Advocacy Update: Parental Consent, Major Education Bill Withdrawn, Adult Guardianship
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
By Kay Castillo, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation
After a busy week full of budget rumors, the Senate ended up not releasing their proposed budget. However, it is possible, the Senate’s budget could come out this week. Despite no budget release, legislators moved several key pieces of legislation:
- HB 817 Enact Uniform Law on Adult Guardianship: This bill will bring standards for adult guardianship up to par with other states by allowing North Carolina state courts to recognize adult guardianship orders from other states. It passed committee and will be heard on the Senate floor on 5/31 before going to the Governor to be signed into law. Once enacted, NC will be the 41st state in the nation to pass such a law and offer better protection for guardians as it will reduce abuse by barring someone who wrongfully seeks control and assets of an older or disabled adult from taking a person across state lines and immediately being named guardian. It also allows state courts to penalize perpetrators and decline jurisdiction because of “unjustified conduct.”
- HB 847 Parental Rights and Med. Treatment of Minors: What was once a detrimental bill to the social work profession that required notarized consent from a parent to treat a minor for mental health or substance use disorders, this bill now attempts to provide protections for parents who have children with complex medical needs from physicians who may report abuse when the parent does not follow treatment orders from the physician. This bill was up for discussion only in a Senate committee and no votes were taken as a lot more work needs to be done to ensure the right protections are in place. NASW-NC will continue to monitor this bill.
- SB 838 Medicaid Transformation: This would require that by October 1, 2016 the Legislative Oversight Committee gets a full report on the progress of the 1115 Waiver (Medicaid Reform). The bill passed committee and will be heard on the Senate floor on 5/31.
- SB 873 Access to Affordable College Ed. Act: This bill would drastically slash tuition and student fees at Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Winston-Salem State University, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Western Carolina University. Further, the bill would establish a merit scholarship for NC Central University and N.C. A&T State University students that would fund four years of tuition, fees, room and board, textbooks, supplies, and travel. After going through two committees last week, the bill was sent to the floor. However, it was withdrawn and sent to the Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 867 Protect Students in Schools: This bill would require criminal background checks for teachers and other school personnel. The bill passed one committee and was sent to Senate Finance.
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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