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NC GOP considering legislation that ties Medicaid expansion to the legalization of new casinos

Previous Democratic requests for Republicans to permit debate and votes on gun-control measures and others to keep weapons out of the hands of people at extreme risk of becoming violent have been unsuccessful.
(Photo: North Carolina Legislature)
North Carolina General Assembly

Republican lawmakers are considering legislation that ties Medicaid expansion to the legalization of new casinos.

Legislative leaders had wanted to include a provision in this year’s state budget that would add up to four new casinos in rural counties. But some conservative Republicans said they wouldn’t vote for a budget that included casinos.

Now House and Senate leaders are considering a different approach. They’re floating the idea of passing two bills: One with the budget, and one that launches Medicaid expansion and casinos.

They could repeal the Medicaid expansion law signed by the governor that starts the program as soon as the budget becomes law.

Republicans hope that pairing would persuade Democrats to vote for casinos.

Representative Pricey Harrison, a Democrat from Greensboro, says the GOP is going back on its promise to expand Medicaid.

“Personally, I'm a strong no," she said, "I think it makes no sense to tie the health care for 500-600,000 North Carolinians to casinos and gambling.”

It’s unclear when the bills might be released.