Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In
News & Press: Updates for Members

Legislative Wrap Up: Update on what became law

Monday, July 30, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
Share |

As a member benefit, NASW-NC has two registered lobbyists on staff- Kay Castillo and Valerie Arendt. NASW-NC advocacy efforts could NOT continue with the support of our membership. Throughout the legislative session, NASW-NC meets directly with legislators and stakeholders to ensure the social work voice is supported in legislation. Below is a list of bills that are of interest to social workers. These bills were reported on throughout the legislative session via the NASW-NC website and the NASW-NC Engagement system. Bills that passed and were signed into law are noted.

  • HB 156 Medicaid PHP Licensure- Signed into law
    This legislation requires Prepaid Health Plans (PHP) to get a license from the Department of Insurance and meet certain standards in order to provide services to Medicaid recipients. This legislation is a positive step forward in administrative oversight of PHPs and should ensure provider and consumer protection under the plans.
  • HB 403 Behavioral Health and Medicaid Modifications- Signed into law
    This legislation makes several technical changes to allow Medicaid Transformation to continue. Without this bill, Medicaid Transformation would not have moved forward and all efforts by the state would have been stalled. The law now requires LME/MCOs to cover behavioral health services until new plans are fully operational, carves CAP/C recipients out of managed care, and allows for recipients with "serious mental illness, a serious emotional disturbance, a severe substance use disorder, an intellectual/developmental disability, or who have survived a traumatic brain injury" to be carved out until a BH/IDD tailored plans become operational. For further details on tailored plans, see the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Implementation Plan.
  • HB 774 Amends Certificate of Relief- Signed into law
    This law expands the number of justice involved individuals that are eligible for a certificate of relief. This will help individuals get a job and a place to live. Under the law, an individual could apply to a judge for this certificate regardless of how many convictions they have. Anyone with five or more convictions would have to wait three years after their sentence is complete. NASW-NC is supportive of such efforts to help justice involved individuals successfully transition back to communities.
  • HB 969 Enhance Prison Security- Signed into law
    This law will increase the felony for inmates who expose themselves, masturbate, or throw bodily fluids at an employee. Any inmate found guilty of these charges would have this sentence added consecutively to their current sentence. NASW-NC is concerned this law will further sentences of inmates with mental health diagnoses and tried to work with legislators to defeat the bill.
  • HB 986 Various Changes to Education Laws- Signed into law
    This law provides for several changes to education laws. Of concern to social workers is the repeal of the current School-Based Mental Health Initiative (section 5c of the legislation). Instead, the bill directs the Office of the State Superintendent to develop mental health training and suicide risk referral protocol. NASW-NC will work with the Office of the State Superintendent to ensure social workers are at the table to develop new standards.
  • SB 335 Budget Technical Corrections- Became law without Governor’s signature
    As promised by legislative leaders, funding for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline was restored in this bill. The bill also included funding for Medicaid recipients to pay for eyeglasses starting in January and $5.5 million to increase the payment rate for in-home aide services provided under the Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults. Group home funding and sustainability would also be studied under the bill- something NASW-NC and several members have been advocating for for a number of years. 
  • SB 630 Revise IVC Laws to Improve Behavioral Health- Signed into law
    This law makes several changes to the state involuntary commitment process. The bill expands who can provide first evaluations to physician assistants, PhD level nurses, and LPCs. It also incorporates a health screening to rule out any medical conditions which might be causing present symptoms. The law promotes psychiatric advance directives. Additionally, the law requires LMEs to develop crisis plans to get patients to the most appropriate care setting which will better define transportation standards. NASW-NC worked with stakeholders to ensure social workers would still be included in this legislation. NASW-NC will be at the table to develop the health screening with the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • SB 768 People First Language 2018- Signed into law
    This law will update 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. It also tweaks the legal definition of the phrase "mentally incapacitated." That definition would include a situation where someone is incapable of consenting to sex due to "a poisonous or controlled substance provided to the victim without the knowledge or consent of the victim."
  • HB 933 Reciprocity/School Psychologist Licensure- Did not Pass
    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 have allowed the Farm Bureau to sell unregulated health insurance plans that aren't subject to state or federal requirements. The language would have allowed for discrimination of individuals impacted by mental illness, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders. NASW-NC worked with legislators and developed a call to action for social workers- thank you for responding and helping to defeat this legislation!
  • HB 934 Threat Assessment Teams- Did not pass
    This bill would have required 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- Did not pass
    This bill was gutted significantly from it’s original intent to establish solid telehealth laws in our state including who can practice via telehealth. Once gutted, the bill directed 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 was 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- Did not pass
    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 616 Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Enforcement Act- Signed into law
    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.

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal