Nov 17, 2017
NCGA Week in Review
Legislative oversight meetings continued to meet this week, discussing
topics including reforming the state’s formula for funding public schools,
Medicaid transformation, and emergency and disaster preparedness across the
state. Additionally, Special Master Nathan Persily submitted proposed House
and Senate maps to the three-judge panel as legislative redistricting
continues in federal court.
There will not be a newsletter next Friday, November 24. The team at
McGuireWoods Consulting wishes you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.
Legislative Oversight Committees Meet
The House Select Committee on Disaster Relief held their first meeting of
the interim on Monday. Director of the Division of Emergency Management
the committee on ongoing efforts to provide relief to areas of the state
that have been impacted by natural disasters. Over $300 million was
allocated towards disaster relief through
HB 2: Disaster Recovery Act of 2016
SB 338: Disaster Recovery Act of 2017. Efforts have included:
Allocating $435,000 to acquire land outside of a flood plain for the Town
of Princeville to redevelop.
Awarding a total $8.2 million to ten counties for housing repairs.
Allocating $20 million to The Golden L.E.A.F. Foundation for the purpose
of providing grants to 23 local governments to construct
Awarding a total of $5 million to the Rural Economic Development Center,
The Carolina Small Business Development Fund and the NC Community
Development initiative to make loans to small businesses affected by
certain natural disasters.
Education Finance Reform
On Wednesday, the Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform
met to hear a
from Michael Griffith of the Education Commission of the States. Griffith
overviewed the components of a high-quality school funding system and noted
that, while NC’s current system is equitable, it lacks flexibility for
districts and is not adaptable to changes in the educational environment
such as making considerations for charter schools and virtual education.
Griffith then provided an outline of how other states fund schools. While
Griffith included historical funding models, he noted that in the current
“generation” of school funding technology allows the state to ensure that
resources are following the student to provide a more equitable learning
environment. Finally, Griffith presented some considerations for the
committee as they continue to look at as they continue the process,
including lessons learned from other states.
Emergency Management Oversight
The Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee met
yesterday to hear presentations from law enforcement agencies and
associations from across the state.
First, the committee
from Special Agent In Charge of the NC State Bureau of Investigations Dirk
German on the NC Information Sharing and Analysis Center, a clearinghouse
for information related to terrorism and crime that opened in 2006.
The committee then discussed local law enforcement’s role in emergency
management with presentations from the
NC Sheriffs’ Association
NC Association of Chiefs of Police
who reviewed their policies to respond to both natural and manmade
disasters, including mutual aid agreements with other local law enforcement
agencies, training the community to speak up when they find something
suspicious and efforts to reduce divisiveness during public demonstrations.
Finally, the committee heard presentations from the UNC General
Administration and Campbell University on safety and security on college
campuses. The UNC System
regular trainings for campus police on all 16 campuses as well as
to ensure safety during large events that cause specific challenges.
Security on private college campuses is similar to that on UNC campuses,
according to Campbell University, who
their unique partnership with the Harnett County Sheriffs’ office.
Health & Human Services Oversight
The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services met
First, Director of the Office of Rural Health Maggie Sauer
on implementing a telemedicine policy for the state. The Department of
Health and Human Services (DHHS) believes that telemedicine can improve the
health of North Carolinians and that implementation should begin by:
Requiring Medicaid Managed Care Organizations to incorporate telemedicine
into their payment models.
Enacting the recommendations of the NC Office of Broadband infrastructure
to ensure access of broadband across the state.
The committee then heard from DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen on the
Department’s strategic plan to address the opioid crisis in NC, her
included the following action items:
Reducing oversupply of prescription opioids by implementing the STOP Act.
Reducing diversion of prescription drugs and flow of illicit drugs.
Increasing community awareness and prevention.
Making naloxone widely available and link overdose survivors to care by
distributing nearly 40,000 units of naloxone.
- Expanding access to treatment and recovery oriented systems of care.
Measuring the state’s impact and revise strategies based on results.
Then, Chief Operating Officer for Technology and Operations Charles Carter
provided the committee with an
on the Controlled Substances Reporting System, a statewide reporting system
designed to improve the state’s ability to identify people who abuse and
misuse prescription drugs classified as Schedule II-V controlled
substances. Carter noted that DHHS intends to make improvements to the
database including immediate interstate connectivity and Electronic Health
Record integration with all NC providers.
Deputy Secretary for Health Services Mark Benton followed with a
on the use of the Dorothea Dix Hospital Property Fund to increase licensed
inpatient behavioral beds. In 2016, $20 Million was allocated to the fund
from the sale of the Dorothea Dix property from the state to the City of
Raleigh. Following a competitive bidding process, all of the allocated
funds have been granted:
Of the $2 Million allocated for the construction of facility based crisis
beds for children and adolescents:
$1 Million has been awarded to Family Preservation, which will open in
Buncombe County in March 2018.
- $1 Million has been awarded to KidsPeace, which will open in Wake County
in March 2019.
Of the $18 Million allocated for the conversion and construction of
licensed short-term, inpatient Behavioral Health Beds:
$1.4 Million was awarded to create 10 new beds at Southeastern Regional
Medical Center in Robeson County.
$10 Million was awarded to Duke LifePoint to add 33 beds in Franklin
$6.5 Million was awarded to Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital in
Avery County to add 27 beds.
Finally, Mark Benton presented an
on the Adult and Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Pilot Program. The pilot
aims to reduce patient mortality, improve patient recovery and reduce
long-term care costs. A Request for Approval to identify a contractor for
the pilot program is in the process of development. Benton additionally
shared an overview of Traumatic Brain Injury, noting that approximately 2%
of the population suffers from TBI.
Additionally, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human
Services, subcommittee on Aging met today and received a
from Assistant Secretary for Human Services Michael Beckets and Adult
Services Section Chief Joyce Massey-Smith which overviewed the Division of
Aging and services available to the aging population. Beckets noted that
NC’s aging population is growing, which presents unique healthcare
challenges. Massey-Smith reviewed the services made available by the state
including adult daycare centers, nutrition services and adult guardianship
Justice & Public Safety Oversight
The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety met
First, the committee received a
from NC Justice Academy Director Trevor Allen, who provided an overview of
the Academy, which was established in 1973 to provide training to state and
local law enforcement agents.
The committee then discussed the Statewide Misdemeanant Confinement Program
from Gary Fife of the NC Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA). The program, which
is administrated by NCSA, manages the housing, transportation and medical
expenses of state inmates convicted of a misdemeanor crime and sentenced to
serve more than 90 days in a county jail.
Finally, Chief Counsel for the ABC Commission Renee Metz
to the committee on ABC permit revocation. Permit revocation is rare
according to Metz, and occurs only in cases where the permit holder makes
serious violations including failure to file an audit report or prolific
sales to underage customers.
Medicaid & NC Health Choice Oversight
On Wednesday, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC
Health Choice held their second meeting of the interim.
First, Steve Owen of the Fiscal Research Division
Medicaid enrollment, noting that as of October 1, enrollment was 41,748
less than budgeted. Owen also overviewed trends in enrollment including:
Continually increasing enrollment in the Family Planning category.
Decreased enrollment of children.
An overall decrease in enrollment in 26 counties across the state.
Deputy Secretary for Medical Assistance Dave Richard followed with a
Medicaid and NC Health Choice financial
, who noted that expenditures continue to be below budget.
Lastly, Dave Richard and DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen provided the committee
on the status of the 1115 waiver. DHHS anticipates submitting an amended
1115 waiver to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this month
and releasing a Request for Proposal for pre-paid health plans (PHPs)
procurement in spring 2018. Sec. Cohen noted that DHHS will establish
capitation rates and PHPs will compete based on their network of providers
and ability to provide adequate services.
Legislative Redistricting Continues
Special Master Nathan Persily
submitted his proposed
to redraw the state’s legislative maps, giving attorneys on both side of
the lawsuit until today to recommend changes. A final plan is due on
December 1. Persily was
to redraw nine House Districts and two Senate Districts. The proposed maps
Double bunk Reps. Grier Martin and Cynthia Ball, both Democrats, in Wake
County House District 49.
In Guilford County three districts would be double bunked: Republican
Sen. Trudy Wade and Democrat Sen. Gladys Robinson in Senate District 27,
Republican Rep. John Blust and Democrat Rep. Pricey Harrison in House
District 61, and Republican Rep. Jon Hardister and Democrat Rep. Amos Quick
in House District 59.
It is difficult to determine, based upon currently available data,
whether or not there any incumbents in Mecklenburg County would be double
bunked by the changes.
Additionally, because Persilly did not use political data in drawing the
maps, it is difficult to determine if the maps would favor one party over
A Look Ahead to Next Week
There are no legislative meetings next week.