NC General Assembly Stories We’re Following: Week Of Monday, July 21

Jul 21, 2014

The North Carolina General Assembly's Legislative Building
Credit Jorge Valencia

The state House and Senate are entering their fifth week of negotiations over the state’s $21 billion budget. The Senate is scheduled on Monday night to take on at least one other major piece of legislation and two bills intended to beef up policing in North Carolina.

Medicaid Overhaul

The point of this legislative session is for the General Assembly to make adjustments to the state’s budget. But talks are moving so slowly, that Senate leaders last week said they might as well take up an overhaul of the Medicaid system.

The full Senate is scheduled to vote Monday night on a new recommendation. This one is to create a state department dedicated to overseeing Medicaid, and for private insurance companies to get only a fixed amount of money for each patient’s care.

That isn’t sitting well with the House of Representatives. The House has approved a proposal to create networks led by medical providers covering regions of the state. Governor McCrory supports this idea.

License Plate Readers

Sen. Rick Gunn (R-Alamance), is proposing that police departments be allowed to collect photos of car license plates on state roads.

“Let’s give the authorities out there a little more coverage so they can get some more people off the street,” Gunn told the Senate last Wednesday.

Opponents see this as a government invasion of privacy.

Cell Phones In Prison

In a separate proposal, Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover) is responding to the kidnapping of the father of a Wake County assistant district attorney.

Goolsby wants to make it an offense to retaliate against an officer of the court. He also wants to increase penalties for prison inmates caught with cell phones.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on these bills Monday night. If approved, they’ll be sent to the House of Representatives.