It was a good week with time in the office for meeting with people to discuss possible improvements in laws that directly impact them and those they work to help. We had a few representatives from Buncombe in too. It is always heartwarming to me when someone comes in from the district. Whether we have met prior or not, I know (from personal experience!) that they came a great distance to be heard and I like to give them a warm and personal welcome. It’s easy to be reminded by your visits that democracy is beautiful and precious. The same is true when you pick up the phone to share an opinion on a piece of legislation you care about. Whether you leave a message or we have a chance to speak, your advocacy is important and your support is sustaining. Thank you. Medicaid Expansion: The Single Best Step We Can Take to Fight Opioid Abuse
Opioid abuse is a growing problem that impacts every corner of North Carolina. There are a lot of steps we need to take to address this crisis, but the single best we can take is to expand Medicaid. Medicaid expansion is a smart move because it expands health care access to 500,000 North Carolinians and helps lower costs for all of us by reducing the number of uninsured.
How does Medicaid expansion help fight opioid abuse?Many people who need substance abuse treatment are uninsured.Nationally, 28% of low-income uninsured individuals who would benefit from Medicaid expansion have a behavioral health need.A state like Ohio that has expanded Medicaid has seen positive results in turning the tide on the opioid crisis.75% of previously uninsured Ohioans with opioid use disorders now have improved access to care.A study in Dayton, Ohio saw a 54% DECREASE in opioid overdose deaths after Medicaid expansion.
Fighting the opioid crisis is just one reason I proudly cosponsored HB 5 to expand Medicaid in our state and make health care more affordable for 500,000 North Carolinians without raising taxes. 37 states have expanded Medicaid. None have changed their mind. It’s time for North Carolina to act.Our View: This is the year to expand MedicaidFayetteville ObserverOur view: Medicaid expansion — nowWinston-Salem JournalGovernor Pushes for Statewide Medicaid ExpansionSpectrum NewsHouse Votes on Rules to Make House Less Transparent, More Open
Every two years the NC House of Representatives passes rules that govern how the House operates and how bills become law. Why does this matter? The rules help shape who has power and how much can be done in secret, hidden from the public. You can read the rules here, but I’ll warn you they are not an easy read.Unfortunately, our rules have not worked very well to prevent the many shenanigans that have led to the bad and embarrassing laws passed in recent sessions. I supported several amendments to improve the rules. All failed to pass. One would have prevented legislative leaders from using conference reports to pass policy without public input, amendments, or committee hearings. We are here to represent our constituency. That is paramount!Last year a conference report was used to pass the $23 billion state budget. In other words, the most important legislative action of the year was taken by a few leaders without involvement from the public or from most legislators. Other amendments would have forced legislative leaders to follow normal legislative procedure when passing redistricting bills, eliminated an artificial cap on the number of bills a legislator can file and provided meaningful notice to the public and rank-and-file legislators of proposed committee substitutes. Proposed committee substitutes are when the contents of a bill are replaced at the beginning of a committee meeting, sometimes changing the bill’s subject matter completely. The rules that passed are largely what they were last session but for one really major change: four Republican legislative leaders are now allowed to serve on every single House committee. Most legislators serve on 4 to 6 committees. These four Republican leaders will potentially serve on 36 committees and subcommittees. This gives the Republican leadership supermajorities on every committee, even though the House is closely divided with 65 Republicans and 55 Democrats.
House reinstitutes ‘floaters,’ giving leadership more controlWRALRepublicans block transparency moves to start the 2019 sessionReal Facts NCIn the Media/You Should Know
Five companies, $30 billion over five years: North Carolina announces its Medicaid managed care selectionsNorth Carolina Health Care NewsNC public schools ‘having real trouble finding elementary teachers’WRALCharlotte Gains Another Banking HeadquartersWFAEOn Capitol Hill, NC governor Roy Cooper talks climate change concernsAsheville Citizen-TimesRape victims may see long-delayed justice meted outFayetteville Observer (re-printed in Wilson Times)Thank you for your continued interest in state government. I hope you will contact me if I can be of help. Keep in touch,*Please remember that you can listen to each day’s session, committee meetings and press conferences on the General Assembly’s website at www.ncleg.gov Once on the site, select “Audio,” and then make your selection – House Chamber, Senate Chamber, Appropriations Committee Room or Press Conference Room.
Committees(Click on the Committee below to follow link)Alcoholic Beverage ControlAppropriations-EducationEducation K-12Elections & Ethic LawState and Local GovernmentHelpful LinksNC General Assembly
SiX (State Innovation Exchange)
NC Justice CenterSpecial Report: Altered State
Sat 23 February 2019 6:46 AM