State lawmakers can make huge progress in the short session

Posted on 04/11/24 by Chris Brandenburg

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RALEIGH — Later this month, the North Carolina General Assembly will convene for a “short” session with a big opportunity to pass several key measures that will help people live better lives and save the state millions in unnecessary spending.

The General Assembly operates on a biennial (2-year) schedule. Regular (or "long") sessions begin in odd years, typically starting in January, and lasting several months. Short sessions are held in even years, typically starting in the spring and last from a few weeks to a few months.

With the 2024 Elections around the corner, most observers feel this session will be short in duration, as many members will be eager to hit the campaign trail this summer. But before they do, AARP is urging them to act on some important unfinished bi-partisan business that will help people save more for retirement; find affordable housing options; crack down on predatory lenders; and improve health care quality and access through easing burdens for advance directives, and allowing highly trained medical professionals to practice to the full extent of their training and experience.

Below are some AARP legislative priorities that will help North Carolinians of all ages:

Your Money

Various American Dollar Bills

HB 496 NC Work and Save
This bill addresses the 1.8 million North Carolinians who don’t have a way to save through their employer by creating a public-private partnership that allows them to have their own, portable retirement savings account via payroll deduction. HB 496 was introduced by Rep. Lowery (and primary sponsors Hardister, McNeely, Warren) on 3/28/23 and thanks to work by our online activists, we were able to obtain an additional 28 bipartisan cosponsors. Currently bill is in the House Pensions and Retirement Committee. AARP NC continues to conduct outreach to small businesses, and Chambers of Commerce around this issue.

HB 409 Regulation of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
This bill (primary sponsors: Winslow, Alston, Tyson, G. Brown) removes barriers to the construction of ADUs and efforts have been led by the John Locke Foundation along with the NC Homebuilders Association, NC Realtors Association, and NC Justice Center. This legislation passed the House on 4/25/23 and is now with Senate Rules, likely awaiting hearing in Senate State and Local Government Committee (Alexander, Ford, Jarvis). Senators Moffit and Mayfield championed companion bill S374.

HB 481 Modernize Debt Settlement Prohibition
AARP has supported past efforts to pass this legislation to close loopholes and crack down on (out of state) predatory lending practices in NC. A previous version of the bill passed the House in 2019 but was stalled in the senate. This bill championed by Rep Howard (other primary include Setzer, Saine and Everitt) sailed through the House passing its final reading on 4/25/23 and is now in Senate Rules to likely be heard in Senate Judiciary. This bill was pushed by NC Justice Center and supported by many including Residential Lenders.

Your Health

First we'll take a blood pressure reading

HB 739 Advance Health Care Directives
AARP has been working on making it easier for residents to get advance directives in place on how they want to be cared for during a serious illness.  Advance care planning empowers individuals to make their own important health care decisions while they are still able, bringing peace of mind to individuals and their families. HB 739 passed the House on 5/2/23. Bill would next be heard in zthe Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 218 and SB 175 The SAVE Act (APRN full practice authority) This bill, which did not receive a hearing in either house, will improve health affordability and accessibility especially in rural areas by granting nurse practitioners the ability to practice to the full extent of their training and education. Despite strong support and many sponsors, bill was not heard in either chamber. Senator Hise is the primary champion of this issue.

Your Voice


It is the work of thousands of people like you who have let their representatives know they support measures to improve the health of our state and the health of our state’s budget. Help us take action in 2024. Sign-up to become an e-actvist for AARP Action Alerts and let your voice be heard!



This story is provided by AARP North Carolina. Visit the AARP North Carolina page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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