Legislative News from Jones Street
June 4, 2010
Greetings from the North Carolina State Board of Education.
The House passed their version of the 2010 budget early Friday morning (June 4). The House and Senate passed similar finance packages to support the budget bill and the House and Senate full Appropriation Chairs have begun joint meetings. The General Assembly appears to be on target to begin conferences and to pass a final budget bill prior to the beginning of the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Both chambers expressed concern this week regarding Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP). FMAP is normally funded with a 2:1 match, two federal dollars for every one dollar of state money. However, the federal stimulus package provided enhanced funding with a 3:1 match.
There is concern that Congress will not pass legislation needed to continue the funding through the next fiscal year at the 3:1 match level. This would result in the legislature having $500 million less to work with than is currently appropriated in the budget for 2010-11.
If this funding is not received in a timely manner, the General Assembly has two options: to pass a budget with the enhanced FMAP in place, with a provision that allows the Governor to call a special session to make cuts or increase taxes if Congress does not extend this stimulus money, or pass a budget without the enhanced FMAP, with a provision that provides for how the money will be spent if Congress passes the bill to extend the stimulus money. The House Finance Committee has scheduled a meeting to develop a contingency plan.
The full House Appropriations Committee met all day on Wednesday, June 2. Following the overview of all components of the proposed House budget, Representative Michaux, chair, and the committee members heard over 60 amendments. The Committee completed their work and sent the proposed House budget to the House floor. The bill was read-in on Wednesday and the House held the 2nd Reading on Thursday. The floor debate included 30 amendments. The amendments that impacted K-12 education were:
• removal of the Probationary Teachers provision;
• transfer of funds from Geometry testing to instructional supplies in the public schools;
• elimination of certain state-administered end-of-course tests – U.S. History, Civics and Economics, and Physical Science; and
• addition of $4,055,245 to Career and Technical Education.
The House passed its version of the budget following the 3rd Reading at 1 a.m. on Friday, June 4. The budget was sent to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate has stated they will not concur with the House budget. Conferees will be appointed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate and the Speaker of the House early next week with conferences beginning immediately.
A budget comparison of the State Board of Education’s, Governor’s, the Senate and House recommended budgets prepared by the NCDPI’s Financial and Business Services Division is available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/fbsunder What’s New.
The following bills pertinent to K-12 education were passed in committees this week:
* HB 589 Ins. And St. Hlth Plan Cover/Hearing Aids/Autism - Presented to the Governor 5/28/2010
* HB 636 School Calendar Flexibility/Inclement Weather - Passed 2nd and 3rd Reading in the Senate
* HB 1140 Educ. Assistance for Minimum Wage Workers - Favorable Report, Referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations/Base Budget
* HB 1176 Reorganize Schools with High Dropout Rate - Favorable Report, Referred to Senate Committee Appropriations/Base Budget
* HB 1669 Require Use of EVAAS in Schools - Favorable Report, Postponed To 6/8/2010
* HB 1676 Substitute Teacher Unemployment - Favorable Report
* HB 1683 Amend Sunset/Children w/Disab. - Referred to the Senate Committee On Education/Higher Education
* HB 1694 Commission On Children with Special Needs-Dentist - Referred to the Senate Committee on Health Care
* HB 1725 School Support Division Changes - Favorable Report, Referred to House Appropriations
* HB 1777 Study Child Nutrition Program - Favorable Report, Referred to the House Committee on Health
* HB 1781 Study/Early Childhood Education and Care - Favorable Report
* HB 1827 Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity - Favorable Report, Referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House
* HB 1864 No High School Graduation Proj. - Passed 2nd and 3rd Reading in the House
* SB 66 Require Arts Educ. Credit for Graduation - Favorable Report, Referred to House Appropriations
* SB 1141 Task Force on Sports Injuries on Schools - Passed 2nd and 3rd Reading
* SB 1153 Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity - Passed 1st Reading the House, Referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House
* SB 1246 Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate - Passed 2nd and 3rd Reading in the Senate
* SB 1248 Early Identification and Intervention for At-Risk Students - Passed 2nd Reading in the Senate
* SB 1264 Cherokee School Board Terms - Placed on Calendar for 6/8/2010
* SB 1286 Screen and Reduce BMI Levels in Children - Favorable Report, Committee Substitute Adopted
* SB 1359 Amend Highlands Scholarship Fund - Placed on Calendar for 6/8/2010
* SB 1022 School Calendar Flexibility/Inclement Weather - Referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate
We will send updates as the Budget conference items are decided. Please let us know if we can be of assistance.
State Board of Education