Perspective North Carolina General Assembly Update | September 1, 2023
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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.
No votes or committee meetings were held this week as budget negotiations continued. Legislative leaders have said they expect to have a budget vote on the week of September 11th.
Medicaid Expansion Update
NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley was quoted in a press conference on Monday saying Medicaid expansion will not launch by the expected start date of October 1st due to the delay in finalizing a state budget. H76, now Session Law 2023-7, was passed by the legislature in March and would make North Carolina the 40th state to expand Medicaid. Enactment of the program was tied to successful passage of the state budget and DHHS does not have the authority to move forward without final approval from the General Assembly. “It has become clear to us that we will not be able to have a budget passed in time and enacted, so we will not be able to go live with expansion at this time. Depending on how far it slips for them to give us the final authority to move forward, it could be December at the earliest, or it could be in early 2024,” Kinsley said when asked about the new launch date. If enacted, this legislation will increase the eligible population for Medicaid coverage to adults aged 18-64 who have incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. DHHS estimates this would extend health insurance coverage to more than 600,000 North Carolinians.
Last week, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed two pieces of legislation. To date, Cooper has vetoed sixteen bills this session. Below are the vetoed bills:
- S512, Greater Accountability for Boards/Commissions- This bill would change the composition and appointments structure of several state governing boards and commissions, resulting in less positions that will be appointed by the Governor. The bill would transfer some of the Governor’s appointments to elected state officials such as the Agriculture Commissioner, while others would be made by the General Assembly.
- S747, Elections Law Changes- The bill would require absentee ballots to be received by 7:30 PM on Election Day, prohibit private money from elections administration, and give more freedom to poll observers for watching the voting process. The bill also creates a ten-county pilot program that would implement a signature verification requirement for mail-in absentee ballots.