Good Evening everyone!
As expected, the Governor released his budget recommendations for FY 2022-2023 in advance of the start of the legislative short session. This afternoon he held a press conference and provided recommendation highlights which included full Medicaid expansion. The complete budget document can be found at https://www.osbm.nc.gov/media/2569/open. Below I have listed excerpts of items of interest related to older adults. The increased nursing home reimbursement rates to support direct care workers is on the NC Coalition on Aging's legislative agenda and was not accomplished last year. There are other welcome efforts to build staffing capacity of county departments of social services to provide APS and Special Assistance In-Home services.
The House and Senate will convene on next week on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at 12:00 pm. They will begin work on their version of the budgets and schedule committee meetings. As folks prepare for the session, a list of Bills Eligible for Consideration for 2022 Session is available at the North Carolina General Assembly website. You may want to read more about his budget here from WRAL news. I will continue to provide updates as they develop and please reach out with any questions. Thanks for the important work you do each day in support of older adults! - Heather
NC Department of Health and Human Services
Aging and Adult Services
Key Rental Assistance: Provides additional funding for Key Rental Assistance, a partnership between the Division of Aging and Adult Services and the NC Housing Finance Agency. The program provides supportive housing programs for people who are very low income and/or disabled and in need of affordable housing. Currently about 2,200 households are supported by Key Rental Assistance. This item would provide funding to sustain the current caseload. ($4,250,000 recurring)
Medicaid Expansion: Provide access to affordable health insurance to more than 600,000 additional North Carolinians. The expansion does not require additional state funding. The federal government pays 90% of the cost, while hospital assessments and the Prepaid Health Plan (PHP) premium taxes that health insurance companies in North Carolina pay would cover the remaining 10%.
Nursing Home Rate Increase: Provides funding to increase the reimbursement rate paid to Skilled Nursing Facilities, making a portion of temporary COVID increases permanent. A minimum of 80% of the funding should be used to increase the rate of pay to direct care workers ($60 million recurring net appropriation)
Consolidated Independent Assessment Entity: Provides funding for additional independent assessment services for approximately 4,000
individuals served through the Community Alternatives Program for Children and approximately 12,000 individuals served through the Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults. This funding is necessary for the state to be in compliance with federal regulations for the two 1915c Waivers and to maintain requirements for State Plan Personal Care services. ($4,250,000 recurring net appropriation)
Transitions to Community Living: Increases funding for the Transitions to Community Living Initiative, which supports the
transition of eligible adults with mental illness from institutions to community care settings. This funding will provide additional housing and tenancy support and wraparound mental health services following the US Department of Justice Olmstead Settlement. ($3,985,520 recurring net appropriations)
Health Service Regulation
Health Service Regulation Workforce Augmentation: Establishes new complaint intake, nursing home licensure, adult care licensure, acute and home care licensure, and mental health licensure positions to meet demand for increased health and safety inspections of long-term care facilities and includes 36 FTEs. ($2,875,623 recurring net appropriation and $86,729 in nonrecurring net appropriation)
Adult and Child Protective Services: Invests in local social services workforces for Adult Protective Services (APS) and Child Protective Services (CPS) to address critical staffing shortages. APS and CPS workers provide services to adults and children who are, or who are suspected of being, abused, neglected, or exploited. Funds will be used to create more than 100 full-time county positions and be allocated statewide based on a formula that accounts for current staffing levels and need by county ($7.5 million recurring)
State-County Special Assistance: Expands access to In-Home Special Assistance (SA In-Home) by lifting the cap on the number of recipients and providing parity between SA In-Home and Adult Care Home facility rates. These funds will also support the additional case managers that counties will need to accommodate the increased caseload resulting from these changes. ($7,725,000 recurring)
Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program Supplement (LIHEAP): Provides a state supplement to the federal LIHEAP, which helps low-income households cover the cost of heating and cooling bills, reducing energy burden and the likelihood of service disconnection. ($25 million nonrecurring funds from the Housing Reserve)
Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program Supplement: Provides a state supplement to the federal Low-income Household Water Assistance Program, which helps low-income households cover the cost of drinking water and wastewater bills, reducing the likelihood of service disconnection. ($10 million nonrecurring funds from the Housing Reserve)
Non- NC DHHS Items
Healthcare Workers: Invests $45 million to address shortages in North Carolina’s healthcare workforce by expanding training capacity in the UNC System, community colleges, and private colleges and universities. Funds can be customized by constituent institutions (e.g., bolstering facility capacity for trainees, increasing the numbers of health faculty and staff, providing student support, investing in equipment and lab space, etc.). $5 million recurring and $10 million nonrecurring to each of the following: (1) Community Colleges, (2) Private Colleges/University and (3) UNC System)
Housing Trust Fund: Provides a total of over $27 million to NC Housing Finance Agency for new housing development and the rehabilitation of existing units in FY 2022-23 ($7,660,000 recurring/$20 million nonrecurring)
Integrated Mobility: Advancing Innovative Technologies and Initiatives Provides funds to enable the Integrated Mobility Division (IMD) to respond to new technologies to provide affordable and equitable access to transportation. These funds will support pilot programs and match Federal grants, including grants to increase access to on-demand transit in rural areas. ($2 million recurring)
Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects: Establishes a local government grant program to match federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects, such as shared use paths, bicycle lanes, and bicycle and pedestrian bridges. ($10 million recurring)
Clean Energy Access and Energy Efficiency Supplement: Provides $15 million nonrecurring to DEQ to reduce energy bills while improving safety and quality of life for North Carolinians. This funding will complement the existing federal Weatherization program and expand support for low-income households to implement energy efficiency measures, access clean energy sources, and weatherize and update their homes.
Military and Veterans Affairs' Community Grants Program: Establishes the Community Grants Program to awards grants to organizations that enhance existing efforts, forge new partnerships, and promote innovation in programs for active-duty military, veterans, and their families. Recipients can be public, non-profit, or other military-interested organizations ($5 million nonrecurring)
Heather Burkhardt, MSW
Pronouns: she / her / hers
North Carolina Coalition on Aging
PO Box 12762 | Raleigh, NC 27605