Friday, June 6, 2008

NC Legislative Update: Details From the House Budget

This week the major news at the General Assembly was the House passing its budget.  The budget comes in at $21.3 billion dollars.  It reflects a 3 percent increase in state spending annually.  Two sections of the budget that have a considerable impact on the people with developmental disabilities and their families is the Health and Human Services budget and the Education budget.  Here is a detailed break down of the funding provided by this budget.

Health and Human Services:

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Education
$100,000 Recurring
Provides funding for the North Carolina T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood Project.

Medically Fragile Children’s Program
$70,000 Non Recurring

Funding of this program provides services for the child care component of pediatric day treatment center for medically fragile children. In addition this program will receive an additional $290,000 from the SSBG Block Grant. This was a new appropriation that had not been funded in the previous draft proposal. Total appropriation $360,000.

CAP/MR-DD Tiered Slots
$8,232,411 Recurring

This funding will provide for additional Community Alternatives Program slots for people with developmental disabilities.

Mental Health Screening and Assessments in Adult Care Homes
$198,846 Recurring
$1,905,648 Non Recurring

Provides funding to implement a mental health screening program for residents of adult care homes.

Money Follows the Person Administrative Funding
$59,186 Recurring

Provides funding for two positions and operating expenses to implement the federal Money Follows the Person grant.

NC Health Choice Expansion

Provides funding to expand the NC Health Choice program to support an additional 10,683 children, for a total of 133,036 children. This is SCHIP.

START Crisis Model for Developmental Disabilities
$3,239,688 Recurring and $204, 459 Non Recurring

This funding will provide for 9 Developmental Disabilities Systemic Therapeutic Assessment, Respite, and Treatment Crisis Model teams. These teams will operate under a regionally-purchased, locally-hosted model and will be supported by $1 million in Medicaid reciepts.

Respite Beds for Developmental Disabilities
$903, 375 Recurring and $177,617 Non Recurring

This funding will provide for start-up and ongoing support of 12 respite beds for individuals with developmental disabilities across the state.

Housing 400 Initiative-Housing Trust Fund
$7,000,000 Non Recurring

The funding for the Housing 400 Initiative increased in the final budget from $4,000,000. This funding provides for the financing of additional independent and supportive living apartments for people with disabilities. $2,000,000 of this funding is redirected from the Mental Health Trust Fund.

Housing 400 Initiative-Operating Cost Subsidy
$1,000,000 Recurring

This funding provides the operating cost for the independent-and supportive living apartments. It provides for the deep affordability that is needed for people with disabilities receiving Supplement Security Incomes.

Early Intervention for Autism
$1,300,000 Non Recurring

This appropriation is a reduction from the original $2,000,000. This funding supports three model programs of early intervention for autism across the state. These programs serve children with autism from birth through age 10.

Supportive Services for HUD 811 Projects
$129,331 Recurring and $155,000 Non Recurring

This funding will provide on-going operation and start –up expenses to support 6 two-bedroom and 19 one-bedroom apartments financed through HUD. These units are located in Wake County, Mecklenburg County, Rowan County and Buncombe County. Direct services dollars are the key to a successful transition to independent living options for the residents of these units.

Traumatic Brain Injury Services
$1,000,000 Recurring

This funding is directed to TBI services.

Beyond Academics: Intellectual Disability Transition Program
$200,000 Non Recurring

This funding will provide support to Beyond Academics, a non-degree university-based programs for students with developmental disabilities.


Children with Disabilities
$6,200,000 Recurring

This funding will be allotted to Les to support special education and related services for students with identified disabilities. This funding will increase the per student funded rate to $3,386.84 per student.

Dropout Prevention Grants
$15,000,000 Non Recurring

This appropriation provides for a second year of funding for a grant program that distributes funding on a competitive basis to support innovative LEA programs that address dropout prevention.

More at Four
$23,000,000 Non Recurring

This funding will expand the More at Four program by 4,184 slots in 2008-2009 and increase the average per slot amount by 3%. The increase will result in 32,829 total available More at Four slots.

Positive Behavior Support
$90,000 Recurring

Provides funding to support an additional position for the Positive Behavior Support initiative, an effort to improve the environment for all students by establishing and reinforcing clear behavioral expectations throughout the school building and school day.

Funds for Class-Size Reduction

General Assembly directs the Director of the Budget to transfer sufficient funding from the Education Lottery Reserve Fund to maintain K-3 student/teacher ratios at 18:1.

Bills that Moved This Week:
The budget was not the only thing happening at the General Assembly this week. There were multiple committee meetings and floor votes in the Senate and House.

One bill that we have been tracking is SB 1840 Medical Release for Ill and Disabled Inmates.  This bill directs the Department of Correction and the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission to provide for medical release of no-risk inmates who are either permanently and totally disabled, terminally ill, or geriatric. This bill passed both chambers and is now awaiting the Governor's signature.

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