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2024 Legislative Short Session Recap

The North Carolina General Assembly concluded their policy-making efforts for the 2024 legislative short session. While they have scheduled several dates to reconvene later this summer and fall, limited items will be allowed to be considered during these sessions.  

Typically, the short session isn’t meant to have as many substantive policy debates as the odd-year long session, but this year saw remarkably less activity than most short session years. 

2024 Legislative Short Session by the Numbers:  

  • 8 bills vetoed by the Governor.  
  • 3 vetoes have been overridden thus far by the legislature.  
  • 30 bills became law (This does not include local bills and other appointment bills that don’t require gubernatorial action). Of those, 1 bill became law without the Governor’s signature.  

Despite election year tensions, the NC Chamber Government Affairs team successfully fought for priorities outlined in the NC Chamber’s 2024 legislative agenda, including:  

Child Care: The General Assembly approved $67.5 million in stop gap funding for six months to help child care centers at risk of closing after pandemic-era federal grants expired at the end of June 

The NC Chamber also successfully advocated to pass Senate Bill 425 which extends the moratorium on mandatory QRIS (star-rating) assessments and the hold-harmless period for licensed child care programs’ star ratings beyond the scheduled June 30 sunset date until a new modernized QRIS system is in place. This no-cost measure will help preserve our current licensed child care supply and help incentivize new licensed programs. 

PFAS: The NC Chamber successfully sidelined H864: PFAS Pollution and Polluter Liability, which would have authorized the state Department of Environmental Quality to order a business they deem a “responsible party” to pay public water systems the “actual and necessary costs” they incurred to remove or correct contamination. The rush to establish liability when the science is problematic is deeply concerning and solely political.  

An amendment that would ban the use of PFAS in covered packaging for food items also failed to pass this session.  

Your NC Chamber is committed to educating our policymakers and advocating for a science-based approach to regulating this chemistry. We have engaged experts to help explain this issue and developed a fact-based resource page to provide the truth on PFAS. Responsible use of this essential chemistry is too important to our safety and to our position as a leading state for business to cede the narrative to election-year hyperbole.   

Appointments: Your NC Chamber Legal Institute and Government Affairs teams coordinated and led the efforts to advance Charlotte Attorney Todd Brown’s nomination to the NC Business Court. Brown was confirmed by the NC House and NC Senate and will be sworn in this fall as a Special Judge to the NC Business Court. The NC Chamber also supported the successful reappointment of Jim Gillen to the NC Industrial Commission.  

TPLI: While no legislation has been passed regarding the questionable and concerning practice of third parties making the civil justice system an investment market, the NC Chamber made solid progress this session educating members about the practice. Given the number of positive conversations we’ve had with influential members in both chambers, we are hopeful there will be opportunities later this year to advance policy banning the practice in North Carolina. Most of all, we are encouraged that members are finding the practice problematic and are eager to address the issue. Learn more about TPLI here 

Tax: The NC Chamber successfully advocated to extend the due date for corporate income tax returns, which will be implemented through an administrative rule change in the next 90-180 days. This win for businesses will lessen the number of amended returns submitted to the North Carolina Department of Revenue. This was a core part of the NC Chamber Tax Agenda for this short session.  

Infrastructure: Economic growth, safety, and quality of life improvements are interconnected and dependent on investments in infrastructure. The NC Chamber spent significant time educating members of the legislature on Public- Private partnerships, which allow the private sector to be a solution for communities that have challenges maintaining their infrastructure and struggle with environmental compliance and financial challenges. The NC Chamber will continue working to remove barriers to leveraging this path to success for North Carolina.

Following a veto-override, Chamber-backed H198: DOT Legislative Changes passed this session. The bill supports enabling the full utilization of Build NC Bonds, allowing projects to proceed without delay or further cost increases. 

Criminal Justice Reform: Chamber-backed criminal justice reform measure S565: Revise Automatic Expunction passed and will help create opportunities for justice-involved individuals to reengage in the workforce by lifting the pause on automated expunctions for not guilty/dismissed cases.  

Housing: Chamber-backed S166: 2024 Bldg. Code Regulatory Reform, which would address challenges to housing availability, passed the NC House and Senate but was vetoed by the Governor. If overridden, the bill will modernize development regulations, including building codes, construction and contracting regulation, and environmental regulations.

We look forward to working with North Carolina’s elected leaders in the upcoming long session to continue elevating our competitive business climate. We are thankful to our valued members and our many partners in pro-growth advocacy for putting your trust in the NC Chamber as the voice for North Carolina’s broad-based business community.