June 24, 2022
In this issue...
Let us know: What is your nonprofit’s experience with state grants or contracts?
NC House considers bill to further study Medicaid expansion
NCSBE accepting comments on absentee ballot ruling that could affect people served by nonprofits
Let Us Know: What Is Your Nonprofit’s Experience with State Grants or Contracts?
Last month, the Center asked for your input on challenges nonprofits are experience with state grants and contracts. Dozens of organizations responded with a variety of concerns, including late contracts, late payments, underpayment for indirect costs, burdensome application and reporting requirements, midstream changes to contract outcomes and deliverables, and lack of clear communication (and some examples of state agencies that are particularly good partners with nonprofits).

Based on your feedback, Senator Jim Burgin (R-Harnett) filed a bill (S.894) that would address many of the issues that nonprofits have experienced with their grants and contracts with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Here is a more detailed summary of what the bill would do. The Center is continuing to work with legislators and DHHS to try to get a version of that bill passed.

Additionally, the Center is working with our partners in state government to help identify potential solutions to concerns that nonprofits have expressed about their grants and contracts with state agencies other than DHHS. The input we have received to date has been helpful in starting that conversation (and in identifying which state agencies should be a part of it).

As we continue that conversation, we encourage all nonprofits with contracts with state agencies to please let us know your experiences with your state grants and contracts. It would be helpful to hear about both challenges nonprofits have experienced and about examples of state agencies or programs that are particularly good partners with nonprofit grantees/contractors. It is especially helpful if you can let us know the state agency/division with which your nonprofit has a grant or contract and share as many specifics as possible. Thank you if you have already shared your nonprofit's experience with the Center.
NC House Considers Bill to Further Study Medicaid Expansion
Yesterday, a NC House of Representatives committee considered a bill (S.408) that would create a new legislative study committee to consider expanding Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level. Medicaid expansion would provide health coverage for about 600,000 North Carolinians whose incomes are too much to qualify for Medicaid currently but not enough to receive health care subsidies in the Affordable Care Act health marketplace. The bill, which could be up for a vote in the House Health Committee and the full House next week, would require the NC DHHS to make a recommendation to the study committee on:
  1. Medicaid expansion;
  2. Hospital assessments (including new taxes on nonprofit hospitals) to help pay for Medicaid expansion; 
  3. $1 billion of investment in mental health and substance abuse services; and 
  4. Other proposals to increase access to health care in rural parts of the state. 

The study committee would vote on DHHS’s recommendations by December 15, and the General Assembly could then consider Medicaid expansion by the end of 2022.

Earlier this month, the NC Senate passed a bill (H.B. 149) that would enact Medicaid expansion in North Carolina, based partly on the recommendations of another study committee that had met this spring. That bill, which passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support, also includes several other major health care policy provisions, including changes to the state’s certificate of need laws and a version the SAVE Act, which would enable more nurses to provide services without supervision by a physician.

The Center strongly supports Medicaid expansion for two reasons. First, it would complement the work of many nonprofits that provide services to North Carolinians who don’t currently have adequate health coverage. Second, it would provide health coverage for some employees of nonprofits that don’t offer group health plans and whose salaries leave them in the health care coverage gap.
NCSBE Accepting Comments on Absentee Ballot Ruling that Could Affect People Served by Nonprofits
Last week, the NC State Board of Elections (NCSBE) began accepting written public comments on a requested declaratory ruling that would allow county boards of elections to use a signature matching process to determine whether to accept absentee ballots. If NCSBE issues the ruling, county boards of elections would be able to deny absentee ballots if they determined that the signature on the ballot’s envelope didn’t match the signature on a voter’s registration filing (which might have been submitted years or decades earlier). In its description of the requested ruling, NCSBE explains: “North Carolina law currently requires an absentee voter to confirm their identity by having two witnesses or a notary attest that the voter completed their ballot. This request seeks an additional layer of verification for absentee voters.”

Some organizations have expressed concerns that a signature match requirement could make it impossible for some people served by nonprofits – including seniors and people with disabilities – to vote by absentee ballot, particularly if their signatures have changed since they originally registered to vote. If your nonprofit is concerned about the potential impact of this ruling, you can submit comments to NCSBE by the July 5 deadline.
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Nonprofit Policy Update is a weekly newsletter for current members of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. We track state and federal policy issues that affect all 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Learn about the Center's public policy priorities. For more information, contact David Heinen, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy.