Intimate Partner Violence Legislative Update
As of August 2011
- · Affordable Care Act-The new guidelines require new health insurance plans (as of August 1, 2012) to cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening and counseling, and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.
- · S. 1447/H.R. 2689- Stop Abuse for Every Teen Act” or SAFE Teen Act – Allow schools that receive federal funding for bullying and harassment to include teen dating violence prevention. Schools are also encouraged to train school personnel on the issue and incorporate response mechanisms into school policies.
State Legislative Actions
State Funding HB 200/SL 2011-145; Effective Date: 6/15/2011
- · General Appropriation: There are NO cuts to the domestic violence fund for distribution to local programs; state funding is maintained at $4,619,298; one regional office is eliminated from the Council for Women.
- · Special Budget Provision: Section 20.3 states that the Department of Administration shall not limit the number of grantees that are eligible in each county, or by any other geographic limitation.
- · Marriage License Fees: Marriage license fees are maintained at $30/license to be allocated to the Domestic Violence Center Fund.
- · Divorce Fees: Divorce fees are maintained at $20/fee to be allocated to the Domestic Violence Center Fund.
TANF Funding HB 200/SL 2011-145 ; Effective Date: 6/15/2011
- · TANF funding is maintained at $2.2 million for domestic violence services to WorkFirst participants. Funds shall be used to provide domestic violence counseling, support and other direct services to clients.
Review DV Program Participation HB 176; Status: Passed the House; eligible during the short session
- · Provides for review of a domestic violence offender’s participation in a court-ordered abuser treatment program.
- · Expands tracking of criminal domestic violence cases to include all acts of domestic violence as defined in Chapter 50B.
Require DV Training/Certain Persons HB 682; Status: Did not pass; eligible in the short session
- · Requires domestic violence training for prosecutors, magistrates, mediators, custody evaluators, parenting coordinators, guardian ad litems, and educators in the public school system in collaboration with NCCADV.
Enhance Protection of Victims/Witnesses SB 268/SL 2011-190; Status: Passed; effective date 12/1/2011
- · Increases the criminal penalty for the offense of intimidating or interfering with a witness from a Class H to a Class G felony.
Divorce/DVPO/Child Support Changes HB 589; Status: Passed the House; eligible in the short session
- · NCCADV opposed the original version of the DVPO section (Section 2) of this bill which removed the judge’s discretion to order possession of and eviction from a residence in the ex parte order if the order was issued based on the harassment definition of domestic violence (rather than actual or attempted physical injury). In addition, the original version stated that the ex parte order would expire if a hearing was not held within a specific time frame which could leave victims unprotected. NCCADV worked with the Bar Association and the bill sponsor to amend the bill so that the current version of the DVPO section removes the previous language and now provides that a continuance of a DVPO shall be limited to one extension of no more than 10 days unless all parties consent and that the hearing shall have priority on the court calendar.
Req. DV Victim/List Prior Action Against Def. HB 199; Status: Passed the House; eligible during the short session
- · The original version of this bill required the Plaintiff to include in the DVPO complaint whether they had previously filed any action for domestic violence against the defendant and the disposition of the action. NCCADV worked with the bill sponsor to amend the bill so that the current version provides that the Administrative Office of the Courts shall develop a form to capture this information which shall be filed with the complaint for a DVPO.
Impose Fee/Voluntary Dismissal/50B Orders HB 905; Status: Did not pass
- · Imposes a fee against the Plaintiff for the voluntary dismissal of a domestic violence protective order. This bill violates the Violence Against Women Act and would cost NC millions of dollars each year in federal funding.
Unborn Victims of Violence Act/Ethen’s Law HB 215/SL 2011-60; Status: Passed; effective date 12/ 1/2011
- · Creates criminal offenses for acts that cause the death or injury of an unborn child or commit against a pregnant woman. NCCADV worked with the bill sponsor to include language to protect victims of domestic violence.
Nonprofits/Criteria to Receive State Funds HB 100/SB 460; Status: Referred to a study bill (HB 773)
- · Creates new eligibility criteria for nonprofits receiving state grants which would be virtually impossible to meet, including 1) getting at least 35% of their funding from private sources; and 2) spending no more than 15% of their total budgets on administrative expenses.
Victims’ Comp Law Changes SB 272/SL 2011-267
- · The original version of this bill changed the definition of “dependent” to only include individuals “wholly” dependant on the victim for care and support and removed “substantially” dependent which concerned NCCADV. This section was removed in the final version. Clarifies the definition of collateral sources of benefits for economic loss. Limits a dependent’s economic loss in a 26 week period and $300/week in compensation. Clarifies confidentiality of records.
Pretrial Release Violation/Arrest SB 311/SL 2011-245; Status: Passed; effective date 12/1/2011
- · Expands warrantless authority to include violations of pre-trial release conditions for all crimes and clarifies the use of electronic technology in the criminal process and procedure.
To find the text of a bill, visit http://www.ncleg.net.