On Tap This Week
Voter ID will be the main focus for legislators this week. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12 to allow public comment on the issue. Members of the public had to sign up online to speak. Fifty slots were available. The meeting is scheduled to last four hours or until the last speaker has spoken. In addition, the Senate and House sub-committees on appropriations continue to have meetings with presentations from State Agencies as they prepare to write the 2013-2015 budget. Governor McCrory is expected to release his budget within the next two weeks.
On Friday, March 8, state agencies received a letter from Governor McCrory to limit their spending in the coming months in order to cover a Medicaid shortfall of around $262 million. The State Budget Director, Art Pope, has been directed to transfer available state funds to the Division of Medicaid Assistance to cover cost overruns and money owed to the federal government. Governor McCrory asked agencies to eliminate raises (except for promotions), limit purchases and travel expenditures, collect revenue as quickly as possible, and reevaluate contracts through the end of June.
Last week, Governor McCrory signed four bills into law. In a private signing, he signed the bill SB4 that will block the expansion of Medicaid. In addition, the bill blocks the state from receiving federal funds to set up a state based health insurance exchange. Governor McCrory also signed into law the possum drop bill HB66, a temporary funding fix for group homes HB5, and a bill that imposes greater penalties for protests that disturb military funerals HB19.
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