Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Wrap Up: NC State Budget, Bills and FMAP

It's Friday and we are heading in the last weekend before the new fiscal year starts here in North Carolina. That clock you are hearing is getting louder by the second.

First up in the wrap up-the state budget:

The House and Senate full appropriation chairs continued their work on the budget this week. There were no public meetings held to show any of the changes or adjustments to the budget. In the background of these negotiations was the US Senate vote on the FMAP extension. Without passage of the extension the budget writers will need to fill close to a $500 million dollar deficit in the state budget. On Thursday evening, US Senate Harry Reid tried one more time to get passage of the omnibus unemployment bill extender that contained the FMAP extension. Senate Democrats failed to get the needed 60 votes to stop a GOP filibuster and the bill has now been pulled.  Due to the continued delay, best bet says that the budget that will be released next week will show the additional cuts to make up the $500 million deficit or a budget that has the $500 million in cuts slated to start on January 1, 2011.

Regardless of how the budget writers choose to handle the additional $500 million deficit, they will need to roll out their budget no later than Tuesday of next week.

While sitting in the building today observing the happening on the budget, one this is very clear. No one is sure that the NC Congressional folks fully understand the significant  impact of not passing some form of FMAP extension. 

Several bills of interest to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities had action taken on them this week. Here is the re-cap of those bills.

House Bill 1683: Amend Sunset/Children with Disabilities. This bill passed the Senate on Thursday with a vote of 43 in favor and none opposed. This bill would delay the sunset of G.S. 115C-107.7. This general statute provides that a local educational agency is deemed to have a "basis of knowledge" that a child is a child with a disability if past behavior and behavior of the child clearly and convincingly established the need for special education. This bill passed the Senate Education committee with a unanimous favorable report. If this bill passes the Senate it will be heading to Governor Perdue for her signature.

This bill has been scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, June 30th at 10:00 AM.  This bill passed the House with a vote of 113 in favor and none opposed. This bill would offer parents of children with disabilities, as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and IDEA, the ability to opt out of corporal punishment if it is practiced by their school.  This bill will also direct the state to collect specific data regarding the practice of corporal punishment. If this bill passes the House it will be heading to the Senate.

House Joint Resolution 2076: Honor ADA 20th Anniversary was presented on the House floor on Thursday. This joint resolution acknowledged the passage of the historic civil rights legislation for people with disabilities that was signed into law twenty years ago.

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