Advocacy Update: Back from break and ABLE Act moves forward
Monday, July 27, 2015 By Kay Castillo, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation
Legislators came back from a July 4th break on July 13th but did not rush into the regular work of committee meetings. Two weeks after the start of the state fiscal year, House members finally appointed eighty-two members to serve on a conferee committee and Senate members appointed thirty-two members. View a full list of House and Senate Budget Conferee members on the NC General Assembly website. These members are tasked with combining the proposed budgets of the Governor, House, and Senate by August 14th.
Additionally, the Senate wrapped up committee work last Thursday. Wrapping up committee work is typically a sign that legislators are nearing the end of the legislative session. However, the House has not made any intentions of wrapping up committees. The major work to be done the next few weeks is a final budget and Medicaid Reform Plan.
Relevant Bills With Action
HB 13 School Health Assessments: This bill would require every child entering the K-12 school system for the first time to have a health assessment; currently this is only done for children entering Kindergarten. Per the bill, children cannot be suspended for missing class due to not having a health assessment and that such children will be provided an opportunity to make up the coursework. The bill passed Senate committee this week and was sent to the floor. NASW-NC Supports
HB 308 Clarify Reasonable Health Insur./Child Support: This bill amends laws pertaining to medical support and health insurance coverage related to child support. The bill also modifies the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to conform with federal requirements. The bill passed in Senate committee and will be heard on the floor this week. The bill, should it pass the Senate, will be referred back to the House as the bill was amended to add language to update the state’s rules on the Ombudsman Program. NASW-NC Supports
HB 556 Achieving a Better Life (ABLE) Act: This bill creates tax free savings accounts- 529 Accounts- for persons with disabilities in an attempt to ease financial burdens such as transportation, housing, education, in home supports, and more in the future. It’s a great solution for families who are worried about taking care of children with disabilities later in life. With one minor change, the Senate passed the bill from committee and will be heard on the floor this week. NASW-NC has actively worked on this bill and supports
HB 562 Amend Firearm Laws: This bill created a lot of controversy in the House before it was amended on the floor as it would have fined providers for asking clients about access to firearms. This language was removed on the House side thanks to your action! The bill came up in Senate committee last week, passed, and was sent to the floor. We will continue to monitor this bill for language that might be added that would impact the profession. NASW-NC has actively worked on this bill and opposes
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.
We need you. If you are a social worker and not a member of your professional association we ask that you to join to support the advocacy efforts on behalf of your profession. Click here to join today!