Under the Dome

Medicaid, incentives proposals could start moving

Although it’s getting late, efforts are underway to resolve two of the most significant issues still facing the state legislature this year: Medicaid and economic incentives, a key legislator said Tuesday.

Committees could hold meetings on a pair of long-inactive bills this week or next, Sen. Tom Apodaca, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, told reporters after Tuesday’s floor session.

"It’s getting toward the end of session," Apodaca said. "It’s time to move."

On the Senate floor, Apodaca announced House Bill 372, the 2015 Medicaid Modernization Act, was moving from Ways and Means, a committee that doesn’t meet, to the Senate Health Care Committee. It has languished in the committee since the House sent it over on June 24.

The House overwhelmingly approved the bill, but the Senate wrote its own version of Medicaid reform into its proposed budget. Both chambers are working on a larger compromise budget now. Lawmakers are looking for ways to control Medicaid costs in the state.

Apodaca also announced on the floor that House Bill 117, the governor’s N.C. Competes Act, was moving from the Commerce Committee to the Finance Committee. The House approved the bill in March, saying it was on a fast-track to help attract businesses considering moving here.

Gov. Pat McCrory wants to double the money available in the Job Development Investment Grant, which is aimed at major employers. The fund is nearly depleted; it would receive $22.5 million if the bill is passed.

One or both of the bills could end up in the final budget, rather than move forward as standalone bills.

“Talks are going on,” Apodaca said.