Brooks Pierce Capital Dispatch: House Passes Medicaid Expansion
The House this week passed the health care bill that would expand Medicaid coverage and legislators considered other bills on a variety of topics.
The House on Thursday voted by an 87-24 margin to concur in a health care bill (H 76) passed by the Senate last week to expand Medicaid health insurance coverage to hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians. The bill now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper for his expected signature. Although the Governor is advocating for an immediate expansion of Medicaid, the bill makes expansion effective upon adoption of a state budget bill.
Other health care matters in the bill include the Healthcare Access and Stabilization Program (HASP), which could bring a significant amount of federal health care funds to North Carolina, and reduction in the number of Certificate of Need (CON) approvals. CONs require hospitals and other health care entities to get state approval before certain construction projects and equipment purchases.
Three House committees this week passed a bill (H 347) that would authorize, regulate, and tax sports wagering in North Carolina. The bill is now in the House Rules Committee.
The Senate passed a similar bill in 2022 but the House did not pass it last year. This year’s House bill has over 50 sponsors from both parties and Gov. Cooper supports it.
Under the bill, the North Carolina Lottery Commission would be responsible for issuing licenses to involved parties and regulating sports wagering. Wagering could either be interactive or at certain sports facilities or a place of “public accommodation” associated with such facilities. Wagers would be allowed on professional sports, college sports, electronic sports, amateur sports, or other events approved by the Lottery Commission.
A privilege tax of 14% would be levied on each interactive sports wagering operator. Proceeds from the wagering would go for a variety of purposes including grants to each county to benefit youth sports and to certain UNC schools for their athletic departments. In addition to such earmarked purposes, 30% of the remaining funds would go to a new Major Events, Games and Attractions Fund to attract nonprofessional sporting events to North Carolina and 60% would go to the state’s General Fund, which funds most state entities other than transportation.
The Senate this week passed S 83, a bill that would prohibit use of “high risk platforms” (including websites and applications) on public devices and networks. It lists TikTok, WeChat and Telegram under this definition and it applies to state government agencies, as well as the University of North Carolina System, the community college system, K-12 public schools and local governments. The bill now goes to the House.
If enacted, the bill requires that most state employees, elected officials and agency appointees remove the covered “high risk platforms” from their government devices by April 15, 2023. The bill excludes some state employees such as law enforcement officials and anyone investigating cybersecurity threats.
Information about bills and work of the General Assembly can be found at its website: www.ncleg.gov.
For more information, contact a member of the Brooks Pierce Government Affairs Team.