HB 918 – Expedite Permanency/DHHS Report/SNAP/TANF

HB 918 – Expedite Permanency/DHHS Report/SNAP/TANF

Primary Sponsors: Rep. Steve Jarvis (R-Davidson), Rep. Sarah Stevenes (R-Surry), Rep. Greg Murphy (R-Pitt)

Summary

This bill expedites permanency planning hearings for children who have been removed from the home.

This bill creates a presumption that foster parents with whom a child has lived continuously for 9 months are deemed nonrelative kin.

This bill creates an aggravating circumstance for the exposure of unlawful controlled substances in utero or controlled substances in violation of the law in utero.

The bill requires DHHS, Division of Social Services (DSS) to report annually on certain expenditures for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program.

History

Filed 4/16/2019

Passed House Health Committee –  4/22/2019

Passed House Rules Committee – 5/3/2019

Passed House Session 5/6/2019

Passed Senate Health Care 8/21/2019

Passed Senate Rules 6/18/2020

Passed Senate with an amendment on 6/24/2020

Sent to the House for concurrence on 6/24/2020

This bill passed the House with a vote of 59-53.

This bill will be sent to the Governor.

 

 
 

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1 Comment

  • Amy Marietta

    As a family physician I am writing to express my opposition to HB918 and I urge the NC Medical Society to stand in opposition to this bill.

    The bill makes it easier to terminate parental rights by including exposure to illegal drugs in utero as grounds for removal of children from their parents. I fear this punitive approach will cause substance use in pregnancy to further go untreated, erode the already tenuous trust in the medical system and prematurely separate families without proper support to initiate breastfeeding, early bonding and any necessary treatment for substance use disorders. DSS already has the ability to deem parents “unfit” in individual cases to protect children. Many of these laws aimed at punishing pregnant patients disproportionately impact people of color.

    I am a family physician in Polk county, and I work extensively with pregnant and postpartum women who have substance use disorders. As part of my practice, I lead a perinatal recovery group for pregnant and parenting mothers. Many of these women are identified during their pregnancy as having used substances while pregnant, are referred to our program, and with treatment and support, go on to be excellent sober parents of their children. This bill would prevent this type of transformation and recovery that is possible for women struggling with this disease. We don’t criminalize pregnant women with other chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma. This bill simply further criminalizes substance use in pregnancy at the expense of families, and will lead to further stigma and shame that prevents women from seeking prenatal care while pregnant.

 
 

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