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Old North State Report

February 1, 2019

Old North State Report – February 1, 2019

The North Carolina General Assembly convened on Wednesday, January 30, for the official start of the 2019 long session.  With the loss of Republican “super-majorities” in both the House and Senate, Governor Cooper will have a seat at the table this legislative session, as it will be a much harder climb for Republicans to achieve a veto override.  Focus will remain on key health care issues and education initiatives, but the most important item on the legislative agenda will be passage of a state budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/N-Carolina-session-reconvenes-this-week-but-13570336.php

Democrat legislators held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss identical House and Senate bills they filed that would expand Medicaid, a measure that if passed, would allow more low-income adults to qualify for health insurance. Sponsors of SB3/HB5, “Closing the Medicaid Coverage Gap,” say the legislation would help rural economies and hospitals, in addition to making people healthier and treating opioid addiction.  The Democrat Caucus and Governor Cooper announced that expanding Medicaid in North Carolina is their top priority this legislative session. https://www.wral.com/democrats-call-for-straight-up-medicaid-expansion/18158261/

Senate Republicans have filed a bill designed to help local districts repair or replace run-down schools. SB5, “Building North Carolina’s Future,” includes a pay-as-you-go plan that would raise $2 billion for school construction according to bill sponsors. The Senate legislation is an alternative to the $1.9 billion bond initiative proposed by Speaker of the House Tim Moore. https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article225247545.html