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We are off to the races
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Friends,

I hope this update finds you well. You are receiving this because you established a relationship with the Office of Rep. David R. Lewis.

Session has started and we are hitting the ground running. We hope to get through budget adjustments as soon as possible so we can get the people's business done and return to our districts to work, spend time with our families, and listen to our constituents. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact my office. I appreciate your continued support and wish you well.

- David

I consider it an honor to be named the #2 most effective legislator in the NC House. I go to Raleigh to fight for the working families of Harnett County and North Carolina.

Federal Court Upholds Voter ID, Stops Obama Justice Department Overreach


Federal court has upheld North Carolina’s hugely popular photo voter ID requirement, dismissing all claims in a lawsuit filed by political opponents of the law.
 
In a 485-page ruling, the federal court agreed that "the changes were based on legitimate and substantial concerns of election integrity and fairness and leave an electoral system that provides generous, fair, and equal opportunity for voters of all races and ages."
 
Despite the small but shrill opposition who continue to abuse the courts in an attempt to overturn the will of the voters, another reasonable, common sense law supported by a majority of North Carolinians has been upheld. We are glad the court recognized the law provides all voters an equal opportunity to vote and stopped this politically-motivated overreach from the Obama Justice Department.
 
In spite of more than 30 other states having voter ID requirements and a similar law being upheld by the United States Supreme Court in 2008, far-left special interest groups have spent years filing duplicative lawsuits in multiple courts attempting to block the commonsense policy in North Carolina.
 
Polls – including those commissioned by groups challenging the law – consistently show the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians support voter ID. And while opponents made misleading claims and presented flawed and erroneous data from a professor hired by the Obama Justice department, they were unable to offer a single witness who would be unable to vote under the law.
 
The voter ID law continues to ensure any North Carolina citizen who wants to vote will have that opportunity. The law establishes a list of valid government-issued photo IDs that voters can present at their polling places, and allows anyone without a photo ID to obtain one at no cost through the Department of Motor Vehicles. It also brings North Carolina into the mainstream of other states on matters of same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting.

Step Therapy


The House Select Committee on Step Therapy met for its fourth and final meeting in April to vote on a recommendation to give to the House during the 2016 Short Session of the General Assembly. The recommendation has been filed as a bill and reduces barriers to healthcare across North Carolina and continues a dialogue on how to address the prescription drug abuse epidemic in North Carolina.

The recommendation expresses findings about the process of step therapy: a process by which patients have to fail-first and progress through number of drugs that insurance companies require in order to gain access to drugs prescribed by doctors. This portion of the recommendation ensures proper administration of step therapy through requiring clinical practice guidelines that are developed and endorsed by an independent, multi-disciplinary panel so that both patients and practitioners have access to a clear, convenient and transparent process to request an override determination which will be granted under certain circumstances.
  
Ensuring access to healthcare that is responsive to medical situations and preserves the doctor-patient relationship is vital to quality healthcare outcomes. Doctors should be making decisions about medications with their patients to prevent lengthy appeals processes with insurance companies and frequent denials by a party that has little knowledge of the specific medical situation. I think this is a great step towards improving access to care for all North Carolinians, especially those vulnerable with life threatening medical conditions.
 
The recommendation also addressed the committee’s study of the prescription drug addiction epidemic through the usage of abuse-deterrent opioid analgesics. The recommended legislation states that an insurance policy that provides coverage for abuse-deterrent opioids must treat abuse-deterrent and non-abuse deterrent opioids the same in terms of prior authorization requirements and it cannot require a person to use a non-abuse deterrent opioid before authorizing the use of an abuse-deterrent opioid. Florida has passed similar legislation.
 
Prescription drug abuse in North Carolina is an epidemic. We are faced with higher healthcare costs, lost work productivity, and a bleeding criminal justice system because abuse runs rampant in many of our communities. I want to thank the committee for taking time to study step therapy and its impact on abuse-deterrent opioid analgesics. It is my goal to reduce the barriers people face to safe and affordable healthcare in North Carolina through legislation that preserves the doctor-patient relationship.


 

Budget News


House and Senate Leaders agreed to a budget figure of $22.225 Billion, which is a 2.26% spending increase to the budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year. This agreement moves the budget process along much faster than usual because appropriators are starting at the same figure and do not have to negotiate a final number before looking at sub-committee budgets.

Confirmations


The House has confirmed the following individuals nominated by the Governor:
  • Michael Robinson-Special Superior Court Judge
  • Casey Visor- Special Superior Court Judge
  • Gregory McGuire- Special Superior Court Judge
  • Robert Schurmeier, Jr.- Director, State Bureau of Investigation
  • Bill Daughtridge- Industrial Commission
  • Christopher Loutit- Industrial Commission
  • Linda Cheatham- Industrial Commission
  • Lyons Gray- Utilities Commission
  • Linda Combs- State Controller
  • Ray Grace- Commissioner of Banks

HB 2

The discussion of human rights is an important one and must be continually evaluated.

All people must be treated equal under the law.

However, nothing in the much discussed HB2 has anything to do with telling the businesses upset over this law who to admit to their bathrooms.

It is a fact that the Charlotte Ordinance did mandate what PRIVATE businesses and non-profits, like the YMCA, did with their bathrooms, showers, etc.

It is Charlotte's massive overreach into private businesses bathrooms that prompted HB2.

It is shameful the press, especially the Raleigh media, had and continues to feed a false narrative on this issue.

A responsible report would have ignored this business owner's misunderstanding of the law - that being nothing in HB2 dictates what private business does with their bathrooms or at least pointed the misunderstanding out to its readers.

We can debate the merits and objections to HB2, but it's time the press stops feeding a false narrative.

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Paid for By David Lewis for NC House. 

Copyright © 2016 Representative David R. Lewis, All rights reserved.