Session 2016 – Post #1

January 18, 2016

The biggest news of the first week of the Session in the world of behavioral health and developmental disabilities is in several parts:
  • There have been several bills introduced as a result of the SJ 47 Commission’s activity over this past year.  We are tracking these bills for outcome and will summarize the impact they may have near the end of the Session.
  • The Administration is present at key Committee Meetings offering the details and background for the Governor’s Budget (requests for amendments to the budget were due at cob last Friday and should be available for review by Wednesday) – one such offering is the report being given by Interim DBHDS Commissioner Jack Barber which can be read here.  This report includes among other things the Department’s plan for Waiver Redesign and the closure of Catawba Hospital.  The new “hook” that DBHDS is trying to use to sell their approach to Waiver Redesign this year is explained on Slide 10.  They continue to suggest that through a more stringent pre-authorization process individuals will be encouraged to move from the ID/Community Living Waiver to the less costly Supports Waivers.
  • With the beginning of the Session, come new Committee assignments: Senators Barker and Dunnavant have replaced Watkins, Wagner, Vogel and Carrico on the Senate Finance HHR Subcommittee and join Alexander, Howell and Hanger (chair).  Delegates Stolle and Hester have replaced BaCote on House Appropriations HHR Subcommittee. The rest of the committee remains. Most of the new members bring strong health care backgrounds to their role on the committee.