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North Carolina Public Policy Update: State Budget Passes, Tailored Plans Delayed

Medicaid Transformation Delay

While the news below about the budget is very good, delays in passing a state budget coupled with the realignment of county MH/DD/SAS management among LME MCOs mean that the long-awaited Medicaid Tailored Plan rollout will be moved from July 1, 2022, to December 1, 2022. Tailored Plans are an integrated health plan for people with significant behavioral health needs and/or those with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities who are receiving Medicaid or state and local funded supports and services. Read the DHHS announcement and an updated launch date fact sheet.

 

State Budget Passes

SB 105, the state budget for fiscal years July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023 has passed and was signed into law by the Governor. This year’s budget contains a mix of state appropriations and allocations of federal funding that has come to North Carolina through several “recovery act” bills.

The state budget contains an unprecedented number of provisions and funding related to access to Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers and other services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including those with autism. While the funding will not address the full scope of need or eliminate the current waiting list, it is a good move forward.

Top highlights that impact the autism community include:

  • Authorization and funding of an additional 1,000 waiver slots
  • Including recurring funding to increase direct support staff wages across community services, as well as adding in one-time direct support bonuses.
  • Increasing special education funding cap to 13%, adding the special education ADM and transportation funds, and studying additional funding for special education.
  • Including special education due process hearings bill language.

A longer, more comprehensive list of items that relate to ASNC current and past public policy priorities is highlighted on our website.

The Budget legislation, special provisions and committee reports can be found on the NC General Assembly’s home page in the left column.

Note that the budget is divided into two documents:

  • the budget bill itself, which includes the language of the “special provisions” that provide guidance on how funding is to be used and dictates additional policy changes and
  • the committee report(s), often called the “money reports,” which provide some detail on spending increases and decreases in each budget area.

There are many budget issues not included in the linked table. If you have questions about the budget please contact Jennifer Mahan, Director of Public Policy, jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org.

 

Thank your legislators, budget chairs, and the governor!

We are pleased that legislators and our administration are starting to recognize the need to address the 15,500 people on the waiting list for services, the need to pay the direct care workforce a competitive wage, as well as the significant lack of special education resources.

Please thank budget chairs, your own legislator, and the Governor! Prepare a short statement using our Advocacy Tips Sheet or Advocacy 101 Toolkit.  BE BRIEF, BE RESPECTFUL.

  • Introduce yourself and how you are connected to autism.
  • Thank them for making autism services and support a priority in this budget:
    • Recognizing the need for supports and services for people with autism with additional 1000 waiver slots
    • Including recurring funding to increase the wages of direct support staff across community services, as well as adding in onetime direct support bonuses, so the new waiver slots (and other services) have staffing.
    • Increasing the special education funding cap to 13%, studying additional funding for special education, and for adding the special education ADM and transportation funds.
    • Including special education due process hearings bill language.

You can also

Your own Legislators (NC House and NC Senate)

If you do not know who represents you in the General Assembly, please click here. Enter your street address and check the button for NC House and then NC Senate to see your districts and connect with your General Assembly members.

Senate and House Budget Leadership

Senator Brent Jackson representing Duplin, Johnston, Sampson

Office Phone: (919) 733-5705  Email: Brent.Jackson@ncleg.gov

Senator Kathy Harrington representing Gaston

Office Phone: (919) 733-5734  Email: Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.gov

Senator Ralph Hise representing Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Yancey

Office Phone: (919) 733-3460  Email: Ralph.Hise@ncleg.gov

Senator Joyce Kraweic representing Davie, Forsyth

Office Phone: (919) 733-7850  Email: Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.gov

Senator Jim Burgin representing Harnett, Johnston, Lee

Office Phone: (919) 733-5748   Email: Jim.Burgin@ncleg.gov

Senator Jim Perry representing Lenoir, Wayne

Office Phone: (919) 733-5621  Email: Jim.Perry@ncleg.gov

Senator Deanna Ballard representing Alleghany, Ashe, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes

Office Phone:  (919) 733-5742 Email: Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.gov

Senator Michael Lee representing New Hanover

Office Phone: (919) 715-2525   Email: Michael.Lee@ncleg.gov

Representative Kristin Baker representing Cabarrus

Office Phone: 919-733-5861   Email:  Kristin.Baker@ncleg.gov

Representative Larry Potts representing Davidson

Office Phone: 919-715-0873   Email: Larry.Potts@ncleg.gov

Representative Wayne Sasser representing Stanly, Cabarrus, Rowan

Office Phone: 704-982-8003   Email:  Wayne.Sasser@ncleg.gov

Representative Donna White representing Johnson

Office Phone: 919-889-1239   Email: Donna.White@ncleg.gov

Representative Donny Lambeth representing Forsyth

Office Phone: 919-733-5747   Email:  Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.gov

Representative Jason Saine representing Lincoln

Office Phone: 919-733-5782   Email:  Jason.Saine@ncleg.gov

Representative Dean Arp representing Union

Office Phone: 704-282-0418   Email: Dean.Arp@ncleg.gov

Representative Jon Hardister representing Guilford

Office Phone: 919-733-5191 Email: Jon.Hardister@ncleg.gov

Representative Pat Hurley representing Randolph

Office Phone: 919-733-5865  Email: Pat.Hurley@ncleg.gov

Representative John Torbett representing Gaston

Office Phone: 919-733-5868 Email: John.Torbett@ncleg.gov

 

For a full list of the budget conferees please see https://www.ncleg.gov/Legislation/Bills/Conferees/2021/S105

 

The Office of the Governor

Visit the Governor’s contact page and scroll to bottom of the page to submit your thank you to the Governor for advocating for people with disabilities in the budget process and for signing the budget.

 

Please contact Jennifer Mahan, ASNC Director of Public Policy, jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org for assistance connecting with your elected officials and other questions about advocacy.

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