Short Session Begins

Things change quickly on Jones Street. A few days ago, you may have heard us say that we expected short session to be short. Then the revenue forecast was updated. The State has $1.4 billion more than expected, and, as the saying goes, more money, more problems, and a longer session. Here are the top 3 things to know as legislators return to Raleigh:

  1. While every legislator is up for re-election and there are restrictions on campaigning and fundraising during session, the unexpected $1.4 billion in revenue is going to make budget negotiations much more complicated. So, expect legislators to be in Raleigh well into July…or later.
  2. While the rules restrict the items that can be addressed during short session (e.g., appropriations, items that made crossover, etc.), legislators wrote the rules and no one is better at bending them. We will be keeping a careful eye on legislation and committee meeting discussions and are prepared for anything to happen.
  3. Anything can happen. Stay up-to-date with what is happening in Raleigh with our weekly newsletters and monthly coalition meetings. And, be on the lookout for opportunities to take action. And as always, reach out to us if you have ideas, concerns, or just want to chat about policy.

Here’s a quick recap of what happened in the first part of the biennium, and what we will be working on over the next few months.

Last Session Wins!

Last year, the budget included the following NCAH priorities:

  • $11,250,000 in nonrecurring funds in each year of the biennium from the State’s settlement with JUUL Labs, Inc. for evidence-based electronic cigarette and nicotine dependence prevention and cessation activities targeting students in grades 4 through 12.
  • $3 million in recurring funds plus an additional $3 million in nonrecurring funds in the first year of the biennium to permanently eliminate the reduced-price lunch copay.
  • $500,000 in recurring funds beginning in the 2023-24 fiscal year and $6.3 million in recurring funds beginning in the 2024-25 fiscal year for a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) pilot.
  • Language providing the NC Department of Health and Human Services authority to request approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the state to expand Medicaid.

2024 Goals

  • Promote policies that increase access to healthy food in schools and childcare centers, such as school meals for all and farm-to-school policies
  • Promote technical corrections to the 2023 state budget
  • Support implementation of federal menthol regulations
  • Support bicycle and pedestrian coalitions to promote access to routine physical activity
  • Support partners to implement equitable health policies at the local level
  • Monitor implementation of Medicaid expansion and other policies that impact the health of North Carolinians
  • Grow our coalitions and connect with new partners across the state