Group homes / special care units
Group homes for the mentally ill and special care units for Alzheimer's patients both face funding issues that have the potential to require many patients to move. Lawmakers have said they will fix both problems with a single bill. STATUS: The Alzheimer's issue may not be repaired by legislation. The state Senate has revised a House-passed measure to provide stopgap funding for group homes. The bill now includes funding for Alzheimer's special care units. The Senate passed that bill on Thursday, Feb. 21, and it was passed by the House on a concurrence vote Tuesday, Feb. 26. Gov. Pat McCrory has signed the bill and it has become law.
Two different groups with mental health issues face potentially having to leave their current living arrangements if the legislature does not act swiftly.
Patients with mental illness who live in group homes could be forced to move into homeless shelters or other ad hoc living arrangements due to an errant line in the 2012 budget. At the same time, those who live in special care units for Alzheimer's patients could be forced into nursing homes or other more expensive types of care due to a separate problem.
Both Gov. Pat McCrory, who took office Jan. 5., and legislative leaders say they will fix the problem. But bridge funding put in place by former Gov. Bev Perdue to avert an immediate crisis runs out at the end of January.
Bills and status:
Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, said the Alzheimer's issue may be solved without legislation. A bill patching the group home problem has cleared the state House and been received in the Senate.
UPDATE (2/22/13): The state Senate has revised a House-passed measure to provide stopgap funding for group homes. The bill now includes funding for Alzheimer's special care units. The Senate passed that bill on Thursday, Feb. 21, and it will be heard in the House on a concurrence vote Tuesday, Feb. 26.
UPDATE (2/27/13): The bill has passed both the House and Senate and is pending on Gov. Pat McCrory's desk.
UPDATE (3/6/13): Gov. Pat McCrory has signed the bill and it has become law.
A bill that provides temporary funding to residents of mental health group homes and Alzheimer's special care units passed the House.
The state Senate voted unanimously Thursday for a plan to allow patients with mental illness who live in group homes to stay there for the time being.
House Speaker Thom Tillis is urging the Senate Leader Phil Berger to move quickly on a bill fixing a funding problem for group homes.
The bill allows those with mental illness who live in group homes to access emergency funds. But the bill doesn't address special care units for Alzheimer's patients.
While the state House is expected to take up legislation Thursday to provide a short-term fix for funding problems at adult group homes before emergency money runs out, Senate leaders aren't showing a similar sense of urgency about the issue.
group home funding fix
Aldona Wos, North Carolina's new Secretary of Health and Human Services, met with lawmakers for the first time today.
The Speaker of the House says a special session is needed to fix a problem with funding for group homes that serve the mentally ill.