Bill Summary for S 744 (2013-2014)

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Summary date: 

Jun 12 2014

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
Senate Bill 744 (Public) Filed Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Intro. by Brown, Harrington, Hunt.

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Bill summary

House amendments make the following changes to the 5th edition.

Part III. Current Operations/Highway Fund

Section 3.1

Amendment #16 amends the amounts by which highway fund appropriations are adjusted, providing that appropriations for the maintenance line item under the Division of Highways is now $44,381,941 (was, $44,632,041). Amends line item appropriations under the Highway Fund, for Other State Agencies, Reserves and Transfers, so that the appropriated adjustment amount is now $8,098,312 (was, $7,848,212).

Part VIII. Public Schools

Section 8.25(d1)

Amendment #8 adds new language to the act that amends GS 115C-562.5(a)(2) to provide that nonpublic schools accepting eligible students receiving scholarship grants must provide to the State Education Assistance Authority (SEAA) a criminal background check conducted for the staff member with the highest decision-making authority (previously, subsection only required check to be conducted without a requirement that it be submitted to SEAA).

Section 8.31

Amendment #31 amends a condition required of the Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, Inc., (PEFNC) for grant recipients participating in the Rural Charter School Development Pilot Program providing that a recipient must be seeking approval by the State Board of Education to operate a charter school or be in the planning year required before beginning operations to receive a grant. Amendment deletes the previous requirement that the specified grant recipient be already approved by the State Board of Education to operate a charter school.

Part XII. Department of Health and Human Services

Subpart XII-A Central Management and Support

Section 12A.2

House amendment #11 makes the following change to the 5th edition. Directs the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) to include in its plan to implement a competitive grants process for nonprofit funding a comprehensive smoking prevention and cessation program to screen and treat tobacco use in pregnant women and postpartum mothers.

Section 12A.7

Amendment #35 adds new Section 12A.7, Supplemental Short-Term Assistance for Group Homes. Reduces the appropriation to DHHS, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services (MH/DD/SA) by $2 million in nonrecurring funds and instead, allocates that amount to DHHS, Division of Central Management and Support (DCMS) for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Directs that the reallocated funds are to be used to provide temporary, short-term financial assistance by making a monthly payment to group homes on the behalf of each resident that meets specified eligibility criteria. Provides that the monthly payments are subject to specified requirements and limitations. Limits the amount of monthly payments authorized by this section to the extent that funds are available to DCMS from the $2 million in nonrecurring funds appropriated to DCMS in this act. Directs DHHS to terminate all monthly payments under this section on June 30, 2015 or when the appropriated funds are depleted, whichever comes first. Requires each group home that receives monthly payments authorized under this section to submit a list of all funding sources for the operational costs of the group home for the preceding two years to DHHS in a schedule and format as specified by DHHS. Prohibits DHHS from using any portion of the $2 million appropriated in this act for any purpose other than as designated in this section.

Directs DHHS to submit, no later than April 1, 2015, (1) a plan for a long-term solution for residents in group homes who wish to continue to reside in this setting and have been determined via independent assessment to need only supervision, medication management, or both; and (2) a list of funding sources for each group home that receives assistance authorized by this section.

Asserts that nothing in this section is to be construed as an obligation on the part of the General Assembly to appropriate funds for the purpose of this section, as an entitlement by any group home or resident of a group home, or any other person to receive temporary, short-term financial assistance under this section.

Defines 'group home' as the term is used in this act to mean any facility that (1) is licensed under GS Chapter 122C, (2) meets the definition of a supervised living facility under 10A NCAC 27G.5601(c)(1) or 10A NCAC 27G.5601(c)(3), and (3) serves adults with a primary diagnosis of mental illness or a developmental disability but may also have other diagnoses.

This section expires June 30, 2015. Makes conforming changes to adjust the appropriate totals accordingly.

Section 12C.4

Amendment #17 deletes, in its entirety, Section 12C.4, Expiration of Terms/Social Services Commission, which contained proposed changes to GS 143B-154, Social Services Commission--members; selection; quorum; compensation.

Subpart XII-D Division of Aging and Adult Services

Section 12D.4

This section requires corporations or disinterested public agents serving as guardians for incompetent wards to submit status reports for those incompetent wards to the clerk and the designated agency if there is one.House amendment #12 makes the following changes to the 5th edition.Inserts new subsection (b1) to GS 35A-1242 directing the clerk to ensure that the reports submitted by corporations or disinterested public agents are available to the Director of the Division of Aging and Adult Services within DHHS, or the Director's designee. Requires the Director or the Director's Designee to review the status reports in connection with DHHS's regular program of oversight for these categories of guardians. Makes a clarifying amendment to subsection (d) of this section, replacing the term "docketed" with "filed."

Section 12E.8

House amendment #16 amends Section 12E.8 correcting a statutory reference.

Section 12E.9

Amendment #29 enacts a new Section 12E.9 that transfers the NC Summer Food Service Program from the Division of Public Health, DHHS, to the Department of Public Instruction, through a Type 1 transfer, pursuant to GS 143A-6.

Section 12H.8A

House amendment #12 allows the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Medical Assistance (Division) to allow substitution of generic drugs in place of preferred drugs without prior authorization if there is a net General Fund savings to the Medicaid program and (1) the Division normally requires dispensing the preferred drug over the generic drug, (2) the pharmacist is not able to acquire the preferred drug from at least two separate wholesalers within the two weeks prior to dispensing the generic substitute, (3) the pharmacist maintains records of the failed attempts to acquire the preferred drug, and (4) the prescriber has not indicated that the preferred drug is medically necessary. Provides that 'savings to Medicaid program' is not limited to savings within the prescription drug service area, but also includes savings in other areas of the program.

Section 12H.37

Amendment #36 enacts new Section 12H.37 that provides beginning July 1, 2015, DHHS, Division of Medical Assistance, will require that all annual Medicaid billing unit limits for services managed by LMEs/MCOs be based on the fiscal year, provided this adjustment can be accomplished without a net fiscal impact on General Fund appropriations. Also provides that any State Plan Amendment required to implement the above provision is not subject to the 90-day prior submission requirement pursuant to GS 108A-54.1A(e).

Part XIII. Department of Agriculture and Innovation Initiative

Section 13.14

House amendment #26 amends GS 19A-24 in Article 3 of GS Chapter 19A, the Animal Welfare Act, to direct the Department of Public Safety to add animals sold by dealers to the public to those categories of animals for which the Department of Public Safety is to establish standards of care.

Amends GS 19A-23, as amended by subsection (b) of Section 13.14, to rewrite the definition for dealerto apply to any person who owns, has custody of, or maintains 10 or more female dogs that are (1) over six months of age, (2) capable of reproduction, and (3) kept primarily for the purposes of breeding and selling their offspring as pets. Declares that a kennel or boarding facility for dogs that are being trained primarily for hunting, sporting, field trials, or show is not to be considered a dealer. Effective July 1, 2015.

Amends GS 19A-62 to provide that $10,000 of the $250,000 annual transfer in receipts of the Animal Feed and Pet Food Branch within the Food and Drug Protection Division of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to the Spay/Neuter Account may be used to establish and publicize a fund to accept additional private contributions for the operation of the dealer inspection program under Article 3 of GS Chapter 19A or the Spay/Neuter program under Article 5 of GS Chapter 19A.

Part XIV. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Section 14.2D

Amendment #16 amends Section 14.2D(b), making technical changes.

Section 14.19

House amendment #1 makes the following change.Amends subsection (b) of this section regarding the Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Lake Maintenance Fund (Fund), which was established as a special revenue fund in this act. Requires that any project receiving revenue from the Fund, except the aquatic weed control projects, be cost-shared with non-state dollars on a one-to-one basis.

Section 14.24A

House amendment #4 amends specified restrictions concerning an allowable $2 million reduction DENR can take from sources other than efficiencies created by consolidating the Divisions of Water Resources and Water Quality, providing that no state attractions proposed for closure in this act, as passed by the Senate or House, but not included in the act when it becomes law, can be included in the reduction by DENR.Deletes language which restricted the reduction from included programs or items proposed for reduction in the act.

Part XV. Department of Commerce

Section 15.9

House amendment #18 amends subsection (b) of this section to direct the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), effective July 1, 2014, to reduce expenditures in recurring fundsfor the Rural Economic Development Divisionin the amount of $637,500 for the 2014-15 fiscal year (was, reduce expenditures in recurring funds by $637,500 for the 2014-15 fiscal year by eliminating full-time equivalent positions in the Division of Community Assistance and the Office of Urban Development, Fund Code 1620). Also directs the Secretary not to make the reductions required under this subsection to any grant programs administered by the Rural Economic Development Division.

Part XVII. Department of Justice

Section 17.1

House amendment #9 provides, in regards to the transfer of the SBI to the Department of Public Safety, that no funds can be expended from Budget Code 23606 ' Justice Seized and Forfeited Assets, unless those expenditures have been reported to the NC General Assembly on or before February 4, 2014.

Part XIX. Department of Cultural Resources

Section 19.2

Amendment #27 amends Section 19.2 to provide that the Department of Cultural Resources will not allocate a grant to a municipal or single-county library from the Aid to Public Libraries Fund that exceeds $475,000 (was, $400,000) for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Part XXXIII Department of the State Treasurer

Section 33.2

House amendment #16 adds new Section 33.2, Investments Internalization, to the act and provides that funds appropriated by this act to the Department of Treasurer for the Investments Division for Investments Internalization will be allocated to budget code 1210 instead of budget code 1510.

Part XXXIV. Department of Transportation

Section 34.32

House amendment #6 deletes all the provisions relating to the establishment of a House of Representatives Oversight Committee on Implementing the Strategic Transportation Investments Law.

Part XXXVI. Capital Appropriations

Section 36.6

House amendment #2 deletes Section 36.6 from the act, which amended GS 116-13.1 by repealing the UNC Chancellors' authority to approve certain maintenance projects.

Part XXXVII. Finance Provisions

Section 37.8

Amendment # 32, as amended by Amendments #33 and #34, Adds a new Section 37.8, The Film and Entertainment Fund. Enacts new GS 143B-437.02A, titled The Film and Entertainment Grant Fund, which creates in the Department of Commerce this special non-reverting fund to be used to encourage and develop the tv and film-making industry in North Carolina. Sets out five provisionsthat are to be included in any rules regarding the awarding of grants, including certain requirements on receivinggrants in relation to total qualifying expenses and that the funds are not provided to more than one production company for a single production. Sets out seven types of productions that may not receive a grant. Gives priority to productions that, based on the results of an economic impact assessment conducted by the Labor and Economic Analysis Division, are reasonably anticipated to maximize the economic benefits to the state.

Sets out nineterms and definitions to be used in the section, including highly compensated individual and qualifying expenses.

Establishes proceduresfor a production companyto apply for a grant of funds, which includes an application, under oath, to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary)and an application fee of $1,000. Directs the Secretary to work with the NC Film Office to adopt rules and processes for the verification of qualifying expenses of production companies. Provides that no grant funds can be released before qualifying expenses are verified and substantiated. Sets out three requirementsfor theprocessof substantiation, including requiring the production company to submit all qualifying expenses with documentation on net expenditures for equipment and other personal property and a compliance audit at the production company's expense.

Requires the Department of Commerce to report four categories of information to the Department of Revenue, which in turn the Department of Revenue must include in the economic incentives report. This information includes the location of sites used in a production for which a grant was awarded and the total cost of the grants awarded.

Also requires a production company to notify the Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development of their intent to apply.

Provides that the reduction for the Management Flexibility Reserve for the Department of Commerce is $5 more than the amount listed in the House's Appropriations Committee Report on the Continuation, Expansion, and Capital Budgets for Senate 744, dated June 11, 2014. Requires that the $5 be used for grants for the Fund. Prohibits funds appropriated to the following divisions from being used for the Fund: (1) Small Business & Entrepreneurship; (2) Tourism, Film, and Sports Development, (3) Marketing and Consumer Service, (4) Business and Industry Development, and (5) International Trade Division.

Provisions on the fund are effective January 1, 2015, expiring July 1, 2020. Provides that the Secretary of Commerce cannot award a grant for any qualifying expense for which a taxpayer received a tax credit under GS 105-130.47 or 105-151.29.