NC General Assembly

Politics & Government
5:54 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Money From Rural Center Shifts To State Department Of Commerce

Credit Matthew Lenard

Most of the money formerly under the oversight of the once-powerful Rural Center has officially reverted to the state. Until recently, the non-profit Rural Center handed out taxpayer-funded grants for economic development and infrastructure.

But an audit found the Center had earned 20 million dollars worth of interest off money given by the state over the years. Lawmakers disapproved, and expressed dismay at staff members’ high salaries. So they made plans to strip the Center of its power.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:00 am
Wed November 20, 2013

State Health Officials Say Medicaid Claims Processing System Is Improving

Credit NC General Assembly

State health officials say glitches are being worked out in the new Medicaid claims processing system called NCTracks.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos and other health officials testified before lawmakers in a day-long oversight session Tuesday.

Health care providers have complained that they’re not being reimbursed for services rendered to Medicaid patients. Some state lawmakers said they think health officials are getting things back on track.

Read more
The State of Things
11:55 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Attorney General Talks Political Future

Credit N.C. Democratic Party

  Attorney General Roy Cooper finds himself in a unique position. He is the first Democratic Attorney General to serve in an all-GOP government since reconstruction.

The governor’s mansion and both chambers of the General Assembly are in Republican control. So he finds himself having to defend the legality of laws he disagrees with.

Read more
The State of Things
11:12 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Voter Identification Faces Uphill Battle

Credit Credit NC General Assembly

The election this week was the last in North Carolina before some provisions of a voter ID law go into effect.

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the state over its new law, asserting that it may have a chilling effect. Proponents of the law say it is necessary for an even playing field.

Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, said the problem with the law isn't just the provision requiring an ID to vote,

Read more
Politics & Government
5:39 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

State Officials And Lawmakers Discuss Rural Center's Future

Credit NC General Assembly

State lawmakers in Raleigh held a meeting Tuesday to discuss moving funding from some non-profit groups to the state Department of Commerce. The joint oversight commission included an update on the shrinking of the state’s Rural Economic Development Center, a formerly powerful organization that provided grants to rural areas. Most of the center’s assets are in the process of shifting to the Department of Commerce.

Read more
Health
6:42 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Orange County To Distribute Overdose Prevention Kits

Various pharmaceutical drugs
Credit Aunti P via Flickr, Creative Commons

Orange County health officials say they will soon begin distributing kits that will help to prevent certain drug overdoses. 

State legislators passed a law that allows the drug Naloxone to be prescribed to patients.  Naloxone can reverse overdoses caused by painkillers like Oxycontin and hydrocodone.  

Orange County health director Colleen Bridger says making the kits available can help reduce what was a high number of deaths in the state since 1999 from abuse of these powerful pain medications.

Read more
The State of Things
11:52 am
Fri October 11, 2013

DHHS Scandals Widens With Audit Report

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services deleted staff rebuttals from a report that gave a harsh assessment of the state’s Medicaid program, according to a report by North Carolina Health News. Critics allege that this paints the Medicaid program in a negative light. Host Frank Stasio talks to North Carolina Health News editor and founder Rose Hoban; and Associated Press reporter Michael Biesecker.

Read more
The State of Things
11:46 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Reports Of Police Spying Raise Concerns Of Overreach

Credit Matthew Lenard

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver testified recently that law enforcement officers collected intelligence on participants in Moral Monday protests. Police officials say the measures were necessary to ensure public safety. Critics say the move went too far.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:10 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Auditor Warned DHHS About NCTracks

Credit NC Auditor's Office

State Auditor Beth Wood says she and other officials from her office did their best to warn Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos that it would be better to wait to go live with a new system to process Medicaid claims.

The system, called NCTracks, went live on July 1st of this year. Health care providers cite numerous problems. Many say they haven't received payments from the state in months. Auditor Wood says the previous administration had a timeline of 22 months to go live.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:33 am
Wed October 9, 2013

State Lawmakers Grill Health And Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos

Lawmakers listen as state health department officials testify.
Credit Jessica Jones

The head of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, Aldona Wos, and other department leaders were grilled by lawmakers at an oversight committee meeting Tuesday in Raleigh.

Lawmakers and some members of the public questioned the department’s hiring policies, new payment systems and future plans for the state’s Medicaid program.  Wos fielded tough questions from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle all day.

Read more

Pages