2018 Second Extra Session

The Legislature returned to Raleigh for a Special Session today at 10 AM. Legislative leaders called the session to rewrite descriptions of two constitutional amendment descriptions that were denied by a three-judge panel earlier in the week.

In order to meet the federal deadline of September 7 the language on the ballot must be finalized by September 1 by the State Board of Elections Enforcement. The court will now leave the task of revising the descriptions to the Legislature. The other four amendments will remain on the ballot.

The House revised and passed House Bill 3 (73-33) and House Bill 4 (72-34). The bills will now be sent to the Senate for a vote on Monday.

House Committee on Health

The House Committee on Health chaired by Rep. Bert Jones (R-Caswell) met on Wednesday, August 22, 2018. The meeting consisted of two presentations on healthcare-related issues that have traditionally been overlooked: community dental health programs and Lyme disease.

Representatives from Alamance Community College spoke about their Community Dental Health Coordinator Program. The program prepares individuals to assist the dentist in the delivery of dental treatment. The graduates will be classified as Dental Assistant II. The goal is to deploy graduates across rural North Carolina in order to address the lack of adequate healthcare in some areas.

The second presentation by Dr. Bill Rawls discussed the challenges of Lyme disease in not only North Carolina but across America. Lyme disease is spread by infected ticks and attacks the nervous system affecting the brain.

The treatment typically has to be paid out of pocket as it is not widely recognized by insurance companies. The committee is studying best practices to help North Carolinians affected by the disease gain coverage through possible legislative action.

Committee to Study Rates and Transfers/Public Enterprises

The Legislative Research Committee to Study Rates and Transfers/Public enterprises, chaired by Rep. Chuck McGrady (R- Henderson) met Wednesday. The committee seeks to study utility rates and transfers across the state of North Carolina.

During this meeting, members heard from the UNC School of Government about utility regionalization partnerships. The School of Government’s role in this is to educate and advise local government in best practices. Topics covered in this meeting included interlocal government agreements, financing, accountability, and national trends.

Committee members were interested in ensuring that their districts have access to financially and environmentally friendly water and sewage.