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Senate | September 4, 2013 | Chamber | Closing session of the Senate Long Session

Full MP3 Audio File

Senate will come to order. Sergeant at arms, close the doors. Members go to their seats. Members and guests in the gallery will please silence all electronic devices. Leading the senate in prayer is the reverend Peter Milner Senate Chaplain. All members and guests in the gallery will please stand. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let's bow our heads for a second and pray. Lord, thank you for this new day. Thank you for mercy, it falls fresh on us with every turning of every day. Give every Senator here a glimpse of your mercy. If you move us forward into this day keep their eyes on you, this we ask in the name of Christ, Amen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Berger is recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. President. The journal of Tuesday, September 3, 2013 has been examined and is found to be correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate, let's come. Senators, senators let's come to order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I move we dispense with the reading of the journal and that it stand approved as written. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Without objection the journal for September 3, 2013 stands approved as written. We have leaves of absence granted today for Senators Clodfelter, Daniel, Don Davis, Senator Beringer and Senator Woodard. Veto messages from the Governor, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Governor's of rejection and veto message, HB 392, an act requiring a county department of social services, DSS, to verify whether an applicant for our recipient of temporary assistance for needy families, TANF, benefits of food and nutrition services, FNS benefits, is a fleeing felon or probation or parole violator to direct inter-agency cooperation and information sharing in order to verify the eligibility status of an applicant or recipient to deny TANF or FNS benefits to an applicant or a recipient who was a fleeing felon or on probation or parole violator and to require drug screening and testing for certain applicants and recipients for Work First program assistance. It is critical that funding for public benefits be protected from abuses by felons and those fleeing prosecution. The criminal background requirements makes sense on HB 392. Therefore, under my existing executive authority, I am directing the department of Human Health and Human Services and our state chief information officer to develop a plan and recommendation to ensure that fugitive felons and probation or parole violators do not receive these public benefits and that the law enforcement has access to the most up-to-date information. This administration believes that there are better ways to fight addiction and prevent criminal drug abuse. However, this is not the best way forward and I must veto this bill because of my concerns about the implementation of the drug testing provisions which were not thoroughly analyzed prior to passing this legislation. Additional veto reasons include: The changes that been required are not funded in this bill or the 2013/15 budget. The bill is a step backwards for DHS and it's efforts to assist people in combating substance abuse. The department currently screens all adult applicants for substance abuse issues and as appropriate, facilitates a treatment plan with which the applicant must comply prior to receiving benefits. I am concerned that the means for establishing reasonable suspicion as outlined in the bill are not sufficient to mandate a drug test under the fourth amendment. The punitive mandates of this bill go too far in restricting future access to benefits that could have a negative impact on children and families. Similar efforts in other states have proven costly for taxpayers and did little to help fight drug addiction. There are potential obstacles to consistent applications across 100 counties. I continue to recommend further study on this issue. Pat McCrory, governor of the state of North Carolina. Governor's rejection veto measures HB 786. An act to require the department of public safety to study-

Pat McCrory: -discussing the problem of illegal immigration in this state, and to clarify which employers are subject to the state’s E-Verify Laws. I am vetoing HB 786 because I promise to protect and find out for North Carolinians. This bill has been thinly disguised as a measure to help our farming community, when in fact it applies to a broad spectrum of other businesses in both urban and rural areas. There is a loophole that would allow businesses to exempt a higher percentage of employees from [??]pulling their illegal U.S. citizens or residents. This legislation increases the seasonal employee 90-day exemption to nearly 9 months in a calendar year, and will put our legal residents at a disadvantage in the job market. We must do everything we can to help protect jobs for North Carolinians first and foremost. This legislation needs further study, as I recommended months ago. However, the bill did not provide funding for a study. North Carolina has the fifth highest unemployment in the country. Now is not the time to put our citizens at a disadvantage to find jobs. I have remained focused on jobs growth in North Carolina and I will continue to do so in the future. Therefore, I veto the bill. Pat McCrory, Governor of State North Carolina. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Apodaca: Senator Apodaca for a purpose you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speaker 1: Mr. President, motion please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Apodaca: Senator Apadaca is for [??]a promotion? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speaker 1 : Mr. President, the two veto messages just read in by the clerk, I move that they be placed on the beginning of today’s calendar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Apadacas: Objection [Sp]Soren. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speaker 1: Mr. President, additional motion while I’m up please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Apadacas: Of course Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speaker 1: Thank you Mr. President. I move the rules be suspended until the end, it’s HJR 1024. Adjourn, reconvene session, be recalled from the rules committee and placed on the end of today’s calendar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Apadacas: Objection [Sp]Soren. [Pause] Senators, we’ll move right into the calendar for today. HB 392. [Sp]Corcory? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Corcory: HB 392. Warrant Status /Drug Screen. Public Assistance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Apadacas: Senator Apadacas, recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Corcory: Mr. President, I move that HB 392 become law, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Apadacas: Is there any discussion or debate? [Pause] Senator Nesbit for a purpose you rise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Corcory: Would the gentleman yield to a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Apadacas: Senator Apadacas to yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Corcory: Certainly. I’m not able keep up with you this morning. Which one of these bills is this? 394 or 5? The Drug Screen/Public Assistance. [Pause] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Apadacas: Any discuss or debate. [Pause] Hearing none, the motion before the body is that HB 392 become law, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor. Senator Davis, what purpose you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Davis: To speak to the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Apadacas: Senator Davis, you have the floor to speak to the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Davis: Thank you, Mr. President. Ladies and gentlemen, with all due respect to the Governor, this bill was never and is not designed to be an effective way to fight criminal drug abuse. This was a bill that was designed to quit supporting those people who use illegal drugs and their habit and to try to move them into self-sufficiency so that they can have a job. We don’t want to hard working North Carolinians to be supporting illegal drug use. I believe that illegal drug use is a scourge, a plague on our society. This is just the one way that we can help to steer people away from that. I’d like just to briefly summarize what this bill does. What part one does is, we know that Federal law prohibits fleeing felons or individuals with active arrest warrants, probation, or parole violations from receiving certain benefits. This bill gives DHHS the authority to take the steps necessary for compliance. Specifically the warrant status provisions of HB 392 would require a County Department of Social Services to verify whether an applicant for or a recipient of TANF funds or Food and Nutrition Service benefits is a fleeing felon, or a probation or parole violator. The act would further deny TANF or FNS benefits to an applicant or recipient subject to an outstanding arrest warrant for a felony, or for a probation, or parole violation, but would not affect the eligibility of a member of the individual’s household for those benefits. Part two applies to the Work First Program. That is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. H392 - Notes: I was able to verify the names of Apadacas and McCrory online, and but in [sp] for the other names I could not find verification for. I had 2 [??], but put my best estimate after listening to the audio slowed down and at normal speed.

Requires that some individuals who apply for or receive work force program assistance, North Carolina's temporary assistance for needy families program, take and pass a drug test prior to receiving benefits. This drug testing requirements applies only to applicants or recipients whom DHHS suspects are engaged in the illegal use of controlled substances. The bill does not apply to child only cases in which no adult is included in a benefit calculation. I ask for the members to override this veto and to approve this bill. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] There will be further discussion to debate. Hearing now in the motion for the bodies of the house is that house bill 392 become law and notwithstanding the objections of the governor. All in favor vote aye, opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting. Cleric will record the vote. 34 having voted in the affirmative and 10 in the negative, the motion to override the governor's veto of HB 392 passes by 3/5ths of the members present in voting. In accordance with article 2, section 22.1 of the constitution of North Carolina, HB 392 becomes law notwithstanding the objections of the governor at 9:17 am. House bill 786, cleric will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] HB 786, reclaim North Carolina Act. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apedac for the purpose of your eyes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Make the motion please Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apedac has the floor for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President I move that HB 786 become law notwithstanding the objections of the governor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do we have any discussion or debate? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Jackson, for the purpose of your eyes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Jackson has the floor to speak to the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. President, members this bill has not changed since we've seen it just a few weeks ago. I would ask that you support this bill. It is the right thing to do for our ag community. We need the 9 monthly verified exemption in there, which will help us mirror their federal H to A program, which is actually the only true and legal way to have a work force for agriculture in North Caroline and the United States currently. This bill in no way adds to the illegals and if you're hiring illegals, it's still illegal to do so and you're wrong. This will help us reduce the paperwork that we as H to A growers have to do from year to year to year. I would ask for your support and appreciate it. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there any further discussion or debate? Hearing none, the motion for the body is that HB 786 become law notwithstanding the objections of the governor. All in favor vote aye, opposed will vote no, 5 seconds will be allowed for the voting. Cleric will record the vote. 39 having voted in the affirmative and 5 in the negative, the motion to override the governor's veto of HB 786 passes by 3/5ths of the members present in voting. In accordance with article 2, section 22.1 of the consitution of North Carolina, house bill 786 becomes law notwithstanding the objections of the governor at 9:20 am. HJR 1024, cleric will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] HJR 1024, adjourned reconvened session. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apedac is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. President. Members, it's a sad day again. We need to adjourn. This adjournment resolution is very simple, says we adjourn until 12 noon, Wednesday May 14, 2014. I ask for your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Have any discussion? Now the question for the body is the passage of HJR 1024 on its second reading. All in favor vote aye, opposed will vote no. Five seconds will be allowed for the voting and the cleric will record the vote. Bingham, Tilman, aye, aye. 41 having voted, Armin aye. 42 having voted in the affirmative and 2 in the negative, HJR 1024 passes a second reading without objection, will be read a third time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] North Carolina adjourn assembly in acts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there any discussion or debate?

Hearing now in question for the Senate is the passing of joint resolution 1024. All in favor say aye, proposed no. The ayes have it. House Joint resolution 1024 passes its third reading and is adopted -- sorry, is adopted -- will be enrolled. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. President? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca for the purpose of your eyes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Motion, Mr. President. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Apodaca has the floor for-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] President, I move that we make a certified copy of that vote and have a copy of that mailed to Mrs. Walters--Mrs. Jenkins. I withdraw. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I thought so. Do we have any notices or announcements? Ratification of bills, Clerical [??] Reed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] [??] The [??] clerk presents the following resolution -- reports the following resolution duly ratified, properly enrolled and presented to the office of the Secretary of the State, HJR 1024, joint resolution adjoining the reconvened session. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any notices or announcements? Is there any further business to come for for the Senate? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Nesbitt, for the purpose of your eyes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr President. An announcement first. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor, senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you. The Democrats will caucus immediately after session and then the second thing would be a point of personal preference. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor, senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Members, I'm not gonna keep you long today but we don't but gather up every so often and when there are matters that I feel are -- that we feel are -- pressing to the body. This is our opportunity to bring them before you. We find ourselves in a situation right now where the -- as you've all seen in the paper, the unemployment rate in this state is now the third highest in this country. The economy is not clicking along in this state -- I don't know what it's doing in the rest of the country, but it's not in here. We should do everything we can to help that economy. There have been some things that we've done and we pointed those out as we went that took money out of this economy But something that's occurred here lately is not something of your doing but if you don't do something about it before long, you're going to own it too. While the unemployment rate's third highest in the country, apparently 1.7 million dollars was given and raised to DHHS. Now last I heard from you all, they were the problem, not the solution. I don't know if those increases were appropriate or not, but if they were, apparently they didn't give them to the right people. Because we've got two things called NC Tracks and NC FAST over there that aren't on track and aren't fast and they're about to kill this state. I've started gathering information and I found out on NC Tracks for instance, their goal that they've set for the approval of claims is like 59% for institutional claims, 68% for professional claims -- that'd be your doctors -- and I'm looking at that and I'm saying 59 and 68? Why is that the goal? Well, that's the goal, because they set it 10 percent less than they used to do under their old legacy system because of anticipated problems. So now we've already gone down ten percent. On professional claims, the ... of one million 500 claims they approved 553,000 or 36%. So the doctors of this state that are providing Medicaid and sending their bills in -- 2/3 of them are being turned down under their system. ou're getting the same emails I am, I hope, but I'm getting emails from people who say they're going out of business if they don't get this straightened out. They're underpaid from Medicaid as it starts with and they cannot just sit there and do without. One of the fellows was actually thrown out of the system and it totally wasn't nec--

Eligable and he can't get eligible again to even get his claims submitted. We must do something about this. The state of North Carolina, I believe, it used to be and I think it probably still is, is the largest consumer in the state. We consume from the public, and therefore pay them for more stuff than anybody. And if we aren't paying our bills then how in the world is this economy going to operate if the biggest contractor in the state isn't paying his bills. We've asked for hearings and I would urge you to do that. Something must be done and somebody's got to get a handle on this and when I get an analysis like this, and by the way, the problem is, I believe the word was taxonomy. Taxonomy, the problem is taxonomy. Now only in the world of DHHS could you find another acronym to describe the new problem. You go look it up, I had to look it up to see what it meant. But that's the problem is taxonomy. So we need to gather up down here and get a hold of this thing and get somebody moving over there. And I thought I would bring it to your attention. [speaker changes] Is there any further notices or announcements? [speaker changes] Mr. President. [speaker changes] Senator [??] [speaker changes] Point of personal privilege. [speaker changes] Senator [??]. You have the floor [??] point of personal privilege. [speaker changes] Since we were here in last July and last convened doing our work one member has [??] resignation Senator [??] we may not all agree with her philosophically on her position on issues, but I think we all know that she was a passionate, vocal advocate for those causes that she believed in ans she served this body with integrity for about 17-18 years so I would ask that we adjourn today in her honor. Due to her years of service and I'm sure that we will all miss her and her advocacy for those things that she believed in particularly those things that were progressive in terms of leadership in this state and someone who was certainly a dear friend to me. Thank you. [speaker changes] Senator Tillman [??] [speaker changes] Personal privilege [speaker changes]Senator Tillman has the floor for a moment of personal privilege. [speaker changes] I know if Don East were here he would have a word to say out of admeration and respect for Ellie [??], and I do to. She now has the old office that I had and she was happy to be there. In fact, I liked that office. She and I were good, close buddies [??] offices right next to one another there. You had to like Ellie, her biggest thorn was never republicans. It was David Hull. She told me that many times and you all that have been here a while remember one day when she was questioning David's bill and said 'I think, I think, I think' and David stood up back there in that seat and said under [??] 'I don't give a damn what you think.' Now that, she got gavaled down for that, so if I do to I'll understand, but Ellie was an unabashed Liberal who, it didn't bother her if David called her every name in the book. She would be right back up the next instant. You got to love that in a person, I mean I don't care what stripe you are, be whatever you are, but be that. And Ellie never wavered. So I respect her and wish her well. Ya'll remember when she was double bunked with Howard Lee? She had a 1 in 10 chance of winning. She won. That's the campaign's hardest working lady. She used to represent part of Randolph county and come to every Republican event that we would invite her to and once in a while she'd come to one where she was not invited. That's the lady that I know and will remember and respect, so I think it's proper that we do adjourn in honor and respect of the great lady, Ellie [??] [speaker changes] Any further business to come before the Senate? [??] the chair recognizes Senator Burger for motion. [speaker changes] Thank you Mr. President. I actually have an announcement moment of personal privilege and then the motion of [speaker changes] You have the floor Senator. [speaker changes] Thank you. Firs the announcement Appears that this is the time for us to say goodbye to certain people and one of the members of our staff is leaving us. Tracey Kimbral has been counseled to the [??] office since January of 2011. And has in my view done a very good job

… masterful job of leading us, in many respects, through three sessions, and keeping us for the most part out of trouble, except for the ordinary trouble that I think we all expect from a group of folks who have differing opinions. So I just wanted to let you know that she is leaving and it is something that we all, I’m sure, wish her well in her future endeavors and hope that… and are certain that we will see our paths cross many times again. Thank you, Tracy. [APPLAUSE] And I guess this is a combination of personal privilege and announcement. With reference to [??], your comments, I will tell you that many of us agree with you and we agree that those problems are not of our making. In fact, those problems go back to the last administration with the attempted implementation of a computer program which I think everybody would have to acknowledge still has bugs in it. We will be, today hopefully, announcing the interim committees, and the Republicans pledge to work with the Democrats to help solve some of the problems that you’ve identified and try to make sure that our folks – your folks, our folks, everybody’s folks – get paid for the work that they do if they’re entitled to be paid. And unfortunately the system is not working as… I don’t think anyone thinks it’s working as it should or as we hope that it will, but we will be appointing the interim committees, and those committees are the appropriate place for the legislature to begin to look into those issues. And so I pledge to you, [??], and to the members of this body that we will work together with you to try and find the solutions to those problems. And with that, Mr. President, I move that having concluded the business for which the Senate reconvened, I move that the Senate, in honor of Senator Ellie Kinnaird, do now adjourn in accordance with HJR 10 24, adjourn, reconvene session, to reconvene at 12 o’clock noon on Wednesday May 14, 2014, as provided in Resolution 2013-23. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The motions of the Senate do now adjourn, subject to the stipulations stat by Senator [??] to reconvene Wednesday May 14th at 12 pm, seconded by Senator Apodaca. All in favor will say “I”. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oppose, “no”. The “I”s have it; the Senate stands adjourned.