Your source for the social work profession in North Carolina.
By Kay Castillo, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation
After a week off for Spring Break, legislators were back to work last week. The House bill filing deadline approached and over 206 bills were filed in a day to meet the deadline. A few major bills filed are listed below. With the Senate and now the House bill filing deadline, we will work to get these bills through crossover on April 30th. If a bill does not pass either chamber by April 30th, it will be considered dead for this legislative session.
Relevant Bills Filed This Week:
HB 646 Insurance Coverage for Autism Treatment: This is the House’s version of mandating that insurance companies cover Applied Behavioral Analysis as a treatment for children on the autism spectrum. It is similar to a bill filed in 2013 that passed the House but not the Senate. The Senate is working on their own version.
HB 652 Right to Try Act for Terminally Ill Patients: This bill would allow for terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs and biological products and devises.
HB 684 Medicaid County of Origin: This would require LME/MCOs to use single case agreements with behavioral health providers living outside the catchment area for no more than two enrollees and to adjust the county of residence for Medicaid eligibility.
HB 699 Gun Rights and Privacy Act: In Section 18 of this bill, it prevents health care providers from asking if a gun is in the home and how it is stored.
HB 703 Continue Task Force/Fraud Against Older Adults: This bill seeks to extend the Task Force on Fraud Against Older Adults until June 30, 2017.
HB 712 Pilot Project/Used Needle Disposal: This bill establishes a pilot programs in two NC counties to collect used syringes and dispose of them properly.
HB 714 Behavior Analyst Licensure: This bill establishes a board to oversee behavior analyst licensure.
HB 723 Telehealth Fairness Act: This bill would require health insurance to cover telemedicine services.
HB 743 Revise Definition of Income Unit/Child Care Subsidy: This bill is in response to a change made last year to child care subsidies. The bill would require that a nonparent relative caretaker would not be included in the policy for income units.
HB 755 Young People Voting: This bill seeks to restore preregistration to vote for youth age 16 to 18. This provision was removed in the voting changes made in 2013.
HB 758 LME/MCO Provider Network Cultural Diversity: This bill would require DHHS to propose a plan to establish a culturally diverse review board for deciding complaints from behavioral health providers against LME/MCOs.
HB 815 Sexual Assault/Sexual Consent: This bill requires that public and private institutions for higher education create a policy on sexual assault and related offenses prior to receiving state funds for student financial assistance.
HB 816 Labor/Provide Relief for Caregivers: This bill would amend our labor laws to allow for caregivers to take time off similar to parental involvement laws. Additionally, it would mandate the use of some unpaid leave time for caregivers under certain circumstances.
HB 817 Enact Uniform Law on Adult Guardianship: This bill would create uniform laws surrounding adult guardianship.
HB 818 Enact Eligible Leave for Employee Caregiving Time Act/Caregiver Relief: This legislation would create leave for employees related to caregiving. An employee could use sick leave benefits to take care of a family member.
HB 819 Student Data Reports: This bill would extend reporting requirement data for the state board of education to get a better idea of discipline used against students.
HB 825 School-To-Prison Pipeline/Study: This bill would create a Legislative Task Force on the prevention of a school-to-prison pipeline in NC.
HB 828 Medicaid Coverage/Emergency Rural Counties: This bill would allow for the use of Medicaid for anyone aged 25 or younger with an income equal to or below 133% of the federal poverty level who experiences an emergency due to insufficient access to health care services in a rural area.
HB 832 Revise Certain Policies/Child Care Subsidy: This bill would allow for prorated copayments for part time subsidized child care and also requires that a nonparent relative caretaker would not be included in the policy for income units.
HB 838 Increase Dropout Age to 18: This bill seeks to raise the drop out age over two years.
HB 842 Medicaid Waiver Protections/Military Families: This bill would allow for access to Medicaid waivers for dependents of the armed forces during their time in NC.
HB 847 Amend Laws Regarding Medical Treatment for Minors: This bill would amend our current laws regarding treatment of minors. It would require a notarized consent form for treatment except in emergencies or for substance abuse treatment. Additionally, the bill would prohibit treatment unless a guardian is present for treatment of STDs, drug abuse, mental illness, or pregnancy.
HB 867 No One-Year Separation Required/Domestic Violence: This bill would remove the required one year of separation when one spouse is the victim of domestic violence.
HB 879 Juvenile Reform Code: This bill makes changes to the juvenile code related to reducing reentry, due process, and confinement of juveniles.
HB 883 Legislative Research Commission/Study Uniform Law on Adult Guardianship: This bill would direct the Legislative Research Commission to research uniform adult guardianship and to make recommendations for NC to consider putting into place.
HB 923 Behavioral Health Partnership Pilot Program: This bill would allow for rural hospitals to convert existing, unused acute care beds into licensed inpatient behavioral health beds. Funding for these beds could be utilized through the sale of Dix property.
Bills With Action This Week:
SB 423 Foster Care Family Act: This bill does many positive things for children in foster care and parents choosing to foster. It would create liability insurance for foster parents, remove barriers to children getting drivers licenses while in foster care and provide them with insurance, and to study a Medicaid waiver for children with serious emotional disturbance. This bill passed committee and was referred to Judiciary.. It passed Judiciary, and was then referred to the Insurance Committee.
SB 366 Amend Certain Reqs/Permanency Innovation Comm: Makes changes to the committee to meet twice per year at a minimum and can call meetings as needed more frequently and makes September 15th the reporting date deadline on the Permanency Innovation Program. The bill passed the Senate and was referred to the House.
HB 355 Enhance Protections for Group Home Residents: This bill would increase penalties for group home workers that know about abuse of residents and do no report it. The bill passed committee and was referred to Judiciary II.
HB 580 Ban Smoking in Foster Care Setting/Infants: This bill would ban smoking in foster care homes where infants are placed. The bill was displaced from committee during debate.
HB 407 Foster Care Family Act: This bill is the House companion to SB 423 Foster Care Family Act that progressed in the Senate. The bill passed committee and referred to Appropriations.
HB 408 Adoption/Post-Adoption Services Study Comm: This bill establishes a joint legislative committee to study adoption and post adoption services. One of the appointed members has to have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in social work. The bill passed the House and was sent to the Senate.
HB 424 Fostering Success: This bill extends foster care to age 19 and allows for the Social Services Commission to adopt rules to implement this change. The bill passed committee and referred to Appropriations.
SB 343 Student Assault on Teacher/Felony Offense: This bill would make it a felony for a student who assaults a school employee on school grounds unless the student has an IEP or 504 Plan. The bill passed committee with a lot of debate but was referred to Judiciary II to work out further defining assault and the cost to implement this bill.