Your source for the social work profession in North Carolina.
By Kay Castillo, Director of Advocacy, Policy and Legislation, NASW-NC
Social workers found victory during the eighth week of the legislative short session! On Monday night, the last day of the fiscal year, the Senate rejected the House mini budget, Senate Bill 3, without even voting. They returned the bill to the House for ‘further consideration.’ The House then returned the bill back to the Senate on Tuesday stating they did not follow the rules by rejecting Senate Bill 3 without a vote. This unusual game of ping pong with the budget sent the bill to a committee meeting with the appointed budget conferees and no further discussion happened on the floor of the House or Senate.
On Wednesday, the appointed 41-member budget conferees held an unusual open-to-the-public meeting. During the meeting, differences in the House and Senate budgets were discussed and the group broke into a private negotiating meeting. Upon return to the public meeting, the Senate announced that they would accept the House Medicaid budget. This means, over 15,000 aged, blind, and disabled North Carolinans will NOT lose their Medicaid services! We are excited the Senate acted on behalf of our advocacy efforts to save services for our aged, blind, and disabled populations. While the Senate agreed to the Medicaid spending, the conferees are still working out differences in teacher pay raises, the education lottery, and film incentives.
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.