care, hospice, in-home care services, mental health services, and more- pg 96

Relevant Social Work Bills with Action:

HB 1103 Verification/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. The bill passed out of committee and passed the House on Thursday.
HB 1104 Study Oversight/Conflicts of Int./Foster Care: This bill requires the Health and Human Services Committee to study oversight of DSS, conflicts of 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. The bill passed out of committee and will be heard on the House floor on 6/3.
HB 1110 Improve Oversight of Public Guardianship: This bill requires DHHS to improve the public guardianship system efficiently within Child Welfare and the Division of Aging. The bill also directs DHHS to study whether utilization of care coordination services could provide needed oversight to safeguard against conflicts of interest when guardians serve as paid providers.The bill passed out of committee and will be heard on the House floor on 6/3.
HB 1173 Licensing Boards Rules for Prof. Corps: This bill allows for licensing boards to set rules for professional corporations. This bill passed out of committee and will be heard on the House floor on 6/3.

Bills filed this week:

HB 1220 Hope 4 Haley and Friends: This bill would allow for hemp oil extract to be used by people with intractable seizure disorders without criminalization in the state.
HB 1225/SB 847  Future Use of Broughton Hospital/Funds: This bill prevents the sale of Broughton Hospital and allows the General Assembly time to study what to do with the facility that would benefit state and local governments.
HB 1239 Restore Early Voting Period: This bill seeks to restore early voting to the level prior to the Voter Reform bill that passed the General Assembly in the 2013 Long Session.
HB 1240 NC College Student Photo ID: This bill seeks to allow state college and university IDs to be an acceptable form of ID that can be used for voting. ID required to vote starts in the 2016 elections.
HB 1241 Eugenics Compensation Changes: This bill seeks to extend the deadline for victims of the state’s eugenics program to file for compensation and further clarifies who can file.
SB 855 No Emp. Disc. for Repro. Health Decisions: This bill seeks to prohibit discrimination by employers on employees decisions surrounding his or her reproductive health care.
SB 857 Task Force/Erin’s Law: This bill establishes a task force to develop a curriculum for age appropriate sexual abuse prevention to be taught in elementary school through middle school. NASW-NC is working with the bill sponsor to get a social worker listed on the task force.
SB 858/HB 1222 Amend Expunction Laws: This bill would shorten the waiting period for expunction from 15 to 10 years and to make more expunctions available.
SJR 838/ HJR 1068 UP Minimum Wage: This Joint Resolution seeks for the General Assembly to consider a bill to raise the minimum wage and provide an automatic adjustment that reflects increases in the cost of living.

What to look forward to this week?

  • The Coalition on Aging will be at the legislative building on Tuesday, June 3rd to bring awareness to the cuts made to aging and older adults. Wear red and join us for a press conference at 1pm and plan to talk to legislators about these cuts made in the proposed Senate budget. Contact Kay Castillo for more information!
  • 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, Wednesday June 4th.

 

 

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.

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This entry was posted on June 2, 2014 by in Advocacy and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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