RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The dust can now start to settle at the General Assembly as the legislative session has ended.
In the last six months, there has been a lot of focus on teacher pay raises and tax changes, but there are plenty of other items that impact North Carolinians.
One stems from a heartbreaking case in our area.
Twenty-three-month-old Rylan Ott died in April of last year when he wandered away from his Moore County home and drowned in a pond.
His volunteer guardian ad litem had concerns about being returned to his mother’s care.
“The silver lining is my hope this will change this for the almost 12,000 children that still find themselves in North Carolina in DSS custody currently,” said Pam Reed, Ott’s volunteer Guardian ad Litem.
Rylan’s Law does that by requiring county social services make at least two successful site visits to a parent who lost custody of a child but is now being reunited. The bill also sets up a group that will look at making changes to the child welfare system in North Carolina.
Then there’s the brunch bill, which allows alcohol sales before noon on Sundays.
The bill also allows distillers to offer tastings. Some opposed the bill saying it would interfere with Sunday church services.
That bill was signed by Gov. Roy Cooper Friday.
Lawmakers also passed legislation to fight opioid abuse and secured the funding to keep the Governor’s School of North Carolina.
Then, there are some issues that were not addressed.
When House Bill Two was repealed this session, some said the repeal bill, House Bill 142, did not go far enough.
HB142 repealed HB2, but also did not allow local governments to pass their own non-discrimination ordinances through December 2020. There are calls that remain to do more to protect the LGBTQ community.
Lawmakers also did not make changes to the safety standards of electrical systems at swimming pools.
The issue came to light following the death of Rachel Rosoff, 17, a lifeguard in Raleigh who died in September when she jumped into a pool that was electrified.
“No parent should ever have to go through what we went through,” said Michelle Rosoff, Rosoff’s mother, earlier.
But, during this session, the proposed change did not become law.
Lawmakers will meet again later this summer but that is to address certain items, including redistricting and addressing any bills the governor might veto.
The next chance for some of the bills discussed above is not until next year.