Monday, March 20, 2017
Kay Castillo, BSW, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation
Things continue to move quickly at the North Carolina General Assembly. This week, Senators confirmed Governor Cooper's pick for Secretary of the Department of Public Safety, Eric Hooks. The Senate also passed Senate Bill 75 which would ask voters to amend the North Carolina constitution to provide that the maximum tax rate of income cannot exceed five and one-half percent. The constitution currently caps income tax rates at 10. The current personal income tax rate is 5.499% so the amendment would prevent any future tax hikes. NASW-NC is OPPOSED to this legislation.
Bills of Interest
- HB 324 Pilot Project to Treat Opiate Overdose
Directs the city of Wilmington to develop and implement a pilot project to establish a quick response team to address the unmet needs of opiate overdose victims. This team would follow up on treatment and counseling services, support, and other recovery services.
- HB 334 Families' Stabilization Act
This bill is aimed at preventing the gender pay gap and ensures employees are compensated appropriately for the jobs they are hired into if performing the same work and same classification of work.
- HB 362 Changes to the Juvenile Code
This bill comes at the request of the Department of Public Safety to make several clarifying changes to the juvenile code. It updates laws about taking juveniles into various types of placements after a court review when the minor is in DSS custody.
- HB 369 Community Corrections and Probations
This bill gives more control to parole officers in certain settings, sets curfews for parolees, and would require parolees to undergo a mental health assessment and follow up on recommended treatment.
- HB 379 Task Force on Regulatory Reform
This bill would set up a task force to study issues such as workforce development and education, healthcare, and more. The goal would be to have this committee get feedback from around the state on ways to improve the regularity climate and ways to implement changes.
- HB 386 Intensive Family Preservation Services Funds
This bill appropriates funds for intensive family preservation services which works with families at risk of having their kids placed into foster care.
- HB 403 LME/MCO Claims Reporting/Mental Health Amdts.
Makes several changes to LME/MCO reporting, board structure, and caps salaries for CEOs.
- SB 240 and SB 257 Appropriations Act of 2017
These are two placeholder bills for the Senate budget.
- SB 280 Early Literacy Initiative/Funds
This bill funds several programs to promote reading for children.
- SB 290 Medicaid Expansion/Healthcare Jobs Initiative
This bill expands Medicaid in our state and, through expansion, would create healthcare related jobs.
- SB 305 Raise Awareness About Alzheimer's & Dementias
This bill would fund several initiatives as outlined in the state's task force on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Funding would develop information for the community and family caregivers and provide workshops and other events to raise awareness.
- SB 311 DHHS Study/Maternal and Neonatal Care
This bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to study issues pertaining to high-quality, risk appropriate, maternal and neonatal care.
On April 4, 2017, there are two advocacy days occuring that we want to bring to your attention:
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!