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House | June 29, 2015 | Committee Room | Appropriations

Full MP3 Audio File

Resolution to be printed so we're going to put you at ease for a few minutes maybe as much as 15, 20 minutes before we get all that printing done. Sorry for the inconvenience, but we're waiting so at ease. we'll try to get started, we're still waiting on one document, we appreciate your patience, you'll receive three documents, one is Senate Bill 534, the original Senate Bill that came over. Then you'll receive a PCS for senate bill 534 and then we'll go over with you and then you'll have a summary. You should have two documents at this point we're waiting on the summary, you got summary on your way okay you're waiting on the bill. We'll start reading the summary is this. Okay. Does everybody have the original 534, not that that matters really, they'd always much time on it. Mr. Chairman why don't you just let him start explaining it there's no reason for us to just sit here, he can start explaining when we get the bill we'll ask him questions. Second. That's committees how we'll ask senior chair of re-preparations, Representative Dalla to go ahead and explaining the bill. We first need a motion to accept the PCS Representative Dopson Representative.   Okay we've dispersed with that.  Representative  Dollar. Thank you Mr. Chair and members of the committee, section one deals with, essentially starts out is essentially bowler plate language, however there is something done this year, in this CR that is a little bit different, than past CRs in that it reach recurring and nonrecurring money differently so certain provisions were written in order to account for the difference and addressing recurring and nonrecurring expenditures. What has been placed in here, though there's a protection for those items that were recurring money, that were agreed upon in the house and the senate to be funded in the next year's budget with nonrecurring or rather funds and essentially same levels and both versions of the budget, and the provision will allows those to continue to be funded beyond the end of the fiscal year tomorrow. Section two deals with employee salaries actually a couple of changes I think both coccuses may have seen versions of the bill earlier hour or two ago in the employee salary section most of it is against standard board plate language holds salaries as they are currently until a budget is approved except that in what you already saw you had provided for starting teacher allow salaries to rise to $35, 000 a year, so we went ahead and appropriated the money since it was the same in the senate and the house version of the budget to increase that starting t at least $35000 annually from the state, I believe there's some other language that we'll see when we get bill that also had to be adjusted to ensure that no one, no teacher currently who's salary sometimes can be made up of some different elements, would in any case receive less money in the following in this following month and so there had to be some additional staff [xx] about an hour, an hour and a half ago and they'd been working to make sure that the appropriate language is in there so that we don't have any unintended consequences. Section three should be bullet plait language that's normally in the CR section four bullet plain language but not reverting section five with the state controllers border plait language, excuse me, border plait language section six is essentially ball plate language section seven is it deals with public schools sends the several things

is going on here probably the most important thing that we have in this section is proceeding with provide for in Roman growth for the upcoming school year 100% of the recommended Em and Roman growth so that all of the LEAs will have all school districts will the money that they need when they start school. There are two other provisions in here one is a provision as many of you maybe aware there is a differing views between the two chambers with respect to drivers education this provision here that basically as the LA is continuing to fund drivers education under the current statutes with funds that are available to them they should be able to do that, and there's a section in here that deals with cooperative and innovative high schools, it was recognized between the two chambers that although the funding was different in the two chambers for this particular provision what was really needed more than the money was the authorization so that those high schools could move forward and continue their process. So that is provided for in Section 7B, and so you will see that in this bill. There's a short provision on Medicaid state plain waivers of which will have something there, and then the effective date, there were a lot of effective dates discussed, and in this case the effective date that the act will expire will be Friday August 14th. So that gives us several weeks to work on the differences between the Senate version and the House version of the main budget. This is a pretty clean, in my view very clean, continuing resolution design to neither benefit nor give up position of either the House or the Senate, but to make sure that we have funds to keep state government operating sure that there is full funding moving forward for our schools to start and that there is no question with respect to that in anyone's mind. One other point that I would like to make, that if you look at this we're continuing resolutions very closely. You'll know that most of the ones over the last several bienniums, we are funded at 95%. In fact the last CR that we did, in 2013, the funding was at 95% because there was anticipation that there would be potentially less money or certainly reduction things that were included in the overall budget that had to be addressed in this continuing resolution it is funded at 100%. So there is no it's not funded at 95 but at 100% and that also and what will allow greater flexibility in terms of making sure that we are covering all of our bases moving forward until we can get resolution on the final budget. And Mr. Chairman I believe they are passing out the actual bill itself and I'll be happy to answer any questions and anything that I cannot answer we will have Staff on hand to address those issues. Thank you Representative Dollar, we do have few questions already while they're passing that out we'll go to those questions. Representative Fisher[sp?] Thank you Mr. Chairman and thank you for the presentation Chairman Dollar, I have a question regarding public schools I don't know but I would imagine that many of us received emails over the weekend from community colleges with the concern that they need to have a rate set for tuition so that as they're billing for those, and I'm over here Representative Dollar, you probably knew that already. Representative, Hi, but you knew that. It's OK, I can't hear anyways. OK, and so what I'm asking is, do you think that there might need to be a provision in this CR that allows for a setting of the tuition rates so that community colleges will not have to either bill

for more later or ask for refund or give refunds to students because there is a discrepancy between the two budgets in tuition increase? And I will note that there is precedent in the past for setting those community college tuition rates in the continuing resolution. So I just had that that question thank you. Representative Dollar. That is not in here because it's in controversy between the two chambers or the house didn't have as I recall if someone can correct me, but I don't believe that the house included those tuition increases in the first year we'd them second year, Senate I believe had them in first year and so there's no resolution on that particular issue there may or may not be tuition increase at the end of the day and so that was left out. Follow up Mr. Chairman. Follow up.  I guess what I'm saying is that short of any kind of direction for the community colleges this point they're going to be building for tuition is there anyway that we can go ahead and start this for them so that they don't have to worry about giving refunds later or crying back Arthur Wale.  I think at this time the house is going to hold its position on that and not have a two situation incurs. Representative Allen. Thank you Mr. Chairman.  Representative Allen, am still looking for assurances that no teachers and system is going to be related the deal is a failed part of budget, between the 100% finding and 180, 000 money and any other funds. Is there guarantee that we can let our LEAs know that there is no reduction that will affect TAs, would that be a true statement? Yes, if there will be added more money by providing for the full funding of the increase for enrollment. So any choice that the LEA would make with respect to any given. LEA would make with respect to personnel would be their choice not a choice made for them by virtue of this continuing resolution. Follow up.  Follow up.  So the money is there? The money is there, the decision is theirs. The money as a whole is there. Follow up. Follow up. And notice I haven't read the new PCS, but I notice that the 3, 500 is there for the new teachers 35, 000 per year, for the new teachers and the increase for the veteran teachers that was in our budget, is definitely not. Is that correct? That is correct except that their adjustment that was main language that I believe is in line so page two in lines 27 to 31 I believe cover most of that. There had to be additional language added just to make sure that no one will be receiving less money, so the starting teacher pay, they will begin receiving their starting teacher pay their increase when those contracts start but under no scenario would someone in the teaching profession be making any less than that, any less than what they're currently making. Final followup. Final follow up we'll let you do one more. Thank you. So the story is it's not in here but it could be in the August 14th, possible. That would be the hope, thank you. Representative Blackwell. Thank you Mr. Chairman I have two questions but it's relating to the Kate 12 budget. I think I understood you to say that in the continuing resolution the LAAs will be able to pay for drivers aid out of other available funds. What other available funds do they have that they can use to pay for drivers in? If they have local funds, if they had state funds that are otherwise not expanded, the various funds that they have and staff might be able to give you a

more technically detailed answer, but the provision also say shell[sp?] so the impetus there is for them to continue their program as they as they have it. Follow up. Follow up. So unless they get additional local monies we would be telling them that they must reduce spending in other areas unless they had some unexpanded funds that they would have to reduce spending in other areas in order to maintain drivers head. Dollar. What we are saying is is that they are free to use the funds that are available to them to continue with the program. Over the summer, as I'm sure you're well aware, the program is not as robust as it is when cranks up more seriously in the fall during actual school years as I understand it. So again with the continuing resolution running to mid August we should be able to address that, and they certainly should have sufficient cash load to meet their needs. My second question. Go ahead Representative Blackwell. Relates to the TA positions. If I understand it correctly, we had about $60 or $80 million roughly, I think we had 80 or so million in the house budget in order to maintain the current number of TAs that we've had for this financial year. a substantial part of that money, as I understand, its not provided under this continuing resolution because some of that, like 60 or so I think was nonrecurring money, so in order for those TAs to be paid for by LEAs I'm trying to understand do they basically have the same option as with drivers and they take it out of other monies that they would spend on other things. Someone shut up with my question [xx] Follow up. Some one suggested to me that they're being given money for enrollment growth and that they could pay for it out of that because that number is larger by far than the money they need to keep paying the TAs if they don't get the nonrecurring money restored to their budget by another appropriation. But if they take part of the money out of their enrollment growth money, then they don't have that  money to for the purposes that are supposed to be funded by the enrollment growth. In other words they got more students, they need more supplies, they need more textbooks they need more teachers, they  need more personnel, so where's that money going to come from so that we don't have to reduce the TAs as a result of this continuing resolution. Represent Dalla A couple of points, one the amount money that you are talking about is 25 million dollars. There was 25 million that was with respect to teacher assistance added some 300, 070 million I believe roughly that was nonrecurring. So when you look at the overall K 122 budget around 8.1 billion dollars, you are talking about three tens of 1%. They a lot much saw  that blocks of money that are going to the areas are coming at 100% of the current budget, plus the the enrollment growth. So we believe there'll be more than sufficient funds for the areas to pay for what they believe is most important in the classroom and with respect to instruction of the children, we make sure, I guess we were somewhat redundant but if you look on page three lands 27 and 28 it spells out again the flexibilty that local schools administrator of unites may transfer funds between allowed category between under GS115C105.25 and that is flexibility between those allotments and then that causes current statutory for the provision so those blocks of money get shifted around as a practical matter all the time and Mr. Chairman I would defer to

staff if there's need for further explanation Got a couple of more question representative Mishap. Yes Mr. Chairman I'm still on TAs if you don't mind representative Dollar and what is a little bit page one line 25 as section 1C will vacant position subject to proposed budget reductions in house 97 fifth edition, house bill 97 seventh edition, or both shall not be filled after June 30, 2015. I take does that also not apply to teacher assistants and teachers who might be, for those vacancies that were built into those two budgets that they couldn't fill any of those, they would've to abide by that, but no Sir. Representative Dollar. The answer to that is no Follow up. Can you tell me what that particular paragraph means. That paragraph of that provision and I would be happy to be corrected by our staff, but that provision applies to state government, directs the government position. Rep. Stem. Yes we couldn't just accept the senate position on everything or we couldn't have continue resolution, but since this is the cleanest CR I've ever seen in my 15 years I'd like to make a motion if I could. Okay at appropriate time. I move for a favourable report proposed committee substitute unfavourable to the original bill.  And we've I believe another amendment coming here before you take a vote on that if the committee would stand down just a minute. Let's Chairs. Okay here is the amendment. Let me ask other amendment that we need to go and get those in the next two minutes so we can deal with those. Representative Dollar has an amendment, you want to explain your amendment as it's being passed out? What this amendment does it's a very simple amendment on page 3, line 44 about the fourth word in instead of or it simply says and. Woul appreciate your support for the amendment Does everyone have the Dollar amendment? Representative Horne moves for approval of the Dollar Amendment. I have a second. All those in favor say Aye. Aye. Any opposed? it does pass, thank you Representative Dollar. Representative Fisher, you have an amendment that's also being passed out? Yes Sir. We'll give it just a minute while we're getting a copy of it OK, back, back. Representative Fisher is going to withdraw her amendment. Back to discussion of the bill. Representative Fisher will withdraw her amendments, so we're not going to take action on that one. I assume there is no other amendments, we have no other amendments in possession. Representative Stam, you had a motion. We're trying to get you the correct wording here. I move for a Favorable report for the PCS, Unfavorable to the original bill and anything else the staff wants to add to that. As amended, yes. Rolled into a new Committee Substitute. Rolled into a Committee Substitute, got all the correct words in there. You heard the motion, all those in favor say Aye.

Aye. Any opposed? In the opinion of the Chair the Ayes have it, Committee is adjourned. Thank you.