NC NOW Legislative Update #23 – 7/15/19

Option to go directly to the NC_NOW_Legislative_Update_#23.15jul19.v2, with summary and bill listings. Written by Robin Davis, NC NOW Vice President of Political Action and Lobbyist. Summary follows.

No vote yet whether to override the governor’s veto of the budget.  Republicans are scrambling, trying to find enough votes to override (i.e., offering pork), but are meeting Democratic resistance.  One account summarized the situation:  “All day, Democratic lawmakers were in and out of House Speaker Tim Moore’s (R-King’s Mountain) corner office, only to be confronted by their fellow party members in the hallways afterward. At times, some lawmakers looked distressed, fingers were pressed into chests, exchanges, became heated. One lawmaker looked ready to cry.”  See:  https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2019/07/10/lawmakers-strong-arm-over-budget-medicaid-expansion-but-come-up-empty-handed/.

There has been movement to report on the issue of Medicaid expansion, an issue that is closely tied to the budget deadlock.  To review, there are three separate positions: 
(1) Governor Cooper wants standard Medicaid expansion to be included in the budget; (2) The House Republicans have a stand-alone bill for a version of Medicaid expansion (HB 655) that is more restricted than what the Governor wants; (3) The Senate does not want Medicaid expansion in any form. 

On Tuesday, the HB 655, NC Health Care for Working Families, (the word “Medicaid” is anathema to Republicans) passed out of committee with bi-partisan support.  The Governor called the movement “a step forward.”  This bill differs from what Gov. Cooper wants on two main points (1) it contains a work requirement and (2) it includes a premium, a feature that is optional for Medicaid expansion.  The House Medicaid expansion bill was fast-tracked to the floor for a vote; however, no vote was held because Republicans hope to override the Governor’s veto of the budget before voting on their Medicaid expansion bill, which they do not like to call a “Medicaid expansion” bill.  The Republican bill contains a clause that prevents it from going into effect until the governor signs a budget bill.  For general background on the Medicaid program and the current situation in North Carolina, see: https://www.newsobserver.com/article232398347.htmlEven if the House passes its Medicaid expansion bill with bi-partisan support, the Senate remains opposed.

The governor has advanced budget negotiations by offering a compromise bill that keeps most of the provisions of the vetoed bill but includes an unrestricted Medicaid expansion provision and corporate tax cuts that would provide funding for teachers and education.  For a detailed account of the proposed compromise offered by the governor, see:  https://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2019/07/09/governor-coopers-budget-compromise-is-a-reasonable-way-forward/

No legislative update for 7/8/19.

See the summary and bill listings at NC_NOW_Legislative_Update_#23.15jul19.v2

Shortlink: https://wp.me/p22b2e-2a3

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