State Lawmakers Work on Closing the Budget Gap and Jobs; Senate Committee Takes up SB 33 on Tuesday

The workload and pace increased in the General Assembly this week as legislators continued to focus on closing the budget gap. Governor Perdue used a YouTube video to announce that the projected revenue shortfall would be $1 billion less than what had been anticipated. However, legislative leaders remained skeptical as they worked to close the gap through spending cuts across a variety of state programs and agencies. When the legislature convened in late January, the revenue shortfall had been pegged at around $3.7 billion. Much of the debate between Democrats and Republicans was over GOP-backed cuts in programs for economic and jobs development. Those issues are expected to be addressed by Governor Perdue in her State of the State message before the General Assembly on Monday night.

At the end of the second full week of Session, NC legislators had filed more than 100 bills – a quarter of which the NCMS is tracking due to the potential impact to the medical community. Four of these bills experienced significant movement this week:

SB 33 Medical Liability Reforms

Late Thursday, the Senate Judiciary 1 Committee Chair Peter S. Brunstetter (R, Forsyth) announced the committee would take up SB 33, Medical Liability Reform on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 10:00 am, in the Legislative Office Building.  Sen. Brunstetter said the bill will be introduced and discussed, but no vote will be taken.  Public testimony will be heard on Thursday, February 17, 2011. At the same time, be watching for additional information  on the NCMS Website, http://www.ncmedsoc.org/, and in special NCMS Alerts.

SB 58 Modify FMAP Cuts/Auth. Use of Credit Balance

SB 58 proposes to eliminate the pending $26 million (4%) cut on Medicaid Provider Rates that was passed during the 2010 budget cycle and proposed to take effect on March 1st. The bill does not protect physicians from further cuts during the upcoming 2011-2012 budget process.

SB 13 Balanced Budget Act

Senate Bill 13 has passed both chambers of the General Assembly and is headed to the Governor’s desk just as she announced that the projected revenue shortfall would be about $1 billion less than what was originally anticipated.

 
 

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