Brooks Pierce Capital Dispatch: Senate Starts Budget Work, Numerous Bills Considered
Senators began working on the budget bill this week and members considered bills on many topics. Given the approach of the May 4 crossover deadline (the date by which policy bills must pass one chamber to remain eligible), the next two weeks will be very busy in Raleigh.
Now that the House has passed the budget bill (H 259), the Senate has started working on its version of this bill. Some Senate leaders have indicated that its bill could surface in mid-May. The two chambers would then negotiate their differences between their versions and adopt a conference committee report for consideration by Governor Roy Cooper. Their goal is to have an enacted budget by June 30, the end of the State’s fiscal year.
The Senate this week began moving the Farm Bill (S 582), which incorporates a number of provisions dealing with agriculture. The bill covers numerous topics including honey production, timber larceny, hog waste regulations and wetlands. Based on consideration of similar bills in past legislative sessions, specifics in the bill will likely change as it moves forward. The Senate Agriculture, Energy, and Environment committee approved the bill and sent it to the Senate Judiciary committee.
The Senate Health Committee on Thursday approved the “Medical Debt Consumer Protection Act” (S 321) and sent it to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Among other things, the bill would require large healthcare facilities to provide patients with a financial assistance policy, prevent them from taking extraordinary collection measures, and provide price information on their websites.
State Treasurer Dale Folwell is a leading proponent of the bill. The North Carolina Health Care Association, which represents hospitals, opposes the bill citing existing state and federal consumer protection regulations.
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.
Ed Turlington, Partner
Drew Moretz, Government Relations Advisor
Katelyn Kingsbury, Government Relations Advisor