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News & Press: Updates for Members

Advocacy Update: Legislative Session Begins!

Monday, February 4, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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Legislators officially kicked off the 2019 North Carolina Legislative Session on Wednesday, January 30th!

What will NASW-NC be focusing on this legislative session? Check out NASW-NC's Legislative Agenda approved by the NASW-NC Legislative Committee and NASW-NC Board of Directors! Here are a few highlights:

  • Advocate to extend behavioral health providers' connection to the state's Health Information Exchange Authority until at least June 2021. The current deadline is June 2019 and NASW-NC is working in coalition to extend this deadline as most behavioral health providers do not have the appropriate means to implement an electronic health record by this deadline.
  • Amend the North Carolina Social Worker Certification and Licensure Act to ensure compliance and continued use of the national social work clinical licensure exam and additional necessary updates. This legislation will delay a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate from taking the exam until two years post supervised experience. NASW-NC has been working with the North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board to agree on changes impacting the profession.
  • Advocate for accessible and affordable behavioral health care and healthcare for all North Carolinians. We join Governor Cooper and other leaders in the state to call on legislators to expand Medicaid in North Carolina.
  • Support comprehensive criminal justice reform and individuals who are justice involved. We are advocating to increase funds to hire more behavioral health staff in prisons to provide services to inmates, seeking to end the shackling of pregnant inmates through state law, and seeking to implement changes to sentencing as passed by Congress in the First Step Act.

Legislators used the few days they were in town to organize for the legislative session, but a few bills were filed that are of interest to social workers:

House Bill 5/Senate Bill 3 Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap: This legislation would expand Medicaid in North Carolina thus closing the insurance coverage gap for thousands of North Carolinians and allow them access to needed services like behavioral health treatment. This legislation supports the NASW-NC Legislative Agenda.

Senate Bill 9 Female Genital Mutilation/Clarify Prohibition: This legislation would prevent the act of female genital mutilation on any female under the age of 18.

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Do you enjoy these updates? NASW-NC membership makes them possible!

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!

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