Perspective North Carolina General Assembly Update | June 24, 2022
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Below is an update on the activity at the NC General Assembly this week. Please feel free to contact a member of the team with any questions or visit ktsstrategies.com to learn more about our services.
This was a busy week at the NC General Assembly with sports betting, Medicaid expansion, budget discussions all underway. Leadership entered final negotiations on Thursday and anticipates a vote on the budget next week. Floor votes are expected to be held every day next week, keeping the General Assembly on track to adjourn before the July 4th holiday. Speaker Moore announced his intention to adjourn with or without a budget. If the General Assembly adjourns without passing a new budget, the budget enacted last year will remain in effect.
On Thursday, Speaker Moore presented a Medicaid Expansion bill to the House Health Committee. The bill was for discussion only, but the Chairs expect the bill to receive a vote in the committee soon. Senate Bill 408 aims to prevent North Carolina from missing the deadline for the $1.5B signing bonus. The bonus is distributed by the federal government for states that expand Medicaid by the end of the year. The House proposal would create a committee that would be responsible for hearing a Medicaid Expansion plan developed by the Department of Health and Human Services on or before December 15, 2022. Speaker Moore and House Republicans have been working with N.C. DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley for weeks to develop this bill.
A Medicaid Expansion bill passed unanimously out of the Senate earlier this session. Senator Phil Berger has been very public about his desire to pass an expansion bill this year or include Medicaid expansion in the budget process. On Wednesday, Speaker Moore said legislators could pass a budget without Medicaid Expansion in it, and if not, he would be fine with the state continuing to operate on the two year budget passed last year.
On Wednesday night, the House voted on two bills that would legalize online sports betting in North Carolina. Senate Bill 38 contained correcting language to the original bill, Senate Bill 688. After multiple amendments, including the removal of college sports betting, S38 passed on the House Floor with a vote of 51-50. However, the original bill failed by a vote of 51-50. Rep. Jason Saine, the bill sponsor for the House’s version of S688, stated that “It’s not totally dead.”
A path forward for Senate Bill 38 would require a second vote on the House floor and a concurrence vote in the Senate before being sent to the Governor. Stay tuned…