Brooks Pierce Capital Dispatch:
Updates from the NC General Assembly and Governor’s Office
July 12, 2022
After considering its provisions for 10 days as provided in the North Carolina Constitution, Gov. Roy Cooper signed the budget bill into law today. This is the second consecutive budget he has signed after vetoing prior budget bills earlier in his term.
Governor Signs State Budget Bill
Today, Gov. Cooper signed the 2022 budget bill (H 103) that the General Assembly passed earlier with bipartisan support. The House passed the bill by 82 to 25 and the Senate passed it by 36 to 8.
The budget bill, among other things, alters the two-year budget (S.L. 2021-180) enacted in November 2021, which covered both FYs 22 and 23 (the “biennium”).
Here are some highlights from the bill:
It appears that Gov. Cooper and legislative leaders continue to discuss expansion of Medicaid insurance coverage although this topic was not part of the budget bill. Various sources indicate that progress toward an agreement is being made, but it is uncertain an agreement will occur this year.
Both houses passed versions of Medicaid expansion this summer. Gov. Cooper and Senate leader Phil Berger advocated for immediate expansion while the House approach was for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) to develop an expansion plan, discuss it with federal authorities this fall, and bring back a plan for a vote in December.
On June 2, the Senate passed a health care bill (H 149) that includes Medicaid expansion. It also includes items such as expanding scope of practice for certain nurses, using telehealth, addressing surprise medical billing, and changing the Certificate of Need law, which governs placement of certain medical facilities and equipment across the state. H 149 is pending in the House Rules Committee.
The House on June 28 passed its own version of Medicaid expansion (S 408). The bill is pending in the Senate Rules Committee. Speaker Tim Moore led the advocacy in favor of the House bill.
The House bill would create a Joint Legislative Committee on Medicaid Rate Modernization and Savings that would hear a Medicaid Modernization Plan to be developed by NC DHHS by Dec. 15, 2022. The bill outlines what should be in the plan such as coverage and funding details. The committee would make recommendations on the plan and the General Assembly would act on all or part of it on or after Dec. 16, 2022.
Under the adjournment resolution (S 917) passed by the General Assembly, members can return to Raleigh about once a month on “a date certain” for the remainder of 2022. The first such date is July 26. A limited number of topics, such as bills that the Governor has vetoed, appointment confirmations and conference committee reports, can be considered upon return. It is possible that an agreement on Medicaid expansion could surface as a conference committee report and therefore, be considered during one of these sessions.
For more information, contact a member of the Brooks Pierce Government Affairs Team.