House recap: votes on closed sessions, fewer commissions, cancer treatments
Prices for chemotherapy treatments is just one of the issues passed Thursday by members of the state House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North
Carolina House is trying to revive a proposal to push out dozens of people from
some state boards and commissions and downsize other panels.
House Republicans pushed through the
chamber Thursday a measure very similar to legislation criticized by Democrats
as a power grab. The bill forces out appointees on several boards related to
the environment, workers' compensation and the lottery.
A compromise carved out by House and
Senate GOP leaders last month got derailed when Republican Gov. Pat McCrory
objected to a provision over special Superior Court judges he gets to appoint.
The House rewrite approved Thursday
deletes a provision that would have ultimately abolished the judgeships.
Provisions changing the Utilities Commission's makeup also are gone.
It's unclear if the Senate will
consider the bill.
The state House wants North Carolina governmental bodies to record many
meetings they hold behind closed doors.
The chamber voted 87-29 Thursday for a
bill directing all public bodies to record by audio or audio and video what
went on in private, with some exceptions. The public and media could receive
the recording once the reason for having a private meeting is no longer
Public bodies now must keep a
"general account" of the closed session that can be released later.
Governmental bodies can meet privately
for several reasons, such as to discuss economic development negotiations and
reports of criminal investigations.
The bill now heading to the Senate
would prevent recordings about board discussions of personnel matters,
potential terrorist activity, and privileged information with its attorney.
The House also completed work on
legislation requiring health insurers to allow cancer patients similar prices
whether they receive a pill or take intravenous medication for chemotherapy.
The chamber voted overwhelmingly
Thursday for the bill designed to address complaints that patients are being
charged $1,000 or more a month for oral drugs while IV sittings are much less
Lawmakers members narrowly approved an
amendment giving insurers more room for what they can charge patients for the
oral medicine. The amendment resisted by the chief bill sponsor would allow
insurers to charge up to $300 per prescription. Insurers have said otherwise
they'd be forced to give the pills for free.
The measure now goes to the Senate.
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