Friday, May 30, 2008

Hot Policy Topics: Friday Wrap Up

Budget, budget, budget. This week was all about the budget. On Thursday a majority of House Appropriation subcommittees voted on their budgets. The Health and Human Services budget is detailed in the NC Legislative Update.  

What else is happening:
But it is not all about the budget. There are several bills that have been followed that affect people with disabilities. One of interest is Senate Bill 1480 Medical Release for Ill and Disabled Inmates. This legislation moved a step closer to the Governor’s desk by emerging favorably from conference committee. Senator Tony Rand has championed this bill through both chambers. The legislation would permit no-risk inmates who are either permanently and or totally disabled, terminally ill, or geriatric early release if approved through the parole commission. There will be a release plan created for the inmate that will include a full check to ensure that there is health care available through either private insurance or Medicare/Medicaid prior to the release.  (SB 1480 Medical Release for Ill and Disabled Inmates)

Another interesting bill just popped up on my radar. Senator Dorsett has filed a bill that would permit free parking for people with handicap placards in government owned parking lots. This is an interesting way to address the on the road parking situation that surrounds government buildings in down town Raleigh. Check out the bill,  SB 1922 Free Parking for Handicapped/Govt"t Parking.

Did We Mention The Budget?
And now back to the budget. Looks like all those rumors about a July 1 target for session to end may be true. The House seems to have their budget ready to hit the House floor on Wednesday. That would mean one week until the Senate begins their work on the budget. Short session is actually looking like a “Short” session. Summer vacation may be just a few weeks away.

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