Report of the NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature general session held on June 4-5

Report of the NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature general session held on June 4-5
June 27
09:48 2024

By Dr. Althea Taylor-Jones

The N.C. Senior Tar Heel Legislature (NCSTHL) welcomed N.C. Representative Frank Sossaman to their general session held in Raleigh June 4-5. Rep. Sossaman shared some very encouraging information regarding the need to advocate on behalf of our “seasoned citizens.” 

The NCSTHL was created to advise the N.C. General Assembly regarding the needs of older adults and to recommend impactful legislation to improve their lives. The advocacy role of the NCSTHL is now more important than ever with the increase in the number of older North Carolinians. N.C. ranks ninth in the nation in both overall populations and the age 60 and over segment. In addition, 88 of N.C.’s 100 counties now have more people aged 60+ than under age 18.

Rep. Sossamon joined a panel of NCSTHL members to discuss ways to improve advocacy efforts. Other legislators were invited but unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts. Rep. Sossamon encouraged the NCSTHL members to meet with legislators in their home districts and to remind them that not only is the age 60+ population large and growing, but it is also the age group with the highest voting turnout rate. 

In Forsyth County in 2022, 42% of the population was age 60+, projected to grow to 46% by 2042. 

A major component of our June session strategically focused on identifying key issues affecting older adults.  Major issues will be vetted and approved by the entire body. Upon approval they will become resolutions or priorities to present to the N.C. General Assembly in 2025. 

Committee members were reminded of the critical thinking, energy, and effort required to identify the issues/priorities that are most salient to addressing the interests and needs of older adults. Collaborators, partners, supporters and other interested individuals, agencies and organizations are continuously reminded that preserving the dignity and quality of life of adults 60 and older positively impacts the lives of all, throughout various life stages.

Jill Simmerman-Lawrence, newly appointed deputy director of the Division of Aging, also addressed the NCSTHL general session. She reported on the All Ages All Stages NC (AAASNC) project, launched in May 2023 as a groundbreaking multi-sector plan to transform the infrastructure and coordination of services across multiple state agencies and departments. A preliminary plan has been presented to the governor that includes 160 recommendations to be distilled and developed for a final master plan. For more information, access

Simmerman-Lawrence also shared an update on the aging programs impacted by the state budget approved in 2023. Although the state is supporting many critical programs, such as Medicaid Expansion and housing improvement solutions, the budget does not include funding for any of the recommendations made by the NCSTHL in 2023.

For more information, visit or contact Allison Brown, NCSTHL public relations chair, or 336-940-8185.

Please visit the Piedmont Triad Regional Council of Government Area Agency on Aging for additional resources at  


Dr. Althea Taylor-Jones is one of two representatives from Forsyth County to the N.C. State Tar Heel Legislature. Contact her at or 336-705-2501.

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