Your source for the social work profession in North Carolina.
Monday, June 20, 2016
By Kay Castillo, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation
Legislators are making progress to end the legislative session. Last week, most budget subcommittees worked on their budget compromises behind closed doors. The rumor is that all committees are now done on a compromised budget plan except for hammering out differences in the education budget. Legislators appear to be working through the next few weekends.The final budget may very well roll out and get passed the week of June 27th and be in place for the start of the fiscal year on July 1.
Bills of Interest
HB 817 Enact Uniform Law on Adult Guardianship
The House voted not to concur so an effective date could be changed to December 2017 from December 2016. This will give more time for training of clerks who will oversee the change once the bill is enacted. NASW-NC sent a letter to legislators appointed to work on this difference asking them to make the change quickly so we can see passage of this legislation before the legislative session ends.
HB 451 LRC/Study Suicide Prevention
The bill sets up a study to examine how to best prevent suicide in the state. The study will look into professional training and credentials for working with populations impacted the most by suicide. This bill passed the House with no objection and was sent to the Senate.
HB 1047 Welfare Reform/Food and Nutrition Benefits
This bill requires the State Lottery Commission to send information on lottery winners for prizes over $2,250 to the state Division of Social Services to cross check for anyone receiving SNAP food benefits. It also sets up long term disqualification periods for non-compliance for heads of households. The change to only disqualify the head of household was made at the last minute by the bill sponsor to ensure that dependents living in the same household would not be impacted. Further, the bill will look at violations and report those to the legislature to ensure the law is in compliance with the change and to keep up with the impact. NASW-NC worked with bill sponsors and other advocates on making the much needed change to not impact the entire household.
SB 734 Statewide Standing Order/Opioid Antagonist
This bill creates a statewide standing order at any pharmacy to prescribe naloxone in an attempt to help prevent overdosing. The bill has now passed the House and Senate and was sent to the Governor to sign into law.
SB 817 Const. Amd. – Max Income Tax Rate of 5.5%
This harmful legislation would propose a state Constitutional amendment to cap income tax at 5.5% (currently 10%). As the state population increases, if the state would need more revenue from income tax to oversee growth in public education, transportation, health and human services, etc., the Constitution would have to be changed to do so. If it passes, voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on the matter in the November General Elections. The bill passed committee and was sent to the Senate floor. Before debate, the bill was moved to a future legislative session on Saturday, June 25th. This maneuver could be a sign of a possible budget debate around that time.
HB 1033 ID Card Fee Waiver/Disability
This bill would waive a fee for a special identification card if the person has a developmental disability. Proof would be required by a doctor’s note. The bill passed committee and will be heard on the House floor this week.
HB 1007 Amend Occupational Licensing Boards Statutes
To address an earlier court case with the Dental Examiners Board and the Federal Trade Commission, this bill attempts to set requirements on what occupational licensing boards can do. First, the bill identifies 58 occupational licensing boards in the state. Any others would have to get legislative approval to be added. The Social Work Certification and Licensure Board is listed as a board as are our other behavioral health counterparts. The bill requires boards to adopt rules regarding complaints, for taking disciplinary actions against licenses and for taking enforcement actions against unlicensed persons. It also raises per diem rates for board members to $200 and outlines reporting requirements to the state due by October 31st of each year. The bill passed the House and now goes before the Senate. Changes to occupational licensing boards is a topic NASW-NC has been following for the past year and we will continue to ensure the social work profession is represented on any changes to our licensing board.
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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