— The state Department of Health and Human Services wouldn’t be forced to move to Granville County under a department budget bill moving through the General Assembly.

The ordered move was part of the state budget that the legislature passed last year but was left in limbo after Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the budget.

The department is headquartered at the Dorothea Dix campus in Raleigh, which is set to become a massive city park. The Cooper administration had planned to find a new site in or around Raleigh until the state Senate dropped a few lines into the budget that would have forced the move.

Now, language in a new bill, Senate Bill 808, specifically says the state “shall select land located in Wake County suitable for the Dorothea Dix campus relocation project.”

The bill won preliminary passage in the Senate on Tuesday evening, 43-5. Because it’s a budget bill, the measure needs another Senate vote Wednesday to move to the House.

The bill has some $480 million in it for the “rebase” of the state’s Medicaid budget – the routine recalculation of what the state’s insurance program for children, disabled people and the elderly will cost. It also has an ultimatum in it on the state’s multibillion-dollar move to managed care for Medicaid.

The long-discussed Medicaid transformation was supposed to go live this year but got held up by the wider budget fight. The Senate’s new bill requires DHHS to get the program implemented by July 1, 2021.

If not, the bill says each of the five companies the state has contracted with to oversee managed care will be due $4 million.

Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, said that, if the governor vetoes this bill, he can figure out how to fund the Medicaid rebase himself.

“This is our offer,” Hise said.

Several Senate Democrats said they appreciated the compromises in the bill, including Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford, who voted for the measure but said she still hopes to see changes before final passage.

Go to Source

DHHS headquarters to stay in Wake County as Senate deals with Medicaid budget – WRAL.com