Your source for the social work profession in North Carolina.
Monday, June 1st, 2015
By: Kay Castillo, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation
Despite a short work week due to the Memorial Day holiday, legislators got a lot accomplished. The Senate plans to spend this week working on the final touches of their budget to have it ready to roll out the following week. A final vote is expected on the Senate budget by Thursday, June 11th. From there, a Conference Committee, comprised of Senators and House members, will be appointed to merge the budget into one final state budget.
Last week, the Governor signed Senate Bill 445 Burt’s Law into law. Under ‘Burt’s Law,’ any staffer or volunteer who witnesses any type of abuse or physical harm to a resident must now notify the Department of Social Services, local law enforcement and the local district attorney’s office within 24 hours of the incident. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor.
Governor Vetoes TWO bills:
SB 2 Magistrates Recusal for Civil Ceremonies: This bill would allow some court officials the ability to refuse to marry a couple if they held serious religious convictions. It would impact their ability to marry couples for 6 months in their counties. In particular, this bill was filed to allow magistrates who were against gay marriage from marrying homosexual couples after the passage of gay marriage in October. This bill passed the House. The Governor did veto this bill. Read his comment about why on his website.
HB 405 Property Protection Act: Often referred to as the “Ag-Gag” Bill as it prevents employees from the use of body cameras/hidden cameras on someone’s property and allows businesses and property owners to seek damages, this bill did not go through the thorough process it needed to ensure patient safety in nursing homes, daycare centers, and the like. The bill is an attempt to stop the use of hidden cameras often used to expose the abuse done on farms to animals. The Governor vetoed the bill stating that it might prevent an employee from coming forward when abuse was occurring. Read more about the Governor’s veto online.
Relevant bills with action:
SB 114 Custodial Parent/Party Cooperate with Child Support: This bill requires the Division of Child Development and Early Education and the Division of Social Services to develop a plan requiring a custodial parent or other person with primary custody of a child receiving Child Care subsidy payments to cooperate with county Child Support services programs as a condition of receiving child care subsidy payments. The bill passed the House and was sent to the Governor for signature.
SB 291 Extend Overnight Respite Pilot Program: Originally, the pilot of the program was set to end June 30th, 2015 but this bill extends the program until June 30th, 2017 with a comprehensive report due to the legislature in December of 2015 to study the success of the program. This bill passed the House and was sent to the Governor.
HB 465 Women and Children’s Protection Act of 2015: What began as a 72 hour wait period to get an abortion, this bill got amended significantly this past week. In a political attempt to get Democrats to vote for the bill, Republicans added two other bills to this one including clarifying the statutory rape definition to include anyone under 15 years of age, establishing a Maternal Morality Review Committee to recommend ways to prevent deaths resulting from pregnancy or birth complications, strengthening sex offender laws, and making violence in front of a minor an aggravated sentencing factor. The bill goes through one more vote in the Senate where it is excepted to pass despite democratic opposition and attempts to separate the abortion language from the rest of the bill. The bill is to be heard on Monday.
NASW-NC works on behalf of the social work profession on a variety of issues. It is a member benefit provided by NASW-NC to have a registered lobbyist advancing and supporting the profession of social work in North Carolina. The North Carolina Chapter works with National NASW 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.
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