Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bills of Interest- Highlights from Week 3 and 4 of Session

Hello blog followers!
Because of all the work going on at the building, in coalition meetings and elsewhere, I wanted to update you all on some serious action items to bills. I am leaving it up to you, the social worker and expert in your particular area, to contact your legislators and let them know how these bills may impact your work and clients. I will try to do some more updates this week. Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me!
Kay Paksoy

SB 34/ HB 74 The Castle Doctrine
SB 34 refers specifically to the home- if passed, a 'dweller' has the right to self defense if they believe someone is intruding their home with the intentions of harming them. A bill sponsor commented that it gives someone the right to "shot and ask questions later." This has serious implications if you are a social worker that makes home visits. Please let the bill sponsors know the danger this bill can put you in as you travel to work in your clients' homes.
HB 74 extends beyond the home and is even more of a threat to social workers- this extends to one's home, self, vehicle, etc.

- While we believe everyone should have the right to protect themselves if feeling threatened, these two bills will put social workers in serious harm because of the intricate work we do in homes and community settings. Bill sponsors and your legislators need to know what these bills mean to your work!

HB 100 Nonprofits/Criteria to Receive State Funds
This bill does two big things that will make it difficult for nonprofits to receive funding: 1- it requires the organization to receive at least 35% of their funding from private sources and 2- they can spend no more than 15% of their budget on administrative expenses.
- If you are a social worker working in a nonprofit, I would highly recommend you become familiar with the bill and how it would affect your organization. Contact the bills sponsors and your own legislators and let them know what that means for the services you provide and the clients it affects.

HB 115/HB 126 North Carolina Health Benefit Exchange Act
- The Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) comes out of the federal health care reform that requires citizens to obtain health insurance by 2014. The HBEs are to help facilitate the process for selecting health insurance- these two bills create panels to investigate health insurance and become familiar to help citizens choose.
- There is not much activity going on with these bills yet but look out for more information to come. I would look into both and see which one outlines a panel YOU would like to see work during this process.

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