North Carolina Legislative Report - October 17, 2014
October 3 - 17, 2014
The General Assembly adjourned “sine die” on Wednesday, August 20. During the interim, the MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed biweekly to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues facing the state.
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Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee
The Committee met on Wednesday, October 15, and heard a presentation on a study recently completed by the Program Evaluation Division with respect to veterans’ programs offered by the State. The study recommended that the General Assembly a) establish a taskforce to address veterans’ issues, b) direct the taskforce to develop a statewide strategic plan, c) direct State agencies to track and report information on veterans, and d) establish an oversight committee to monitor implementation of the strategic plan. The Committee also took up a motion from Rep. Howard requesting the State Auditor to conduct detailed financial audits of six departments for the 2013-14 fiscal year (Health and Human Services, Public Instruction, Public Safety, Revenue, Transportation, and the State Treasurer) and directing the State Auditor to provide estimates of the costs of conducting detailed financial audits of each State agency annually. These audits would provide greater detail than the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report conducted each year by the State Auditor. The more detailed audits have not been conducted in 20 years since the Government Accounting Standards Board modified requirements for the annual report.
Revenue Laws Study Committee
The Committee met on Tuesday, October 14, and began with an overview of Finance Law Changes enacted by the General Assembly in 2014. For the most part, this was a summary of what happened last year. However, staff did discuss the timing of the repeal of local privilege license taxes. The first substantive item addressed involved a fairly complex issue regarding the personal income tax imposed on some retirement benefits. The second substantive item discussed involved efforts by various State agencies to address misclassification of workers as contractors rather than employees. Misclassification of workers can result in uncollected personal income taxes and unemployment insurance taxes. No legislation was presented on either of these items. Finally, there was an initial technical corrections draft presented at this meeting. It included only the items in the second technical corrections bill from 2014, which didn’t pass in the closing days of session.
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services
The Committee met on Tuesday, October 14, and Senator Hise chaired the meeting. DHHS Secretary Wos gave opening remarks regarding the agenda for the meeting and started the Ebola update prior to the full Ebola update that was given by Dr. Megan Davies. Davies serves as the State Epidemiologist and Chief within the Division of Public Health at DHHS. Rudy Dimmling then gave the Medicaid budget update. Dimmling is the Acting Director of Finance within DMA at DHHS.
Following those reports, Sandra Terrell, Acting COO within DMA, gave the committee a report on the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Linda Shaw, Executive Director for the NC PACE Association, and Aimee Reimann, Chair of the NC PACE Association and COO for United Church Homes and Services, participated in the presentation as well.
Finally, DHHS staff gave two updates on the Behavioral Health Continuum of Care. Dave Richard, Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health and DDS at DHHS, gave an update on the use of state appropriations for Behavioral Health Urgent Care Centers and Facility-Based Crisis Centers. Chris Collins, MSW Director at the Office of Rural Health and Community Care at DHHS, and Dr. Sy Saeed, Director of the NC Statewide Telepsychiatry Program at ECU, gave an update on that program.
The next Committee meeting will take place on November 18.
Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
The Committee met on Tuesday, October 7. The Committee heard first reports regarding Elizabeth State University from the school’s chancellor, Stacey Franklin Jones, and UNC president Tom Ross. The Committee also heard from UNC staff regarding university tuition.
Next, Julia Adams of The Arc of North Carolina and Jennifer Mahan of the Autism Society of North Carolina gave presentations on vocational training for students with intellectual disabilities.
Finally, Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. June Atkinson spoke along with Race to the Top Director Adam Levinson regarding the Race to the Top program success. The report was supported by Friday Institute for Education Innovation staff, who presented findings from their program evaluation study.
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, Medicaid Reform/DMA Reorganization Subcommittee
On Monday, October 6, the Committee met. The meeting comprised of presentations from the state Medicaid Directors from Florida, Ohio, and Virginia and a question-and-answer period. Each of the Medicaid Directors gave an overview of his or her state’s system and discussed issues that arose in the context of system reform.
In The News
Raleigh News & Observer: Panel allows utilities to avoid sharing tax break with customers
WRAL: Despite big job promises, incentives often fail to deliver
Raleigh News & Observer: DHHS details mental health crisis plans
Raleigh News & Observer: State Medicaid program on budget, consultant says
Charlotte Observer: Judge’s ruling leaves city in control of Charlotte Douglas airport
Charlotte Observer: Chiquita board rejects $14-per-share offer from Brazilian companies
Raleigh News & Observer: Coastal Energy Summit to highlight fossil fuels and renewable energy
Release: Peter Gwaltney Named President And CEO Of The North Carolina Bankers Association
Winston-Salem Journal: State officials hear Medicaid options from three states
NC Insider: NC’s new economic development agency begins work
Greensboro News & Record: Government agencies seek suggestions to heal the Dan River
Mon, October 20, 2014
9:00 A.M. - 10:30 A.M.
Room 5003, UNC School of Law, 160 Ridge Road
The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation
9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.
Session Convenes (House)
Session Convenes (Senate)