North Carolina Pulse Report

View of North Carolina State Capitol building in fall season,Raleigh,NC,USA

The North Carolina Legislature is still in session as summer comes to a close. Traditionally, the Legislature wraps up around the July 1 start of the new fiscal year, but the budget has yet to be approved by lawmakers.

The long-overdue budget plan remains at a standstill due to disagreements between the House and Senate over whether to add provisions further expanding state-sanctioned gaming. Legislators spent the summer months developing a budget to include income tax cuts, pay raises, and distributing billions in reserve funds for special programs and initiatives.

However, many have pushed for the final plan to authorize more casinos and legalize video gambling machines statewide, jeopardizing the previously agreed-to provisions.

This logjam has halted Medicaid expansion, which was set to launch on October 1. Its expansion can only proceed after budget approval, so delays have denied health coverage for more than 600,000 North Carolinians.

The following funding priorities are also on hold as a result of the delayed budget:

  • Medicaid rate increases in the budget, including funding for direct support workers who work with people with disabilities
  • Pay incentives for psychiatrists and psychologists
  • Increased funding for nursing home workers
  • Medicaid expansion funds for rural hospitals

Additionally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ decision regarding the Healthcare Access and Stabilization Program is still pending, though a final decision is expected soon.

Share this...
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Scroll to Top