Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Arc of NC: Action Alert Reminder

We still need calls and emails into the House Health and Human Services Appropriation Subcommittee members. The budget is moving quickly and they need to hear from you regarding your concerns over the managed care waivers.
Please click here to be taken to the Alert Information!

NCGA: House Education Committee Update

On Tuesday the House Education Committee debated the following two bills. House Bill 1683 Amend Sunset of Children with Disabilities was debated first. The questions regarding this proposed legislation were clarification of the definition of disability. The definition is in line with the federal definitions defining disability. The second question was regarding the reason why a sunset date was place in the original bill. The sunset date was an agreed upon compromise so that this bill could be put back in place. The bill received a favorable report and will now move on to House Judiciary II.

The second bill that was debated was House Bill 1682 Ban Corporal Punishment for Children with Disabilities. A committee substitute was offered for this bill changing the ban into a parental opt out option. Parents and guardians of students with disabilities would be offered the option of opting their child out of corporal punishment if that is practice in their school. There were no questions on this bill and it passed with a favorable report. This bill will now head to House Judiciary II.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NCGA: House and Senate Calendars

For all of you who want to know all the meetings happening this week here is the House and the Senate Calendars. Enjoy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

NCGA: More Hot Policy Topics-Wednesday House Calendar

In addition to the other bills mentioned here are some hot topics for Wednesday from the House calendar.

Wednesday, May 26 Room Time

AGING 415 11:00 am

 H.B. 1692 Medicaid Dental/Special Needs Population.

 H.B. 1693 Develop Special Needs Dental Care Workforce.

 H.B. 1698 Update Long-Term Care Statutes.

 H.B. 1703 Adult Day Care Criminal Record Check Process.


NCGA: House Public Forum on the Budget is Happening Now

Not in Raleigh or at any of the three locations across the state? Jump on line and listen to the live streaming at

The Arc of North Carolina: Urgent Action Alert! Take Action Now!

Action Needed on Managed Care Waivers!

Phone Calls and E-mails Needed This Week

May 24, 2010

Though we are making progress with legislators, the Senate has passed their budget which includes a provision that expands managed care for people who use mental health/developmental disabilities/substance abuse services. (MH/DD/SA).
We believe that if the House will remove this provision, we have an excellent chance to avoid the expansion of managed care for people with DD.
It is critical that we continue to target House members to remove developmental disabilities from this managed care experiment.
Action Needed This Week!
Please call or e-mail the members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services (HHS) and ask them to remove developmental disabilities from managed care!
To call: 919-733-4111 ask to speak to the Representatives below
To e-mail: Click on the underlined names below. 

Chairman Rep. Earle
Chairman Rep. England
Chairman Rep. Insko
Vice Chairman Rep. Barnhart

Tell Them:
Please use any of the following points in your request: 
Developmental Disability Services are already "managed" through the CAP/DD, ICF, and State Service System
Managed Care for Long Term Supports has not proven successful in other states
There was no stakeholder input into process
Developmental Disability Services have not experienced cost overruns that require a new management system
Developmental Disability is a support model not a medical model
Loss of protections for people currently served in ICF programs
Moving to a Regional Managed Care Model will reduce local involvement 
There is additional information about managed care on our website.   

Monday Quick Hits: Hot Policy Topics for This Week

Budget Update:

The House has the budget and the first order of the week is to hold a public meeting. Tonight the House Appropriations Chairs will hold a public forum at the McKimmon Center on the NC State University campus as well as at three community college sites across the state. This event will be live streamed at and you can email your budget concerns to Town.Hall@NCLEG.NET.

Legislative Meetings of Interest:

Monday May 24, 2010

On Monday the Program Evaluation Oversight Committee will be looking at the oversight of non-profit grants from the state. We will be at the meeting and will give an update when available. We do know a bill has been filed. Check it out here:SB 1218

3:00 PM         Program Evaluation Oversight Committee, Joint Legislative        544 LOB

3:00 PM         Jt. Leg. Evaluation Oversight Comm.           544 LOB

6:00 PM         Session Convenes (House)   House Chamber

7:00 PM         Session Convenes (Senate)  Senate Chamber

Tuesday May 25, 2010

On Tuesday we have some important bills on the House Calendar. The first one is H.B. 1682 Ban Corporal Punishment for Children with Disabilities. This bill will have a committee substitute that will change the language to an opt out for children with disabilities. Parents will be provided during the start of every school year, during their IEP meeting and when their child transfers to a new school the opportunity to opt their child with a disability out of corporal punishment.

Tuesday: House Calendar

EDUCATION 643 11:00 am

 H.B. 1682 Ban Corp. Punish. for Children W/Disabilities.

 H.B. 1683 Amend Sunset/Children w/Disab.

 H.B. 1700 Career Acad. as Coop. Innov. High School.

 S.B. 1022 Comparative Effectiveness Task Force.

HEALTH 544 12:00 Noon

 H.B. 1756 Update Statewide Nutrition Standards.

 H.B. 1757 Physical Education and Activity in Schools.

 H.B. 1764 SS Survivors Benefits/Medicaid Eligibility.

 H.B. 1776 Electronic Funds Transfers/Farmers Markets.

 S.B. 675 Amend Public Health-Related Laws.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Senate Health Care will be meeting to review some of the bills proposed during the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services.

Wednesday: Senate Calendar


 SB 1151 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

 SB 1152 Study Child Nutrition Program

 SB 1153 Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity

 SB 1304 Modify CABHA Certification Process

 SB 1307 Modify MHDDSAS Reporting Requirements

 SB 1309 Extend and Expand First Commit Pilot

 SB 1319 Examine and Adjust Rates/Clubhouses




Friday, May 21, 2010

NCGA: House Holds Public Forum on the Budget

Yesterday the NC House announced that it will hold a public forum on the state budget. The public forum gives the citizens of North Carolina an opportunity to express their concerns prior to the start of the House budget process.

Here are the details:

Sign Up for speakers will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Day & Date:    Monday, May 24, 2010

Time:  7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Live Location: McKimmon Center

N.C. State University

1101 Gorman Street

Raleigh, NC 27606

Additional sites across the state are as follows:

Community College Host Sites:        

Bladen Community College (Teaching Auditorium), Dublin, NC

Central Piedmont Community College (Central Campus), Charlotte, NC

Southwestern Community College (Balsam Center, 3rd Floor), Sylva, NC

Click here for contact information and driving directions to each campus.

Internet Streaming:  Link will be posted to on day of the event.

Members of the public may offer suggestions and comments at the live location and the three Community College Host sites. Signup for speakers will begin at 6:00 p.m. on the day of the public hearing at the live location and the three Community College Host sites. Each speaker will have two minutes.

Can't attend one of the live sites-you can participate via email and online.

Members of the public who cannot attend a live video site, may offer suggestions and comments by the following methods:

EMAIL:            Town.Hall@NCLEG.NET (Until midnight, 5/25/2010.)

ONLINE: (Until midnight, 5/25/2010.)

MAIL:  House Appropriations Committee

Suite 401, LOB

300 N. Salisbury Street

Raleigh, NC 27603-5925 (If postmarked by 5/25/2010.)

NCGA: Senate Budget Passes-Moves to House

Yesterday the North Carolina Senate held its final vote on their proposed budget. The Senate budget includes the following items:

Expansion of the 1915 b/c Managed Care Waiver:

$1,560,600 million expected savings by expanding the capitated behavior health pilot program to two additional local management entities effective January 1, 2010. Effort is based on the Piedmont Behavioral Health pilot.

Restoration of Funding:

$40 million in funding for community service funds administered through Local Management Entities. $23 million will come out of the state general fund and an additional $17 million will come from TANF funds. This is a full restoration of the $40 million cut in the 2009-2010 budget.

Expansion Funding:

Local In-Patient Bed Capacity

$12 million in increased funds available for three-way contracts to purchase local hospital bed capacity for crisis response within the community. These fund will support the purchase of an estimated 50 beds. It will bring the current funding to $32 million. (This is a recurring line item expansion)

NC Health Choice Enrollment

$6,500,000 will provide the state the ability to increase enrollment in Health Choice by 2% or 2,750 children. This will bring the total number of children served by the program to 137,789. (This is a recurring line item expansion)

Medicaid Rebase

$430,564,713 this increase to the Medicaid Budget for FY 2010-2011 will account for 5.6% growth in eligibles above the current levels.

Adult Care Home Fund

$5,000,000 increases funding for adult care homes based on acuity levels for the personal care services provided in adult care homes. Funding will assist in the development of a 1915 c Medicaid Assisted Living waiver for individuals that reside in adult care homes that meet skilled nursing level of care and currently receive State County Special Assistance.

Training In Facilities

$534,795 increases funds available for training of direct care state and front line leaders in patient care.


Medical Assistance Co-Payments
$4,530,404 increases current copayment amounts to a maximum of $3.40, and expands collection of co payments to local health departments and outpatient behavioral health services. This reduction also implements a $6.80 copayment for nonemergency hospital emergency room visits.

Where problems may happen with this budget?

Both the Governor and the Senate are using $482,111,583 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Federal Enhanced Matching Funds to be able to balance the budget. The concern expressed by many has been that the federal government has yet to pass the extension on the FMAP match dollars. If the budget wraps up before the federal government passes their legislation the members of both chambers will need to either look at cuts or a special session depending on the time line.

Cuts that were in Governor’s Budget but not in Senate Budget?

The following cuts were included in the Governor’s budget but were not included in the Senate budget.

·  Dental:

$11.6 million reduction that would limit adult dental coverage to emergency care only.This recommendation limits adult dental coverage to emergency care only. With this policy change, covered services will include emergency exams; diagnostic x-rays; urgent care extractions; biopsies; excision of tumors; repair of soft tissue wounds; treatment of fractures; and a portion of adjunctive services, such as general anesthesia and IV sedation, hospital calls, and therapeutic drug administration.

·  Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Respiratory Therapy:

$4.3 million reduction under Improving Utilization Management for Optional Services.  This cut would reduce the maximum number of visits for adult speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and respiratory therapy to three visits per year.



Where do we go from here?

Right after the Senate passed their budget work began in the House. The House Health and Human Services appropriation subcommittee met late yesterday to review the budget and flag several items.


The House HHS Appropriation committee also received their target numbers during this meeting. Target numbers are the budget amount that each subcommittee has to work with. These numbers were slightly higher than the Senate numbers. The Senate HHS budget came in at $3,915,632,709. The House will be working with the target number of $3,916,087,568 or a difference of $454,859.

Monday, May 17, 2010

NCGA: Senate Appropriation Schedule for Today

Today the following Senate Appropriation subcommittees will present their budgets. 
3:30 PMAppropriations on Education / Higher Education (Senate)421 LOB
4:00 PMAppropriations on Department of Transportation (Senate)1027 LB
4:00 PMSenate Appropriations - Health and Human Services Subcommittee643 LOB
4:30 PMAppropriations on Natural and Economic Resources(Senate)423 LOB
5:00 PMAppropriations on Justice and Public Safety (Senate)415 LOB

NCGA: Senate HHS Appropriations Draft Released

On Friday the Senate HHS Appropriation subcommittee released its draft money report. No vote was taken and no special provisions were released.

Included in the budget was the restoration of the 40 million dollar cut to LME community service funding. This restoration was also in the governor's budget and was a major discussion among leaders in the House and Senate during the interim.

Today the Senate HHS Appropriation subcommittee will presented its budget at 4pm with its special provisions. We will post a report here this evening.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

NCGA: Senate HHS Appropriation Subcommittee Meeting

Here comes the budget!
Senate HHS Appropriation Subcommittee will be meeting in room 643 of the Legislative Office Building at 10:00AM tomorrow morning.

NCGA: Session Opens and Here Comes The Bills and Budget


On Wednesday the short session of the North Carolina General Assembly officially began! It was a fairly somber opening as House and Senate members begin the process of tackling the state budget.

The deficit for this years budget is sitting right at 800 million. The key to the budget is how to fill the gap without cutting critical services. Both Senate and House leadership have stated that there are no plans for a major new tax package. There may be some fee adjustments specifically in transportation but a new tax package seems unlikely. This sets up the budget to have minimal expansions and targeted cuts.

Two things to keep an eye on through this process will be how much of the Governor's recommendations on expansions make it into the Senate budget and how different are the target numbers from the Governor's budget.

We will get our first look tomorrow at 10:00AM when the Senate HHS Appropriation Subcommittee rolls out its budget.

Look for a Senate full appropriation meeting on Monday and a start of floor votes by Wednesday. If all of this happens it will mean the Senate is releasing its budget on schedule. It also means the quickest budget roll out in any legislative session that we have seen.

The start of session means not only the budget roll out but all the filing of bills. Here are some of interest to our community. Committee meetings will start next week in the House.

HOUSE BILL 1682 -Short Title: Ban Corp. Punish. for Children W/Disability (Public)

Sponsors: Representatives Glazier, M. Alexander, Lucas, Rapp (Primary Sponsors);  Adams, Brown, Carney, Cotham, Earle, Farmer-Butterfield, Fisher, Gill, Goforth, Harrison, Hughes, Insko, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Luebke, Mobley, Neumann, Parfitt, Pierce, Tarleton, Weiss, Whilden, and Yongue.

Referred to: Education, if favorable, Judiciary II.

A bill entitled an act to prohibit the use of corporal punishment for students with disabilities as recommended by the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.

SENATE BILL 1138-Short Title: Ban Corp. Punish. for Children W/Disabilit. (Public)

Sponsors: Senators Foriest,  Dorsett and Hartsell.

HOUSE BILL 1683-Short Title: Amend Sunset/Children w/Disab. (Public)  

Sponsors: Representatives Glazier, Lucas, E. Warren, Yongue (Primary Sponsors); Adams, Brown, Carney, Goforth, Harrison, Hughes, Insko, Jackson, Johnson,Neumann, Parfitt, Pierce, Rapp, and Tarleton.

Referred to: Education, if favorable, Judiciary II.

An act to delay the sunset of an act pertaining to the discipline and homebound instruction of students with disabilities as recommended by the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee. The bill would move the sunset date from March 1, 2011 to June 1, 2013.

SENATE BILL 1140-Short Title: Amend Sunset/Children w/Disab.(Public)

Sponsors: Senators Foriest,  Tillman, Dorsett, Hartsell, and Stevens.

HOUSE BILL 1692-Short Title: Medicaid Dental/Special Needs Population. (Public)

Sponsors: Representatives Farmer-Butterfield, Weiss, Pierce, England (Primary Sponsors);  Adams, M. Alexander, Brisson, Carney, Dockham, Earle, Fisher, E. Floyd, Gill,Glazier, Harrison, Hughes, Insko, Jones, McLawhorn, Mobley, Parfitt, Parmon, Ross, Spear, Tarleton, Wainwright, R. Warren, and Whilden.

Referred to: Aging, if favorable, Health.

An act to require the Division of Medical Assistance, and the Division of Public Health in the Department of Health and Human Services to explore issues related to providing dental services to the special needs population as recommended by the North Carolina Study Commission on Aging.


HOUSE BILL 1693-Short Title: Develop Special Needs Dental Care Workforce. (Public)

Sponsors: Representatives Farmer-Butterfield, England, Weiss, Pierce (Primary Sponsors); Adams, M. Alexander, Brisson, Carney, Dockham, Fisher, E. Floyd, Gill,

Glazier, Harrison, Hughes, Parfitt, Parmon, Ross, Wainwright, R. Warren, and Whilden.

Referred to: Aging, if favorable, Health.

An act to direct the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program to coordinate workforce development efforts to increase the number of dental care providers serving the special needs populations, as recommended by the North Carolina Study Commission on Aging.


HOUSE BILL 1694-Short Title: Comsn. on Children with Special Needs-Dentist. (Public)

Sponsors: Representatives Farmer-Butterfield, Pierce, Weiss, England (Primary Sponsors);  Adams, M. Alexander, Brisson, Carney, Dockham, Fisher, E. Floyd, Gill, Glazier, Harrison, Hughes, Insko, Jones, McLawhorn, Mobley, Moore, Parfitt, Parmon, Ross, Tarleton, Wainwright, R. Warren, and Whilden.

Referred to: Health, if favorable, Ways and Means/Broadband Connectivity.

An act to add a licensed dentist to the commission on children with special health care needs, as recommended by the North Carolina Study Commission on Aging.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Quick Hits: Hot Policy Topics for This Week

We are now two days away from the start of the North Carolina General Assembly short session. The gavel falls at 12 noon on Wednesday. It does look like there will be budgets ready to go on both the House and Senate side within the first month of the General Assembly's session.

Today at 10:00 AM we will see what the tentative plan is for Senate HHS Appropriations. We have already seen the Senate Education Appropriation plan. Just remember these are all in flux.
We will have a post later today on both education and HHS appropriations.

Here is the schedule for this week:

Monday, May 10

  • 10 a.m. | The Senate Appropriations Health and Human Services Subcommittee meets, 643 LOB.
  • 1 p.m. | The Joint Study Committee on Autism, Spectrum Disorder, Law Enforcement, Public Safety and First Responders, 643 LOB.

Tuesday, May 11

  • 9 a.m. | The School Technology Commission meets, 421 LOB.
  • 10 a.m. | The North Carolina Study Commission on Aging meets, 544 LOB.
  • 10 a.m. | The House Select Committee on High Speed Internet Access in Rural and Urban Areas Committee meets, 1228 LB.
  • 10 a.m. | The Environmental Review Commission meets, 643 LOB.
  • Cancelled | The Comparative Effectiveness Study Committee meets, 455 LOB.
  • 1 p.m. | The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Transportation meets, 1027 LB.
  • 2 p.m. | The Legislative Study Commission on Water and Wastewater Infrastructure meets, 415 LOB.

Wednesday, May 12

  • Noon | The House convenes, House Chamber.
  • Noon | The Senate convenes, Senate Chamber.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

NCGA: Joint Legislative Oversight Committee Meeting MH/DD/SAS Agenda

Here is the agenda for tomorrows last meeting of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee for MH/DD/SAS. We will be posting the recommendations from this committee once they are presented.

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, & Substance Abuse Services


May 6, 2010; 10:00 A.M.; Room 643, Legislative Office Building

Representative Verla Insko, Co-Chair Presiding

I.  Welcome and Chair's Opening Comments  10:00-10:05

Representative Verla Insko, Co-Chair

Senator Martin Nesbitt, Co-Chair

II.  Secretary's Remarks  10:05-10:15

Lanier Cansler, Secretary, DHHS

III.   Update on DD Residential Services  10:15-11:00

"Where Does NC Stand? A Comparison of Medicaid-Funded Residential Service Trends, National and in North Carolina for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 1998-2008."

John Agosta, Ph.D., Vice President, Human Services Research Institute

IV.  Terms of Area Board Members  11:00-11:15

Shawn Parker, LOC Research Division Staff

 V.  Draft Interim Task Force Report  11:15-12:00

LOC Staff

Final Remarks & Adjournment

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Arc of NC: Today is Primary Election Day in North Carolina

Today is Primary Election Day in North Carolina. We have once again set up a separate blog so you can access information regarding voting in North Carolina. Please visit the blog by clicking on the link to the right side of this post "VOTE".

Or you can access the blog by clicking here: VOTE 2010.

NCGA: State Budget Update-The April Numbers

Current State of the State Numbers-Update

As the General Assembly prepares to head back into session, the revenue forecast is a bit tighter than previously projected.

The overall downward adjustment to the 2010-2011 biennium budget is 788 million dollars.

Biennium Forecast    

(adjusted by S.L. 2009-451)    Revised Revenues Difference  

2009-10  $18,926.7 million       $18,535.7 million ($391.0 million) 

2010-11  $19,639.0 million       $18,936.0 million* ($702.9 million) 


*An additional $85 million reduction is likely because of the one-year expiration of the

Federal Estate Tax.  (NC Legislature Fiscal Research Memo)

This means the budget needs to be balanced at $18.9 billion dollars.

Current Budget Shortfall (FY 2009-2010): 391 million dollars.

Payroll withholding taxes: 4% under expectations

Sales tax: 5.8% under expectations

Corporate Income Tax: 25.6 percent increase over forecast. (A major reason for this increase was the extra $272 million collected through a resolution payment initative by the Department of Revenue.)

State Unemployment numbers: 11% (This is a reported number, it is most likely considerably higher due to the number of people who are not reporting that they are unemployed.)

Post April 15th Tax Numbers: this information is still being compiled.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Quick Hits: Hot Policy Topics for This Week

We are nine days away from the start of the North Carolina Legislative Session. Committees that have not wrapped up their meetings and presented their reports will be doing so over the next two weeks. The big topic at the start of session will be anticipation over the Senate's budget. Here are the hot topics for this week:

Wed, May 5, 2010
9:00 AM
Senate Appropriations General Government

1425 LB
9:30 AM

544 LOB
10:00 AM
Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Recovery, Joint Interim Study Committee on

1228/1327 LB
10:00 AM
JOBS Commission

421 LOB
10:00 AM
Employee Hospital and Medical Benefits, Committee on

643 LOB
1:00 PM

1027/1128 LB
2:00 PM
Joint Committee on State Investments

544 LOB

Thu, May 6, 2010
9:00 AM
Senate Appropriations General Government

1425 LB
10:00 AM
Joint Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee

1228/1327 LB
10:00 AM

643 LOB
6:00 PM
Public Hearing of the Joint Legislative Com. On Dropout Prevention and High School Graduation and the Youth Accountability Planning Task Force - Asheville