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News & Press: Updates for Members

Legislative Update: Voter I.D. Bill Filed and Action Needed!

Monday, June 11, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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Legislators worked through several pieces of legislation last week- many that came out of study committees that met during the interim. On Wednesday, Governor Cooper vetoed the budget. Later in the week, Senators overrode the veto with a vote of 34-13. We anticipate the House to override the veto on Tuesday. Assuming they have enough votes to do so, the legislature's version of the budget will go into law. Click here to view NASW-NC's Response to the Budget.

 

Of concern this week, legislators filed a Voter I.D. bill. HB 1092 titled Constitutional Amendment- Require Photo ID to Vote, would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November. The amendment that voters would decide on would read "Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting." Voters would select For or Against. NASW-NC is opposed to this legislation.

Click here to view NASW's Social Justice Brief on Voting Rights.

 

Use your voice: Let legislators know you are opposed to this legislation using Democracy NC's Action Alert!


Bills with action this week

  • HB 933 Reciprocity/School Psychologist Licensure: Amended in Health Care Committee, for discussion only. Per the title, this legislation makes changes to increase the number of school psychologists coming into the state. However, legislators added a new proposal in the Senate Health Care Committee that would allow for the Farm Bureau to sell unregulated health insurance plans that aren't subject to state or federal requirements. NASW-NC is concerned this language will allow for discrimination of individuals impacted by mental illness, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders. We anticipate this legislation to be heard in committee this week. Take Action Using the North Carolina Justice Center's Action Alert.
  • HB 934 Threat Assessment Teams: Passed the House and was sent to the Senate. This bill requires the establishment of threat assessment teams in public schools with a variety of members present and establishes peer-to-peer student support groups. The peer-to-peer groups would be for middle and high school students with adult supervision from school counselors.
  • HB 967 Telemedicine Policy: Amended in Committe and Scheduled for House Floor on 6/11. This bill was gutted significantly. Instead of establishing telemedicine laws in our state, it directs the Department of Health and Human Services to study implementation of telehealth in our state and report back to legislators by September 1, 2019. Included in the study is studying access to internet and how to ensure all providers are connected to the state's Health Information Exchange.
  • HB 981 State as a Model Employer/IDD: Passed the House and was sent to the Senate. Directs the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of State Human Resources to study the development and implementation of a statewide program that establishes the state as a model employer for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program would develop guidelines, appropriate workplace conditions, and other necessary standards for hiring.
  • SB 768 People First Language 2018: Passed the Senate and was sent to the House. This bill updates the general statutes of North Carolina with people first language by changing the phrase "Mental Retardation" to "Intellectual Disability" in necessary sections of our laws.
  • SB 616 Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Enforcement Act: Passed out of the Health Committee as was referred to Judiciary 1 Committee. This legislation expands drugs involved in the 2017 STOP Act. It creates a new felony for possessing 28 grams or more and allows for law enforcement to have access to the NC Controlled Substance Reporting System. Lastly, it appropriates $10 million for community-based treatment and recovery support.
  • HB 969 Enhance Prison Security: Passed out of Committee. This legislation would increase the felony for inmates who expose themselves, masturbate, or throw bodily fluids at an employee. Mental health advocates are concerned this bill will further sentences of inmates with mental health diagnoses.

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