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House | August 5, 2015 | Committee Room | Judiciary I Committee

Full MP3 Audio File

I will call Judiciary I to order. We are delighted to have as our Pages, and if you would stand and identify yourself, and where you go to high school, and what year you are in high school. Carly Conway from Pitt County. Senior, I'm a senior. What high school? Oakwood School in Greenville, North Carolina. And who is your sponsor?   George Graham. OK, glad to have you. Catherine Corsetti. I'm a rising junior, and I go protect law enforcement officer's home address. There is a PCS [xx]. There's a PCS, Representative Hardister moves that the PCS be before us at this time. All in favor say Aye Aye. Opposed say No, and the Ayes have it. Representative Burr has an ammendment, he moves to amend the bill on page 1, lines 6 and 7 by the deleting the words 'File or any other information maintained by the county' and substituting 'File', and on page 1, line 17 and 18 by the deleting 'File or any other information maintained by the city. ' Miss Churchill, would you explain the amendment? Yes Sir. The PCS is amending a statute that governs the personnel files of employees of counties and cities, and [xx] or any other information maintained by the county or city to be construed to apply to other public record. The deletion would strip the application of the language of the PCS Does that mean it's pretty much technical? Yes, sir I think so. All in favor of the motion let it be known by saying aye? Opposed no? And ayes have it. And now Senator McKissick welcome to the House and you're certainly [xx] at this point you may explain your bill. Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, this bill is very straightforward. Essentially what we're trying to do is set of a situation where law enforcement officers regardless of whether they are city police officers, or work for our Sheriff's Departments have an opportunity to have information related to their personal residences and that might reveal where they live not a part officially of t public record. What we've run into is situation where they're people who have been arrested, as a result of being arrested they sometimes want to go back retaliate against the officer, go back and retaliate against the officer's family. Unfortunately even within our jails today and Department of Corrections we actually have groups and gangs that are operating within them, sometimes want to go back and retaliate against these people that have been a part of their arrest or conviction, this does is make it less, it reduces the probability that it can get information to make it possible to do so. It has Ford of law enforcement, I know Fred [xx] is here form the chief of police association. It's pretty straightforward in terms of what we're attempting to do and I ask for your support are there any questions I'll certainly be willing to answer those.  Is anyone in the audience want to speak for against the bill. With that are there any questions for the members of the committee? representative [xx] I'll be happy to make a motion. I've got a couple of questions. One of these you reduce the name the law enforcement officer at some point after I guess the incident occurs. Is that right? Yeah what this would essentially do is say for all that information that's out there in the public domain relating to that officer's residence and information that might identify where that residence is. It would be automatically deleted, they won't have to make a request and that's why we have a PCS. Originally the officer automatically had a request renewed annually. That provision has been completely deleted, and even will cover that officer once they leave employment from [xx] and form an agency. Any other questions? Representative Hardister is recognized. Mr. Chairman I move for a favorable report for PCS for Senate Bill 699 unfavorable to the original. Rolled into a new PCS. You've heard the motion, any discussion? If not all in favor of the motion let it be known by saying aye? Opposed no? Ayes have it.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Remember us in the Senate when we [xx] Every committee that I preside over I'll make sure you're always [xx] Our next bill is titled House Bill 366 and it is called Compact Balance Budget. Rep. Millis is recognized. Thank you, Mr. Chair, ladies and gentlemen of the committee. Today I'm pleased to submit House Bill 366 for your consideration and support. If passed into law, this bill will allow our state, North Carolina to take part in an Interstate Compact Agreement joining Alaska, Mississippi, North Dakota and Georgia involving a federal balance budget requirement. As states enter into compacts often. Yes, sir Regarding matters ranging from the law enforcement to banking issues the understanding and certainty in which our state considers this legislation is well established. The issue that this Interstate Compact seeks to address is the continued, unlimited deficit spending in Washington that is a clear threat to our future prosperity as a nation and as a burden upon the backs of our children and grandchildren as each child born in America today has nearly $60, 000 of federal debt upon their backs if you include unfunded liabilities, the number exceeds $600, 000. With the debt the GP ratio exceeding 100% there's no question that action need to be taken in Washington has proven that it's unwilling and unable to limit itself. The answer is with states, the answer is with you all. By supporting this bill you can comfortably look your constituents in the eye and claim that you're doing all that you can within your preview as a state legislator to protect them in their prosperity for an increasing economic certainty to come if our our nation does not change course. Very quickly as a vehicle for this proposal is known on certain as a compact, the pay roll of the federal budget requirement is crafted in meticulous detail and respect to reality, the language of the federal balance budget carefully defines the terms on hand, it establish it's prudent flexibility in terms national emergencies it grants Washington and [xx] caution to alter the current path of deficit spending and  protect against both anti growth tax  policies while ensuring action by the executive and legislative branches of the federal government as fixed federal  limit is reached, I really appreciate your consideration of this important legislation for our citizens, and I humbly ask for your support to adjoin our state as a member of this inner state compact for a federal balance budget requirement. Thank you At this time I'd like to ask Mrs Churchill to explain the bill, and go over in detail what the bill does So the bill was an act a new [xx] you need a title of the contract about the project [xx] [xx] the definition that is more of what is happening [xx] that describes getting trained that Representative Millis spent to replace from the federal government can have on the budget. Article 3 would govern the compact membership and overall the US membership and allow for the constitution to be amended upon a two-third vote of both the US Senate and the US Congress [xx] or upon application as a legislature of two-thirds of the State, that agenda map running 2/3 [xx] 34 however under article 40 it doesn't work three [xx] 38 [xx] to actually join in membership of the compact. The way I say joint membership in the compact is to enact this compact in almost exact form, there are a handful of items that can be changed over on page three one 46 [xx] a little bit of latitude to deal with misconduct permission membership, compact emission as well as the number and as [xx] have known that

they would actually be representing the state in any constitutional [xx] the result is [xx] Article 5, explain Article 5 to the members please. It's not [xx] could do it the justice that a constitutional colleague but all the while the federal constitution sets forth the way we amend the Constitution of the United States. While all that the US Senate and US House of Representatives, a part of two-thirds vote of each Chamber can call for the change of on which it should be made, or upon an application of two-thirds of the United States, each individual State. It does not say[sp?] forth any procedures, it does not set forth any goals. It does not set forth any administrative matters as to how that intention[sp?] on page is going to recur, once is it called for. For now has a convention to States been called for before? It has been called for or notched[sp?] by individual States, but until the 34th State called for it the convention doesn't actually happen. So has there ever been a convention? I don't believe so. I think [xx] several months since I believe there has been none that has ever occurred, which is kind of the unknown as to how it would actually happen procedurally. Now has there been conventions called by the Senate and the House over the years? We have amended the constitution never[sp?]. On numbers of occasions, [xx] contingent The [xx] in Article 4 with the compact commission and the compact administrator. The compact itself was set up a compact commission that would be kind of empowering to a point and then [xx] compact administrator to encourage States to join the compact as well as coordinate the performance of under the contact and ever seen any resulting constitution for [xx] operation the commission membership has initially set at 3 unpaid members and each member [xx] one member to ignition, one of three [xx] to a point they are members of the commission, then the commission itself can to increase its size and allow other members of state to make appointment. The commission will receive its funding from each member of state determine that respective state and the commission will appoint a compact administrator who is to organize and to write the logistical operation to maintain an accurate list of all members of state, your delegates give contact information to formulate, transmit and maintain them all official records of the convention. No [xx] is required to be given at the event regarding any potential membership in the [xx] or any potential constitutional convention. Article 5, on page 5, [xx] 37 to 47 [xx] the report of the [xx] never incorporate constitution convention two third of the state which will be 34 actually have to call for the convention to trigger the constitutional provision to have a constitution convention the contact is referring 38 to trigger the call for the constitutional convention. Article six is are [xx] and the number of deletes and [xx] without any changes for [xx] [xx] to be in full includes from representative at the convection, and each member state chief executive office of community serving on the enactment period of the contract is automatically appointed as that delegate. Under the terms of the contract because you can't change the number of delegates that will be available, there will be limits that no state has more than three delegates at the constitution convection. No matter county representative each state appoints as a constitutional provision, each state gets one vote. So if you have a delegation of three, a majority vote of the three would come added as one state, vote count at constitutional convention. The delegate would only have the authority to introduce the state and vote on to issues relating to the constitution.

This role and the budget balance amendment in any other actions would be void at [xx] The convection rules are set forth on article seven was begins on a page 71 cut, and we've already covered a couple of those, that if each State can have no more than three delegates that there still remains one vote per State. The initial Chair of the convention is the delegate from the first State to become a member, then after the other delegates are appointed they can choose to have a different Chair. Parliamentary procedure is to be adopted by the convention, and the rules dictate that some leader as is or appropriately adapt provision of Robert Rule or/and the American [xx] part of the hearing procedure, and the adjournment of the convention would be permanently to adjourn upon the earlier of 24 hours after commencing the proceedings, or the completion of the business on the agenda. The business on the agenda is limited to Convention Rules and the Balanced Budget Amendment. The convention is slated to take a curve[sp?] in Dallas, Texas unless for some reasons article eight prohibits I'm not really sure having cut out explain this one, but article eight says that member states are not to participate in this convention on call for convention at force with contact and the convention rule for adopted body envision, it often says that members of state not to gratify or otherwise approve any constitutional amendment resolving from constitutional on what it has been or what it is resulting from to contact convention it is about budget amendment. Article nine has a resolution for that buyer adopting the compact each member state buying through it's legislature and adopting and ratifying the balance budget amendment which was the definition that we just got back on page two, and article 10 is the construction enforcement genuine and mobility that is the venue will be dubbed Texas to convene at 9 O'clock A. M. Central [xx] time on the sixth Wednesday after the writer of the expected date of Compact[sp?] form the [xx] over the [xx] original resolution to call a [xx] convention, and the combination of the compact is seven years after the first state joins the compact or there's a constitutional amendment will only make wrong the contact, access [xx] on April between Georgia and now Alaska and active contact 37 years would be able 2021 and the bill itself will affect Any question for Mrs Churchiill? Yes sir John. Thank you Mr. Chair article nine I just to want make sure I have good understanding on that that when 1in 34 states are reached and when in fact when we pass this we're saying that we ratify, it doesn't come back ask North Carolina for another vote. I [xx] put an [xx] to the side [xx] doesn't come back [xx] sporadic [xx] after it has been put forward to the other 50 States You said your name means death dick. That's what every [xx] Representative [xx] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd questioned Mr. looking at article 8 section 3 and it put the limitation that this and I'm just wondering how is that imposed [xx] Volunteer if I might that actually have never questioned my origin is because the US Constitution is silent on the matter. Thank you Mr. Chair and there's actually two individuals here can speak as the actual framework of the contact to briefly actually discuss those two questions and Mr. Chair if you don't mind if I recognize those under those I think it'll be better coming from them then myself here. Mr [xx] so Dean if you wanted to push the microphone state who you are who you are with and answer the representative Zocke and representative Jackson's question. Thank you Mr. Chairman chip the marks with

compact for America educational foundation we have appointed the compact administrator for compact for [xx] budget we're here representing the compact commission in that capacity. The first question on your stand was article nine conditional enactment for perspective ratification, the purpose and the intent was to put all the procedures necessary that the state will have to do into one document into one bill, so it is a contingentlegislation between in article nine section two that the ratification actually does not take effect one the balanced budget amendment is proposed at the convention, and two, Congress refers the balance of budget and we went to the State legislatures for ratification. That's Congress has two roles in Article 5, one is to call the convention when 34 States have applied in accordance with Article 5. And then two, if an amendment is proposed at the convention, to determine the mode of ratification, either by State legislatures or by individual conventions within the State, and the compact here contemplates that Congress will call for ratification by the State legislatures. So this is actually pretty new, the current legislature in the role of actually ratifying the Balanced Budget Amendment if it can be proposed at the convention. And then the second question was enforcement. Once Congress calls for the convention in accordance with the terms and provisions of the compact the compact is not only state law. It becomes federal law. It's enforced by the attorney generals from all of the member state, at least 38 member states, the attorney generals have enforcement powers as well as the US government would have enforcement power as well so that's how the enforcement mechanism is built into the compact. This is the only approach to article five where we actually have a binding legal document among the member states so that cross enforcement of the various provisions is available to any of the state's attorneys general that are members of the compact and we're here to answer any more question as they may arise. Is that okay, Mr. Chairman? Sure.  We have a number of people out there. On the list we've three people and you're welcomed to speak, Wayne Coleman is on the list is Mr. Coleman here? Yes Coleman, would you like to speak? if you don't mind, limit your remarks to about three or three and a half minutes only allowed to speak is it possible to distribute these some handout to the committee members? Sure alright thank you very much my name is Wayne Coleman I'm the chair of Non Conventional states North Carolina, a non partisan committee dedicated to preserving the US constitution by opposing a North Carolina call article five convectional states a balanced budget amendment (BBA) will not solve the problem of reigning in the powers of federal government, a balanced budget is merely a fiscal forecast. All the various applications requesting a BBA weaken the US constitution by ending out the unenumerated powers to place limits on the federal government, instead the BDA will transform the federal government towards a general unlimited powers, each journal unlimited power will allow congress to tax the people lavishly and spend money as long as they don't exceed spending imposed by the BBA. The constitution itself is the supreme balance budget mechanism adherence to the constitution will quickly restore any physical sanity, unlimited government in Washington, if we're really scared about budget deficits why not abolish everything for which there's no constitution authority, and to add insult to injury, HP366 cremates congress to impose a national  sales tax or a value added tax of that or both on America without humanly income tax,

HP-366 briefly mentions support for a convention of states  in article 3 section 3 line 45 Our position is that there's no authority in Article V of the United States constitution for the process known as the convention of states. And by the way, convention of states has never held in United States since our regional constitutional convention and let's be clear, at this time in our nation's history, no convention states North Carolina is opposed to any North Carolina Bill resolution that applies to congress for any form of Article V convention for proposing amendment to the US constitution not to the convention of states. Whether people are balanced by this amendment or any other amendment, no convention state North Carolina's position is that in this polarized nation convening an Article V convention is a huge risk for the sake of one amendment. If convened a convention cannot be limited to subject matter as convention CSA proponents claim it could evolve into pay off. Delegates to the convention represent the sovereign people not congress or state legislatures. All current constitutional including that of ratification could be changed or tossed out by delegates to create an from a government this are major concern so I ask you to vote against HP 66 Thank you Miss [xx] Mr. Chairman would you mind if Mr. [xx] went first? I probably would not thank you [xx] also from the compact for market educational foundation representing the commission I think I should probably just briefly address the comments of the lady who just spoke in opposition to the bill. It is not the case, that the BBA, the Balanced Budget Amendment in the compact would eliminate the doctrine of enumerated powers in our constitution That doctrine is already in place. It's being ignored widely by all three branches of our federal government, that's one of the reasons why we need a balanced budget amendment. But nothing in the amendment would change that. He also says that it would allow us to have a national sales tax or value added tax on top of income tax. Well that's current law. Congress could do that today. This amendment would actually make it harder for Congress to add a value added tax to the constitution and harder to have a sales tax unless it were in place of all forms of the income taxation. The amendment is actually designed to encourage Congress to move away from income taxation towards taxing consumption. That was the model founders preferred. So the balance budget amendment in this proposal would help to enforce the constitution as originally intended and would move us toward protecting enumerated powers because it would force Congress to prioritze and so unconstitutional spending would end up having to go. The best thing about this, and this will be my last point, proposal moves power back to the states. An increase in the national debt ceiling can only occur with the approval of  majority of the state legislatures. North Carolina and the other states will have a say in whether Congress exceeds the debt limit. That will mean that the states will have more power in what goes on in Washington, that will be healthy. That will be a return to the federal structure that the founders intended Mr. Chairman, I only have a few comments. One, we have a special handout, if it's not in your package let me know we have a bunch of them back here for this is the actual balance budget amendments that is contained in the compact. 629 words, that is the entire goal and objective of the compact for a balanced budget is to get this amendment proposed and ratified into the US constitution. The only reason that the actual compact bill is long is because we had to wait to demand that the state legislators across the country eliminated the unknowns that were mentioned earlier about article five in the 18 pages, that's all the bill is, you have text of the BBA which is a powerful [xx] the money in the BBA. It's a debt control amendment brings you the state legislators back to the table. And we have search your proper

role when the constitution's balance of federalism, if congress wants this amendment house of Congress. If he wants to increase the Federal government limit they have to come and get approval from the majority of the State Legislators to do so the bill goes back to the table, this is your bill, this is your amendment take on shape of it the compact [xx] we've previously discussed agenda five develop that to convection delegate to the governor to then sign the bill in to law in that particular state have be moved under convection, the legislate council did mention that their convection is limited to no longer than 24 hours in duration. It's really the final vote to propose this amendment to the states for ratification. It also provides as we discussed consistent text in terms of the applying regulation to start the article file process, and as we discussed all member states agreed to ratify the BDA when the joined the compact. The question why was 38 states chosen, three-quarters of the states are required to ratify the amendment. That's 38 states, that's why we chose to do nothing with the compact until we had ability to get the job done with 38 member states. If one might add just have a couple handouts Mr. Chairman. We can pass out the actual amendment, yes sir. The first hand out here is  of the compact developed project including Lawrence Reed of the Foundation for Economic Education, E. Shapiro from the Institute, Kevin New York times in Forbes magazines the council scholars at the foundation. Thank you very much. Next speaker is Michael Speciale of the general assembly. Article five states that on the application of the legislation's of two thirds of the several states taken, they should call for a convention for proposing amendments, okay? It doesn't give any details on how this is to be done, but it's a convention for proposing amendments. It's not a convention for proposing an amendment that's been prepared in advance and everything has been laid out. That's not what it says. OK the bottom line, it's an article five convention, that's ultimately what we have. And an article five convention could end up as a run away convention. Supreme Court said that the separation of powers extends to state officers and state legislatures in the duties to uphold the federal constitution. Various federal courts including the Supreme Court have ruled on federal function doctrine in regard to the role of state legislature in the article five process. The function of state legislatures in ratifying opposed amendments to the federal constitution like the function of congress to this proposal is one of a dozen proposals from a dozen different organisations who are trying to change the constitution whether from the left, from the right, from all ideological fact is it doesn't matter, but the point is, there's one way to do it, through article five and that's through a convention. And this convention like any other convention becomes subject to the whims of the convention attendees, of the delegates. They make the rules, even in here it says that they make the rules, in compact. They will make the rules, they will set the agenda just like every other convention you've ever been to. And if you remember in 1787, the original convention delegates where told to fix the articles of confederation and make it applicable to the new union. They choose to throw it out the window and start all over. The argument you get is well it doesn't matter because whatever comes out of there has to be approved by 38 states. Look at the voting record of 38 states over the last few presidential elections and you'll say, wait a minute, I'm not going to put my faith in that. The bottom line is you cannot control this. It is a federal function therefore the states are not going to have the authority to set this up because if for example I'm chosen to go to this convention, I am

not bound by anything that the state told me to do. It is a federal convention ergo it will be dealt with at the convention. The rules and everything else will be taken care of and decided there. This is a the scary prospect. This happens every 10-15 years, since the conception of the Union, there have been pushes for article five conventions. None of them have succeeded. There may be a time when this is necessary but right now the bottom line is for you fellow representatives here, look around and ask yourself who would you give your liberty to and say, hey, take care of this and safeguard it for me while you're at the convention. Thank you very much. You want to respond? Yes. Thank you ladies and gentlemen of the committee it's wonderful to hear the public debate and I definitely respect the all the opinions of the members who were given in spoken opposition as well as proponents of the legislation. But I just wanted you all to know here that the the bill that you have before you today is a legally binding interstate compact just like other compacts that our states enters into. It fully establishes the whole entire process. There are claims of uncertainty, the claims of what may or may not happen may be true or valid or even arguable on other legislation dealing with this but that's the reason why they were talking about an interstate compact. Again I'll just have to say look at the merits of what's actually before you especially for all those on a very high constitutional knowledge level who actually have abetted and have endorsed and who has been a part of drafting this interstate compact that actually allow us, allow Washington to stop having the unlimited part of deficit spending. I would definitley ask for your consideration for this common sense piece of legislation and to discount some of the claims that are truly unfounded Thank you, Mr. Chairman for the opportunity to speak and for giving a hearing to house bill 366. [xx] representing district 64 in Alamance County. If you think the Federal Government will self regulate, this is not for you. But if you have concerns about an $18 trillion debt that you young people are going to pay off. If you have concerns of anywhere from the trillion to $95 trillion unfunded liabilities on behalf of the federal government, and pension plans, healthcare, things like that, and you need to exercise a constitutional authority that our founders gave to every state, through the article five means. The article five mechanism was not a subsequent amendment to the constitution. It was a part of the original seven articles. Introduced in 1787 as a result of the Philadelphia Convention and ratified in 1789. It is the constitution we operate with the Bill of Rights and other 17 amendments I would ask you, are you more fearful of what might happen if we may be, possibly, have a convention under article five or are you afraid of what is actually happening under a runaway current federal government? Article five is a tool put in there by our founders to exercise restraint upon the federal Government when it refuses to exercise restrain, a balance amendment very tightly crafted folks, is not going to be run away convection because you've ten pages of specifics, the gentleman from the foundation said, the amendment itself is only one page long. It empowers the state's to have a say of what happens to debt limit with that policy, the other nine pages are the tightly crafted, well written wording to make sure that this compact is abided by every single State that joins into it. 38 States that's a high bar, a very high bar. It's not going to be easy to obtain, there's going to a be a lot of debate like this, good debate in other committees, and in other States. I would ask you my fellow legislators, exercise the constitutional authority you have and authorize our participation as North Carolina, and a compact for America for a Balanced Budget Amendment. Thank you. Do any members have any questions or comments? Representative Szoka. Except one final question maybe Mr DeMoss[sp?] could answer this question on what she passed out as Section

4 on the bill we're working from it's on page 2, line 38 which is Section 4. I just want to make sure that I have a complete understanding of Section 4 of this. It says, whenever the outstanding debt exceeds 98% of the debt limit set by Section 2, the president shall enforce such limit by publicly designating specific expenditures from pound men and an amount sufficient to ensure outstanding bids shall not exceed the authorized debt. Does that in affect a line item veto? What is the exact meaning of the word impoundment? Does that mean it's held till later on released or that just clarify that for me? Sure. Dean Clancy again from the Compact Foundation impoundment is a term with a specific meaning and a long history in American history. Thomas Jefferson was the first president to exercise the impoundment power which flows naturally from the separation of powers. Congress appropriates funds the President can decide not to spend the funds. Congress holds the power over the press so it can ultimately control the President's ability to use impoundment, and in fact that happened in 1974. Congress passed the Congressional budget and Impoundment Control Act because they were unhappy with the way President Nixon was using the impoundment power. He was holding back appropriated spending, not letting The money go out the door. So this is a practice that is constitutional, has a long history and is controllable by Congress under the constitution. This proposed amendment would give the President a duty to exercise the impoundment to keep federal debt below 98% of the national debt cap set by the amendment. If he were to fail to do his duty then he would be liable to impeachment, he would be an impeachable misdemeanor in the amendment. It stopped back when President Nixon, Yes, '74, Was there a history of empowerment that previous presidents had used? Yes, most presidents had used empowerment at one time or another, Interesting. Thank you. Very briefly they answered questions well, there's one thing to add is that the compact is very clear no matter what the president may suggest is empowerment, we're trying to cause action so you don't hit up to the actual debt limit is that congress has the opportunity to override the president's empowerment so at the end of the day the legislature still withholds all aspects of the power of the person and they can't act if don't agree with what the president has impounded, that's established clearly in the language as well. Representative McNeil take that question Thank you. I'd like to make a statement, frankly federal government scares me to death, every time I go home the thing on most people's mind I talked to them, even hey know I'm a state representative, it's a bout our federal debt and the way our federal government is going, it scares people to death and there has been a lot of good debate and I've been torn, I've been back and forth on this issue and both sides have very, very very good points that they make, but ultimately we have to do something. I believe that this debate deserves further debate, I believe it needs to go to the floor of our legislature. It needs to have a hearing there, and let the representatives vote how they decide. So at the appropriate time, I'd like to make a motion. I think this bill has to go to Finance. To Appropriations. To Appropriations, OK. Any other comments? Do I hear a motion? Yes. I'd like to make a motion to give House Bill 366 a favorable report with a referral to Appropriations. You've heard the motion, all in favor of that motion let it be known by saying Aye. Aye. All opposed No. No. All those in favor of the motion raise your hand. All opposed. Motion carries, the bill is given a favor report and referred to appropriate.