SB 130 - State Employees/Paid Parental Leave

SB 130 - State Employees/Paid Parental Leave

Primary Sponsors: Sen. Danny Britt (R-Columbus), Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth), Sen. Jay Chaudhuri (D-Wake)

Bill Summary

This bill would provide paid parental leave for birth and adoption with reporting requirements. This bill would require the State Human resources Commission with the State Board of Community Colleges and the State Board of Education to adopt policies to share leave voluntarily with another employee for paid parental leave.

The donee must be a full-time employee in a full time position that has been continuously enrolled for at least 12 months. The employee must certify, in good faith, an intent to return to the state for employment for at least a year.

The donor donating leave is not required to be employed by the same State agency/Department of the employee who is receiving leave.


  • Only available within the first 12 weeks (after birth/adoption)
  • Only available without the exhaustion of the employee's sick and vacation leave
  • May not be used for retirement purposes

Bill Movement

This bill was filed on February 26, 2019.

HB 173 - Exempt Ocular Surgery from CON Laws

HB 173 - Exempt Ocular Surgery from CON Laws

Primary Sponsors: Rep. Michael Speciale (R-Craven), Rep. Julia Howard (R-Davie)

Bill Summary

This bill would exempt ophthalmologists who perform certain ocular surgical procedures from certificate of need laws.

The bill states that no ophthalmologist licensed to practice who provides ocular surgical procedures in one or more ocular surgical procedure rooms shall be required to obtain a certificate of need to license that setting as an ambulatory surgical facility with the existing number of ocular surgical procedure if they meet the following criteria:

  • License application postmarked by December 31, 2019.
  • The applicant verifies that the facility was in operation as of the effective date of this act or that the completed application for a building permit for the facility was submitted by the effective date of this act.
  • The facility is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities.
  • The license application includes a commitment to and a plan for serving indigent and medically underserved populations.

Bill Movement

This bill was filed on February 26, 2019.

HB 103 - Small Dairy Sustainability/Raw Milk

HB 103 - Small Dairy Sustainability 

Primary Sponsors: Rep. Michelle Presnell (R-Yancy), Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford), Rep. John Ager (D-Buncombe), Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford)

Bill Summary

This bill would add the definitions of "raw milk" and "small herd operation" to statutes.

In addition, the bill would create the following standards for raw milk:

  • Raw milk shall be cooled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit within 2 hours of milking
  • Raw milk, except cultured milk products, shall contain no more than 10,000 bacteria per millimeter
  • Raw milk shall contain no more than 10 coliform bacteria per millimeter
  • The Somatic cell count of bovine raw milk shall not exceed 300,000 cells per millimeter
  • Raw milk obtained from sheep, goats, or bovines must have been tested negative on an annual brucellosis test performed by the Department of Agriculture
  • Animals producing raw milk must have been accredited as tuberculosis free
  • All raw milk should be processed and produced on the same premises
  • All raw milk shall be produced in compliance with requirements recommended by the US Public Health/Food and Drug Administration

A permit would be required to produce grade "A" raw milk.

Raw milk would be allowed to be sold and dispensed. It would be required to be sold at the location where it is produced but may be sold at another location if it met certain requirements.

Bill Movement

This bill was filed on February 19, 2019.


NCGA Joint Health Committee

The Joint Legislative Committee on Health met on February 19, 2019. The purpose of this meeting was to provide an overview of the proposed changes to the State Health Plan. The proposal includes a shift the State Health Plan reimbursement to a reference based system.

Rep. Greg Murphy, MD (R-Pitt) chaired the Committee. Both presenters were given 15 minutes to speak. Their presentations were followed by questions from legislators to the presenters.

State Treasurer Dale Folwell, CPA  provided the Committee with an overview of how the State Health Plan arrived at the current proposal. He stated that reference based pricing was the best solution to bring costs under control. View his presentation here.

Dr. Michael Waldrum, MD, MSC, MBA, CEO of Vidant Health provided the Committee the North Carolina Healthcare Association's perspective on the current proposal. He stated that he was concerned about the impact this proposal may have on rural health due to the financial burden it would place on those hospitals. View his presentation here.

Legislator's questions to both presenters focused on encouraging stakeholder engagement to ensure cost savings and patient access to the care they need.

NCGA Joint Health Appropriations Meeting

The Joint House and Senate Appropriation Committees on Health and Human Services met on February 19, 2019.

Denise Thomas, Fiscal Research Division, provided the Committee an overview of the Health and Human Services (HHS) assignment coverage areas within the Department. This presentation educated on members of the different branches under HHS.

Steve Owen, Fiscal Research Division, provided the schedule for these meetings moving forward.

Deborah Landry, Fiscal Research Division, presented an overview of DHHS to the committee. This included the DHHS certified budget for 2018-19. She provided an overview of each Division, and the services provided within those Divisions.

HB 53 / SB 52 - A Second Chance for Life

HB 53/ SB 52 - A Second Change for Life

*This bill was filed jointly in the House and Senate.

House Primary Sponsors: Rep. Pat McElraft (R-Carteret), Rep. Donna White (R-Johnston), Rep. Rena Turner (R-Iredell), Rep. Michelle Presnell (R-Haywood)

Senate Primary Sponsors: Sen. Joyce Kraweic (R-Forsyth), Sen. Vickie Sawyer (R-Iredell), Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Ashe)

Bill Summary

This bill would require physicians who perform drug induced abortions to provide patients written information from DHHS about the possibility of reversing the effects of a drug induced abortion after administration of the first dose of medication. DHHS would be required to distribute written materials to ever physician who performs drug induced abortions.

Bill Movement


This bill was filed on February 12, 2019.

On February 13, this bill was referred to the House Health Committee. If it is found favorable there, it will move to the House Rules Committee.


This bill was filed on February 12, 2019. This bill was referred to the Senate Rules Committee on February 13, 3019.

SB 69 - Raise Awareness of Lupus

SB 69 - Raise Awareness of Lupus

Primary Sponsors: Rep. Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford), Sen. Valerie Foushee (D-Orange), Sen. Joyce Kraweic (R-Forsyth)

Bill Summary

This bill would designate the month of May as Lupus Awareness Month. The bill would also establish a Lupus Advisory Council within the Department of Health and Human services.

Bill Movement

This bill was filed on February 14, 2019.

SB 61 - Parent Authorized License Plate

SB 61- Guardian/Parent Authorized Plate

Primary Sponsors: Sen. Jim Davis (R-Cherokee), Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Anson), Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg) 

Bill Summary 

This bill would authorize the issuance of handicapped license plates to a registered vehicle owner that is the guardian/parent of a handicapped person.

Bill Movement

This bill was filed on February 13, 2019. This bill was referred to the Senate Rules Committee on February 14, 2019.

HB 74 - 2019 School Safety Grants Program

HB 74- School Safety Grants Program

Primary Sponsors: Rep. John Torbett (R-Gaston), Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), Rep. Josh Dobson (R-Avery), Rep. John Bell (R-Wayne)

This bill would enact the 2019 School Safety Grants Program and increase funding for school resource officer grants. This bill is the result of recommendations by the House Select Committee on School Safety.

The bill defines mental health support personnel as school nurses, counselors, psychologists and social workers.

The 2019 School Safety Grants Program would seek to improve safety by providing grants for the following:

  • Services for students crisis
  • School safety training
  • Safety equipment in schools
  • School mental health support personnel

The bill would provide up to $4,580,000 in recurring funds to award grants to community partners providing services to students in crisis.

The bill would provide up to $4,570,000 in recurring funds to community partners that provide training to students to develop health responses to trauma and stress.

The bill provides up to $18,200,000 in recurring funds to award grants to public school units to provide all or some of the salary and benefits costs to employ additional school mental health support personnel. Grants shall be matched for $2.00 State dollars for every $1.00 in non-State dollars.

First House Health Committee Meeting

The House Health Committee met for the first time of the long session on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

DHHS Secretary, Mandy Cohen provided a presentation on the Medicaid Managed Care winners to the Committee. She noted that the work on moving forward started this past Monday with a meeting with the contract winners.

The 4 statewide contract winners were

  • AmeriHealth Caritas North Carolina, Inc.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Inc.
  • UnitedHealthcare of North Carolina, Inc.
  • WellCare of North Carolina, Inc.

One regional provider-led entity, Carolina Complete Health, Inc. won regions 3 and 5.

Secretary Cohen provided an overview of the evaluation and scoring process to the committee.

Regions 2 and 4 will begin in November 2019. The remaining regions will begin in February 2020.

Medicaid beneficiaries should be encouraged to keep their contact information with their local DSS offices.

Secretary Cohen noted that this is not an easy change for clinicians. However, she wanted to ensure that the process was streamlined for providers as this transformation to managed care is complex. All of the PHPs will have a standardized administrative and credentialing process. There will also be a single statewide drug formulary.

For background information and news regarding Medicaid Transformation visit the NC DHHS Medicaid Transformation web page.