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PO Box 1658

Boone, NC 28607


May Update:

Legislative Update: 5/16/2018

North Carolina Update:

The North Carolina General Assembly began its legislative short session today. North Carolina has a two-year budget process and we are currently moving toward the end of the first fiscal year of that budget. The legislative short session offers legislators the opportunity to adjust their two-year plan and fund any policy issues that may have come up during interim.

First a quick update on the state of NC’s financial picture after the April 15th surprise. Our general fund revenue picture is looking good. We currently have a $350 million surplus for the 2017-2018 budget and $275 million extra that can go into the 2018-2019 budget. House and 
leadership have agreed on a budget funding target of $23.917 billion for fiscal year 2018-2019. The current state budget is right at $23 billion. Now a quick look at how our state’s current Medicaid budget is looking. We continue to see Medicaid’s budget at its projected growth and do not expect to see a Medicaid shortfall. During the final report provided by DHHS at the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee, Medicaid expenditures were 2.5% favorable to the authorized budget. So, what does all of this mean? It means we start the budget process with no shortfalls in Medicaid and a revenue surplus. A good way to start a budget process!

But this session will not only be about funding it will also be about policy. On the policy front, there are several hot topics that we are tracking. Here is a quick list of those items:

Medicaid transformation: We are still waiting for the RFP release and one issue that may be resolved is the tailored plans for behavioral health and I/DD. There have been multiple concept papers regarding transformation but this topic has been the subject of discussion during the interim.

The LRC on Intellectual and Developmental Disability will be filing their legislative recommendations soon. They include creating a new position at DHHS to oversee and coordinate employment for people with I/DD and to work on WIOA requirements and partners with the Departments of Education, UNC, and the Community College system. Other proposals include having the state of North Carolina become an employer model in recruiting and hiring people with I/DD and establishing a data system to track outcomes of transitions into employment. You can read those recommendations at this link

School safety is a very hot topic in North Carolina and the nation. The House held a series of meetings and has issued a report to the full General Assembly that focuses on student resource officer training, funding more mental health options including social workers, psychologists and
 counselors and supporting the passage of House Bill 285 Suicide Prevention/Awareness School Personnel. More details on these and a summary of this committees work can be found at this link.

With the start of the legislative session NCARF will be closely monitoring the following policy topics that are important to our members:

  • Restoration of single stream funding for community-based support services. This funding item has seen consistent reductions over the past few budget cycles. It is a critical funding source for people with I/DD who do not have an Innovation waiver and it provides crisis service funding and supports across our behavioral health system.
  • Continued funding for additional Innovation waiver slots. In January, 500 new slots came into the system. We need the NCGA to continue this investment in our community.
  • Legislation that continues to streamline and reduce duplicative administrative burdens on our providers. Recently many of our providers found themselves having additional financial burdens due to federal changes around classification of Medicaid providers as high, moderate or low risk. These changes brought with them additional fees and more duplicative onsite reviews. We are working with a broad coalition to address this significant issue.
  • Medicaid transformation continues to be part of our advocacy in the legislature. We continue to monitor the discussions around tailored plans and case management for the behavioral health and I/DD population.

We encourage you to keep up to date through your membership in NCARF during what will be a short but busy legislative


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