NCGA Short Sessions Begins May 16, 2018
NCGA Short Sessions Begins May 16, 2018
Legislative Update
News from the NCGA
April 5, 2018
by Tony Adams, Adams and Associates Government Relations
2018 Legislative Short Session: Begins May 16.

2018 Legislative Elections

The 2018 elections for legislative seats will, for the first time in many years, have both Democratic and Republican candidates running in all but one district. Currently, the Republicans hold super majorities in both the House and Senate, and the Democrats are making a concerted effort to break the super majorities held by Republicans. Several legislators have announced they are not running for re-election. Reps Larry Bell (D-Duplin), Bert Jones (R-Caswell), Susan Martin (R-Pitt), and Mickey Michaux (D-Durham) are not seeking another term. Rep John Blust (R-Guilford) and Rep Jeff Collins (R-Franklin) also will not seek re-election. Rep Carl Ford (R-Cabarrus) also said he would not seek re-election to the House, but will seek election to Senate District 33, representing Rowan and Stanly counties. Rep Bob Steinberg, representing House District 1, will not seek to return to that seat, but will run for Senate District 1. Sen Bill Cook currently represents District 1, but Cook announced he is going to retire from the Senate.
Rep Sam Watford (R-Davidson) is also not running for re-relection, but he too is running for the Senate, in Senate District 33. Sen Ron Rabin (R-Harnett) and Sen Angela Bryant (D-Halifax) also are not running for re-election, and neither is Sen Tommy Tucker (R-Union), who played a key role in re-writing the state's tax policy since 2011.

Subcommittee on Aging

During the 2017 legislative session, the co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee (JOC) on Health and Human Services (HHS) appointed a Subcommittee on Aging to examine the state's delivery of services for older adults in order to (1) determine their needs, and (2) make recommendations on how to address those needs. The subcommittee was encouraged to seek input from a variety of stakeholders and interest groups and to submit an interim report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the JOC on HHS and submit a final report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, on or before November 1, 2018.
During three meetings in February and March, the subcommittee heard from representatives of aging organizations in the state and from state and local officials about programs available to assist older adults. The subcommittee also reviewed and approved an interim report to the JOC, as called for by the authorizing legislation. JOC on HHS reviewed their draft recommendations, which included a recommendation from their Aging Subcommittee that the co-chairs of the JOC on HHS allow the Subcommittee on Aging to continue its study of the state's delivery of services to older adults during the interim period following the 2018 Regular Session of the NC General Assembly. The recommendation met with approval.

Medicaid Waiver Approval Pending

Dr Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, told legislators in March at a Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice meeting that the state could learn within weeks whether it will gain approval from the Trump administration for its extensive Medicaid waiver reform request. In her remarks to the committee, Cohen noted that the application "is moving in the right direction" with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Cohen said she and Gov Roy Cooper have met with recently appointed federal health secretary Alex Azar about the waiver, and state health officials have been in weekly contact with CMS since September. A January 11 ruling from CMS affected the federal Medicaid waiver request submitted by the McCrory administration in June 2016 and amended by the Cooper administration on November 20. The ruling allows 10 states, including North Carolina, to institute a work requirement for some Medicaid recipients to maintain their eligibility.

Star Rating System

The NC Division of Health Service Regulation is seeking input through a survey on their Web site about the Star Rating Program for adult care homes. The Department of Health and Human Services is charged by the General Assembly (House Bill 657) to study the Star Rating Program and to report back to the General Assembly about this. The survey is one way that the Department is is getting input for the study. The current rating system has challenges and the survey is an opportunity to offer input relative to what is in place now and ideas about needed changes. To complete the survey, go to https://www2.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/acls/star/request.html (popup blockers must be disabled to see the survey).

Moratorium on Special Care Unit Licenses

Specified that for the period beginning July 1, 2017, and ending June 30, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Service Regulation, shall not issue any licenses for special care units as defined in G.S. 131D-4.6 and G.S. 131E-114 except in situations noted in the provision. The Department is to submit a report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services and the Fiscal Research Division by March 1, 2019.

Certificate of Need

NCALA is monitoring whether or not there will again be an attempt during the 2018 short session of the legislature to repeal the Certificate of Need laws that regulate the placement of new healthcare facilities in the state.

Generators in Assisted Living

Gov Roy Cooper recently stated that during the 2018 short session, he is going to advocate for a bill to require generators in assisted living communities due to all the natural disasters that occurred last year. A bill was recently signed into law on that issue in Florida.
For more information about the North Carolina General Assembly, or to identify your legislators, please visit www.ncleg.net. For more information on these and other legislative issues, please contact NCALA.

ADAMS AND ASSOCIATES GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

1706 Rangecrest Road, Raleigh, NC 27612
(919) 841-0964    (919) 801-1837 Cell
ta@adamsgov-relations.com
919-467-2486
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