Lawmakers split along party lines on health care ruling – Rocky Mount Telegram

Lawmakers representing the Twin Counties reacted along party lines Thursday to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the national health care reform law.

The court’s 5-4 ruling upheld the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care law, including the hotly disputed individual mandate that requires virtually all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. (More)

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Health Care

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What the Supreme Court’s ruling means for your health care

The White House

Thursday, June 28, 2012

 

What the Supreme Court’s ruling means for your health care

Today, the Supreme Court issued a historic ruling: They upheld the Affordable Care Act and ensured that millions of American families will have access to health care and protection from the worst abuses of the insurance industry.

Lots of people have questions about the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court’s decision, and their health care coverage. We’ve pulled together the most useful information — including President Obama’s remarks after the announcement — at WhiteHouse.gov:

Watch the video and get the facts here.

Because the law has an impact on so many Americans, it’s important to understand its basic parts. We’ve also put together a list of facts about the Affordable Care Act. Will you give it a read, and then pass it on?

Facts About Health Care Reform

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GOP uses obscure rule to shut down Democratic budget amendment – News & Observer

House Speaker Thom Tillis and GOP leaders used an obscure rule to protect what Democrats call an inauguration "slush fund" in the state budget.

Rep. Deborah Ross, a Raleigh Democrat, proposed taking the extra $330,000 Republicans earmarked for the next governor’s inauguration and transition and putting it toward a federal matching grant for Help America Vote Act money. Another provision pulled in $230,000 through the state’s budget office. (More)

NC General Assembly 2012 Budget Information

 

 

Email Alert from the Office of Rep. Angela R. Bryant, NC House District 7 Proudly Representing Halifax and Nash Counties until Jan. 2013; and Nash and Franklin Counties – Jan 2013 – 2014

 

***************************************************

2012 Budget Information

 

The House and Senate approved a budget Thursday. A year after losing 6,000 public school educators – including 3,000 teachers and teacher assistants – this budget leaves schools with $190 million less than they had last year. The total reduction to funding for K-12 education over two years will reach $650 million. Financial aid for UNC system students has been cut by $22 million.

 

The budget also continues the cuts in women’s health services by defunding cancer screenings and health services provided to women by Planned Parenthood. Cuts to programs for victims of rape and domestic violence remain in place. There are many problems with this budget and despite the good news that state employees and teachers are getting badly needed pay raises, I did not vote to support it because of the overwhelming number of bad items and its overall damage to education. I have provided some additional information about the document below. It now goes to the governor, who will have to consider whether to approve it or veto it.

 

The budget is one of the last big items we are likely to handle this session. The General Assembly is expected to adjourn in early July. After that, I will return home to be available to serve you and your families. Please call on our office if we can be of help in anyway.

 

 

Education

·        This budget not only does not repair any of the damage last year’s budget did to schools, it cuts an additional $190 million from the schools. This year’s cut alone is the equivalent of 3,400 teaching jobs. Fills only 20% of the education shortfall.

·        The total cut to K-12 schools over the past two years is nearly $650 million.

·        This budget eliminates our successful Teaching Fellows and Teacher Cadets programs and programs such as the Tarheel Challenge and Communities in Schools that provide resources for students. It also eliminates funding for PTAs and counselors for children in military families.

·        Financial aid for UNC system schools is down $22 million, reducing access to higher education for middle-class students

·        The total cut to the UNC system over this budget cycle is $414 million.

·        Pre-Kindergarten programs were reduced by $16 million (20 percent). Smart Start was cut by $34 million. They have failed to meet the conditions set out by a judge who ruled their changes violated the state constitution.

 

Health

·        Continues the “War on Women” by continuing to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides cancer screenings and other health services.

·        Fails to reverse cuts to programs for victims of rape and domestic violence enacted in 2011.

 

·        Cuts funding for local mental health services by $20 million

·        Eliminates drug treatment court services

 

Transportation

·        Ferry tolls for all ferries except for Knotts Ferry & Okracoke.  Cherry Branch/Minnesott tolls will be delayed a year

·        Small, one year cut in gas tax

·        Public transportation funds for whole state were eliminated, except for funding for Charlotte rail project

·        Cut maintenance funding for primary and secondary roads by $60 million

·        Cut secondary road construction funding by $26 million

 

Other

·        No money to compensate victims of forced sterilization.

·        Continuation of a tax cut to benefit the wealthy, while further cutting our schools

·        Cuts $6.7 million to foster care programs

·        The State Board of Elections budget has been cut by $120,000 and no money was made available to match the Help America Vote Act federal grant. This cut will strain our elections board during a presidential election year where North Carolina is going to be a key state.

·        Diverts $9.6 million from a federal housing settlement intended to help struggling homeowners and puts it in the General Fund

·        Twenty percent cut to Rural Center programs, which are important to many small communities

·        Increases from 100 to 1000 the number of exempt positions that can be filled by the governor. Also allows the governors to set salaries with no cap on cabinet level positions.

·        Sets aside $740,000 for a governor’s inauguration and transition costs.

·        Ninety percent cut to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, which helps communities pay for water and sewer projects;

·        Continues to tear apart the Department of Environment and Natural Resources by transferring divisions and employees to the Department of Agriculture

 

 

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AARP North Carolina Special Budget Update

The $20.2 billion budget is 11.4% less than the state budget prior to the 2008-09 recession and spends $727 million less than the Governor recommended.  The Governor’s proposal included a three-quarter cent increase in the sales tax which was projected to generate $760 million in additional revenue.  Legislative leaders indicated early on that they would not propose and increase in the tax rate. 

AARP Priorities – Line Held on Funding for Key Services

AARP North Carolina identified three priority issues for the legislative short session and all three of these pertained to funding for services.  The priorities and the action taken by the General Assembly on each issue included:

·       Priority:  Preserve Medicaid optional services for older, blind and disabled adults and maintain provider reimbursement rates at a level sufficient to ensure they will continue to see adults on Medicaid.  Optional services for adults include dental care; eye care and eyeglasses; prescription drugs; occupational, physical, and speech therapies; hospice; prosthetics and orthotics; podiatry services; community alternative programs; in-home care services; mental health services; and rehabilitation services.

  • Action Taken:  Optional Medicaid services for adults were left intact and provider reimbursement rates were not cut.
  • Priority:  Support increased funding for Project C.A.R.E. (Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty) which provides support, education, training and consumer-directed respite care to caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.  In North Carolina, over 170,000 adults currently have Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.
  • Action Taken:  Maintained current funding level for Project C.A.R.E.
  • Priority:  Support continuing funding for the Home and Community Care Block Grant which funds home and community based services for people 60 years of age and older.  There are a projected 15,000 persons in the state on the waiting list for these services at any one point in time.  Key services funded by the Block Grant include home-delivered meals, in-home aide care, adult day care/day health care, and transportation assistance. 
  • Action Taken:  Maintained current funding level for the Home and Community Care Block Grant.

 Action on Other Budget Items

Included here is a summary of other budget action taken by the General Assembly on issues important to our members.  

  • Includes $5 million in non-recurring dollars to the NC Community College System Office to support the NC Back to Work initiative, a retraining program to prepare North Carolinians facing long-term unemployment for new careers (many older workers in our state are facing long-term unemployment)
  • Sets aside $100 million in reserve for any potential cost overruns in Medicaid (current year Medicaid shortfall has reached $280 million)
  • Provides $212 million to partially fund the projected enrollment growth in the number of people eligible for Medicaid (with the downturn in the economy, many more people have applied for Medicaid)
  • Appropriates  $50 million to support a new State Transitions to Community Living Program – $10.3 million to be used to facilitate implementation of the plan to transition individuals with severe mental illness who reside in adult care homes to community living arrangements and $39.7 million to provide temporary, short-term assistance to adult care homes as they transition to the Transition to Community Living Plan (pay for monthly stipends to adult care and group homes for residents who are no longer eligible to receive Medicaid-reimbursable personal care services but for whom a community placement has not yet been arranged)
  • Provides $2.7 million in federal block grant funds for smoking prevention and cessation programs (was $17.3 million this year)
  • Changes the eligibility criteria for Medicaid personal care services and reduces appropriations by $6 million
  • Anticipates over $63 million in savings through the Community Care of North Carolina program (North Carolina’s medical home program that is helping to manage the care for many persons on Medicaid)
  • Cuts public transportation grants by $1.93 million (cut being considered had been as high as $8.69 million) – these grants help support local transportation programs that provide transportation assistance to older and disabled adults who no longer drive or don’t have a car
  • Continues cuts to numerous health and human service non-profits initiated in 2011 including funding for NC Senior Games which is now reduced to $121,481
  • Continues funding for the ChecKmeds medication counseling program for seniors  ($1.69 million) and the Medication Assistance Program which provides free prescriptions to low-income uninsured persons ($1.7 million)
  • Provides $4.89 million to county health departments to start or continue community health and wellness initiatives
  • Removes the limits placed on physical, occupational, and speech therapy services for Medicaid recipients that were imposed last year
  • Specifies that an increase in a Medicaid recipient’s income due solely to a cost-of-living adjustment to federal Social Security or Railroad Retirement payments shall be disregarded when determining income eligibility for Medicaid
  • Authorizes the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Department of Transportation Public Transportation Division to develop and issue a request for proposal  for the management of non-emergency transportation services for Medicaid recipients (can enter into contract only if cost-effective)
  • Authorizes a study to examine the feasibility of creating a separate Department of Medicaid
  • Directs the NC Department of Health and Human Services to submit an application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a home and community based service program under Medicaid 1915(i) authority for elderly individuals typically served in special care and memory care units who meet the criteria for State/County Special Assistance
  • Authorizes the Division of Public Health to develop a pilot program to enroll individuals receiving services under the Aids Drug Assistance Program in Inclusive Health North Carolina (the state high risk pool program)
  • Equalizes the State/County Special Assistance Payments under in-home, adult care home, and rental assistance programs
  • Eliminates the New Starts and Capital Program within the Public Transportation Division of the NC Department of Transportation
  • Transfers the Consumer Protection Division in the NC Department of Justice and Public Safety to receipt-support (funded by monies generated by the Department)
  • Eliminates $7.9 million in General Fund appropriations to the NC Housing Trust Fund by swapping this money out with funds from the National Mortgage Settlement
  • Expands the optional retirement program for University of North Carolina System employees hired on or after January 1, 2013
  • Reduces the amount that local school systems were expected to return to the state next school year – it is expected that schools will have $189 million less next year than they currently have
  • Provides a 1.2% salary increase for teachers and state employees and a 1% increase for retirees (first raise since 2008)
  • Caps the gasoline tax at 37.5 cents per gallon (1.4 cents below the current rate)
  • Sets aside $27 million mostly for literacy efforts in early school grades
  • Does not include funding to compensate living victims of the state’s defunct forced sterilization program
  • Moves ahead with plans from 2011 to increase the number of coastal ferry routes subject to tolls

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2012 Budget Update –Local School Districts

LEA Name

Franklin County     

Halifax County      

Roanoke Rapids City 

Weldon City         

Nash-Rocky Mount    

 

LEA No.

350

420

421

422

640

 

Actual FY 2009-2010

(1,300,539)

(657,258)

(450,051)

(147,918)

(2,682,179)

2009-2010 LEA Adj

Actual FY 2010-2011

(1,767,098)

(822,828)

(592,337)

(212,936)

(3,571,991)

2010-2011 LEA Adj

Actual FY 2011-2012

(2,515,165)

(1,118,109)

(839,740)

(304,728)

(4,928,368)

2011-2012 LEA Adj

ORIGINAL
FY 2012-13

(2,918,401)

(1,238,130)

(1,049,074)

(340,705)

(5,586,075)

2012-13 LEA Adj

FINAL
FY 2012-13

(2,086,917)

(885,373)

(750,182)

(243,634)

(3,994,543)

Amount Restored by 2012 Budget

831,484

352,757

298,892

97,071

1,591,532

Total Allotment

1,717,448

926,611

630,554

253,519

3,466,563

Federal Edujobs (expires Sept. 30, 2012)

Available in FY
2011-12(3)

           1,717,448

            926,469

                 625,626

        184,657

    3,466,563

FTE of Personnel Paid from Grant (Dec 2011)(1)

                   49.33

                   9.49

                        8.52

               5.00

            77.68

Estimated Additional Funding Cut/Lost in 2012-13

(1,289,200)

(693,733)

(536,068)

(123,563)

(2,532,738)

Estimated Additional Funding Cut/Lost in 2012-13

 

2012 Budget Update –Charter Schools and All Districts Total

LEA Name

 

Charter Schools

 

Statewide Totals/All Districts and Charters

 

Adjustments/Federal Edujobs (expires Sept. 30, 2012)

LEA No.

 

 

 

Actual FY 2009-2010

$      (5,843,440)

 

$ (225,000,000)

2009-2010 LEA Adj

Actual FY 2010-2011

$     (8,515,775)

 

$ (304,774,366)

2010-2011 LEA Adj

Actual FY 2011-2012

$ (12,985,412)

 

$ (428,991,908)

2011-2012 LEA Adj

ORIGINAL
FY 2012-13

$   (16,443,807)

 

$ (503,067,940)

2012-13 LEA Adj

FINAL
FY 2012-13

$   (11,758,791)

 

$ (359,738,508)

2012-13 Final

Amount Restored by 2012 Budget

$   4,685,016

 

$ (143,329,432)

Amount Restored by 2012 Budget

Total Allotment

$       8,343,172

 

$ (301,375, 139)

Total Allotment

Available in FY
2011-12(3)

$       1,170,794

 

$ 258,536,640

2011-12(3) Available in FY

FTE of Personnel Paid from Grant (Dec 2011)(1)

 

5,448.99

 

Estimated Additional Funding Cut/Lost in 2012-13

$   55,827

 

$ (189,283,240)

Estimated Additional funding Cut/Lost 2012-13

 

 

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Perdue vetoes rewrite of Racial Justice Act – News & Observer

RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue on Thursday vetoed the bill that would have undermined the Racial Justice Act, the 2009 law that allows death-row inmates to try to convert their sentences to life in prison without parole by using statistical proof of racial bias in their trials.

“As long as I am governor, I will fight to make sure the death penalty stays on the books in North Carolina,” Perdue said in a statement released late in the afternoon. “But it has to be carried out fairly – free of prejudice.” (More)

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Racial Justice Act

Update on racial justice act and on voucher bill

Please read these reports. PLEASE note that upholding the veto of the Racial Justice Act rests in the hands of 3 representatives in eastern NC—for those of you who are in their counties, please call them. and get your friends to call them!

http://www.indyweek.com/blogs/citizen/ 

See related:

Racial Justice Act 

School Vouchers

That’s What They Said Column: Received A Call About Edgecombe County Public Schools New Superintendent John Farrelly From Washington County

I received a call today from someone in Washington County saying they wanted to make me aware of some things about our new Superintendent John Farrelly. I am sharing the information with you however see my disclaimer at the top of the page.

The caller wanted to make me aware that when John Farrelly came to them that he promoted some black folks that some thought were not qualified for positions. They said they didn’t question the promotions but later that Farrelly promoted some whites that they felt were less qualified than the blacks that had been promoted. The person said they felt good about Farrelly when he first came to them but shortly thereafter they had some concerns.

The caller said Farrelly was meeting with folks in Edgecombe County and when he take office next week he will already know where he want to move folks.

The caller said was concerned that the Washington County Board of Education allowed Farrelly to make some changes up to the last day of employment with their system.

Well all I know is that he has been hired and I have a child in the system and I will hold him accountable.

On Monday evening our new superintendent John D. Farrelly, re-elected board members Janice Davidson District 6, William Keith Pittman District 4 and newly elected board member Olga T. Dickens District 2 will be sworn in at 6:30 PM.

See related:

Edgecombe County Public Schools