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House | May 12, 2016 | Chamber | House Session Transportation

Full MP3 Audio File

[BLANK_AUDIO] Good morning ladies and gentlemen. We're gonna come back and bring the meeting back to order. First though a few housekeeping items. Our Sergeant-At-Arms today are David Layton, Marvin Lee, Reggie Reggie Stalls and Randy Wall, thank you gentlemen. We also have a couple of house pages here today Cody Brown is back in that corner there, he's from Harrnet County and his sponsor is Sarah Stevens, and then we have Campbell McLurkin/g back in the left, my left your right He is from Wake and he is sponsored by representative Stam. >> We have every intention of taking a vote today on this portion of the budget so please take full advantage of questions to the staff as they go through. We'll take questions As we're going through so you don't have to hold them as we hit each section. And if you have any amendments please be thinking about them now so that we can take care of those today if you'd like to. With that I will start out with the review of committee Rules for amendments, Andy Cameron. >> Good morning. You have in front of you a sheet of paper with the roles. These are the exact same roles and that were intersect for the Long session, so I'm just going to highlight the ones that are the sticking points. First you have to offer amendments in a formal way, which means that Gillian Water will be drafting those for you to prepare for the Committee. The third rule is that you cannot change another sub-committee area or a full chair area. There are a series of continuation reviews that were required last year effecting inmate litter, the controller office for example None of those can be amended in this committee. You cannot amend non recurring items to recurring items and vice versa, number eight is no substantive policy or law changes And lastly, there can be no fee or finance related amendments. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Thank you Miss Cameron. Next on the agenda is First problem, presentation of house transportation budget is the fiscal analyst for physical research division. >> Thank you Mr. Chair, we'll begin with the money section of the committee report, you'll turn to page K1, I'll just briefly Orient to you a few formatting changes associated with the report. Beginning on page K1 you see a summary of the adjustments in the revised budget as well as a position summary as well provided for your reference. If you look to the middle of the page, the net appropriation corresponding with the legislative changes tracks the consensus Forecasts. However there is one adjustment which we will detail within the body of the report. Next page is K2 through page K5 provide a detailed summary of the adjustments corresponding with the individual fund centers within the highway fund. This is intended for reference. Likewise you have Have a similar detail between pages K6 through K9 for the position adjustments. So now moving to page K10, we'll begin with the body of the report. The first item impacts the DOT administration and as proposed in the governor's budget it is a change to The duty fiscal section, it authorizes the continuance of funding. This is receipt supported funding for a time limit that accounted position converting that position to full time permanent status, your supervision data affect as well. Next moving to the division of motor vehicles. The first item is as proposed by the governor continues Funding for a program which has historically been federal funded, it's an initiative for military personnel to assist in training for obtaining a commercial driver license, that's $258,000 dollars recurring. Item number three is a modification from the governor's original proposal, provides 1 million non recurring for We're advertising and marketing to increase awareness associated with DMV modernization initiatives as well as the availability

of online services. Item number four driver licence examiner staffing. This is also a modification from the Governor's original proposal. Provides funding on a pro-rated basis based on the procurement time Frame. For additional contract driver license examiners to augment the existing staffing and also implement a 60 hour business week targeting districts three and six. Those being Raleigh and Charlotte at 2.9 million recurring. Item number five. Similar to Item number one. Continues funding for 44 time limited positions. Again a conversion of those time limited positions to permanent status. This is 2.04 million recurring. Again receipts based. Item number six on page K11 11. Still with the division of motor vehicles. Authorizes the addition of 21 contract nurses for full time processing assistant four, and three full time administrative assistant one positions. To support reform initiatives associated with medical review program. This is 1.7 million recurring. and 151,00 non-recurring for this initiative. Living to the inter-mortal divisions beginning with item number seven. Item number seven establishes the new reserve account for ferry system organization, the funds 13.4 million are targeted replacement and rehabilitation of vessels terminal, ramps, gentries, and bulkhead infrastructure. This allocation of funds is based on analyzed assessment of needs over a 20 year capital improvement plan. Item number eight, corresponds with the provision eliminating the collection of tolls on the ferry system, and this adjustment Is the operating funding associated with the collections and reservations activities for those tolls. Item nine, is the modification from the governors original proposal for this, in lieu of allocating [INAUDIBLE] and recurring for a specific imitative targeting incentives for consolidation. The funds are being provided for real operating assistance, and so they would follow the typical formula allocation for this program. Item number ten, is as proposed by the governor’s budget allocating 2 million additional funding for urban transits system operating assistance, so this will [INAUDIBLE] the formula funding through the state maintenance assistance program. [BLANK_AUDIO] Moving on maintenance, item 11, there is an additional 17.8 million recurring for the reserve for general maintenance the amount plus the dollar is available, for this secondary road maintenance account. Moving on to page k12, this is a statutory adjustment for the bridge program. An additional $300,000 based on the gasoline inspection fee. >> The next item on page [UNKNOWN] is the one adjustment to availability within the highway fund. It reflect an eligibility change to make public transportation service providers eligible for permanent plates. This will include both public and non-profit providers who receive federal assistance for that transit service. The next section pertaining to transfers deals with those continuation reviews that Anna referenced earlier. The first item, item 15, eliminates a reserve set aside of recurring funds pending the outcome of those continuation reviews. This particular item eliminates both the reserves for the appropriated transfers as well as the reserve for the potential revenue pending the outcome of both reviews. And then you see with item 16, 17 and 18 following to the next page, the itemized adjustment to restore those funds to the respective programs. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Moving on to the Highway Trust Fund, page K16 based on the additional revenue that is forecast, there's an increase on page K16 again of $32 million or this strategic transportation investment fund, there's a close up committee change on number 20 affecting the mortuary switch removal account and it eliminates that transfer of the certificate of title seeds, and that concludes the money reports.

[BLANK-AUDIO]. >> Representative Martin. >> Thank you Mr. Chair, going back to page K10, item two of the military commercial driver's license training. It's a great item to have in the budget, I'm glad that your doing it. Miss Cameron mentioned I think that that's something that it didn't federal funded and the state is funding, what's the status of federal funds available for that program now? [INAUDIBLE] >> Our understanding based on the historical funding for this is the funds have been intermittent in terms of qualification for them and so this item essentially internalizes that funding source to make it state funds instead of having to continually apply for those federal funds. >> Follow up Mr. chair. >> Is our funding of this gonna in any way should have performed decrease our chances of also getting federal funds? >> Not to my understanding, I will defer to the division of motor vehicles to address that question. >> Thank you and I think part of this was a timing issue, making sure that we had the fund, making sure that this was a sustainable program and that the state was actually stepping up and saying we have an interest in helping our veterans to reach success after they have left military service. So I think that was the main impedance, was to make sure this was a sustainable recurring program but I saw commissioner in the back if you would introduce yourself and if you have anything else to add, please. >> I'm Kelly Thomas the commissioner of motor vehicles, the current federal grant expires 30 September. There is an annual re-application that we do, we had a gap last year which we ended up using DMB funds to cover that period So instead of creating a gap, we believe that the better program for the state sponsored and vote, and bottom line it's North Carolina State supporting our veterans here in North Carolina. Training at Fort Bragg today will be expanded to [INAUDIBLE] this summer. >> Follow up Mr. Chair. >> Follow up. >> I fully support the program [INAUDIBLE] chairs for including it. I just wanna make sure that we're not hurting our opportunity to also get federal money for this type of project too. >> Well Kelly Thomas, >> Yes sir. >> We have the opportunity to continue getting federal funding for CDO/g training, CDO support, CDO licensing, this will not affect that, thank you. >> Thank you Mr. First chair any other questions on the matter reported before we get into the provisions? >> All right then [INAUDIBLE] that's the attorney for bill directing division. >> Would you turn to page one of the provisions package, it's titled stabilization for the ferry system, this language is from house bill 1002 of [INAUDIBLE] and transportation committee, and essentially this provision removes [INAUDIBLE] on ferry routes, and if you look at page two, sections, F and F1 as a reserve account created for improvements to the state fairing system and I start at section F1 the uses of the fonts within that account are out. Page three you'll see that in sub sections H and I there's two new reporting requirements and going back on page two, rolling over in page three in sub section F3 there's a new requirement that when a marine vessel is reaching the end of its useful life hat it will be disposed off in timely fashion and then any proceeds we see from that depth position or to be credited into the new reserve account page five, this provision advice that the anticipation revenues with a highway pond and a highway trust fund. Page six this eliminates the portion of the feed first took at a pities that was being satisfied for the mercury switch removal account. The currency is $62 and 50 cents of each P will set aside for that account, that will be repealed and now that 50 cents will be going to the highway trust fund. Page seen, this increases from 40,000 to 60,0000 the amount DOT may extend on the historical markers. Page eight, this increases from 2.5 million to 5 million the amount of certain contract that trigger bidding requirements. page ten, these are various revisions to the getting process for contracts, the First provision is that the advertisement for bid solicitation must be at least 14 days posted,

the results of the bidding process are to be published no later than three business days after the contract is awarded, and this department is required to make public all cost estimates prepared by the department for comparing bids at the times the bids are open. Page 11, this s the language from House Bill 963, let's adjust the unpaved roads funding expenditure, 50% for paving unpaved secondary roads are extended based on the same state wide paradization/g the other 50% is allocated equally to the 14 highway divisions and extended still on that same state wide paradization/g [BLANK_AUDIO] >> I have a question >> Representative [INAUDIBLE] You said page 11 it was Was related to fourth bill number. >> Page 11 with House Bill 963. >> 63? >> Yes sir. [INAUDIBLE] The bill was reported at house elect committee and I think representative McNeill was the primary sponsor. >> Mr. Chairman, do you want us to drive the asked questions as we complete. A question on page 11, can you sort of explain how the money flows equally among the 14 divisions but it's still based on statewide privatization. I'm having trouble reconcile the two families. >> In the Cameren/g Sisco research right now their is this statewide privatization. Prior to the 2012 change to that, it was a county process and division process. So their is still a A ranking for every division and county based on their priority needs. So they would still follow their division prioritization process for those funds. As opposed to statewide, it would be a 50% would be based on it, division prioritization process. >> And also just to representative McNeill made a very good point in the select committee during the interim that it was difficult to see how unpaved roads, one in the western part of the state or the eastern part of the state or the central could show a statewide priority over another one in another area. So just by the nature of what they are. So what this does is still allows that statewide priority for 50% and then it make sure that everybody is getting a little bit of improvement across the state. But within that 50% And locally, they still have to follow the prioritization formula. >> Thank you. >> Representative Bumgardner. >> So going back to the same thing, where is the prioritization for the road that get paved? Who does the prioritization? >> The department of transportation has the formula that is approved through the department. >> So the department of transportation is doing the prioritization of these roads? Not local MPO's or not >> Correct. Within a standardized formula yes sir. >> Follow up. Where could we find the standardized formula? >> Be happy to ask the department of transportation to ensure that you have that. I'll also ask fiscal research to stand out the material that was prepared during this processing regards to the map and the way that it's formulated and have that forward on to as well. >> I'm sure they have a way of prioritizing and making the list, I'd be curious to see what it is because I had conversations with them and so I know this is a real issue and the way we are doing this is we're splitting half the money equally among all the divisions and some divisions have a lot of secondary roads, some not so much. >> And I think you'll find once, we should have had that material prepared for you and I apologize for that, I think you'll find that those that are behind it are getting the largest of the funds and a much smaller amount will actually be hitting some of the other divisions.Chairman Torbit, did you have a comment?Okay.

Anything thing else representative Pam Gardner? [BLANK_AUDIO] Continuing on page 12, this provision allows DOT to use up the $10 million of funds on the secondary road made not some improvement fund on cost associated with removing liter from alongside state maintained roads. Page 13, this provision requires joint study between the department of transportation and department of public safety for how to increase of highway parking for tractor trailers and semi trailers and including the feasibility in cost of converting abandoned highway race stops. [BLANK-AUDIO] Page 14, this provision clarifies the DOT may perform certain work on improving all hearts that are funded from the bridge program, currently it seems a little bit my fault subject to the outsourcing requirement this will clarify that it doesn't. Page 15, this provision requires DOT to provide a report to the appropriation chairs on transportation on recommendation through revising the method from measuring the outsourcing of pre-construction activities, this comes off of a studying review that was required in the last session's budget. [BLANK-AUDIO]. Page 16, believe we are playing with just from house bill of 988, it repeals is $500,000 cap on FTI funds for light rail page 17, this provision repeals the sunset on a late free assessed for a late motor vehicle registration and the funds are used currently on driver education. [BLANK-AUDIO]. Page 18 this provision authorizes DMV to use 2.9 million in recurring funds for contractual driver's license examiner staffing. [BLANK-AUDIO]. Page 19, this provision makes prominent 45 remaining time limited provisions created sport, the tag and tag system that specifies that these positions may be cross trained to be used for other purposes of the sermon by the commissioner. Page 20 allows certain transit providers receive permanent registration from the DMV. >> Thank you sir. Any questions comments, concerns from the committee. Representative [INAUDIBLE AUDIO] chairman [INAUDIBLE AUDIO]. >> Just to comment on the page 18 contractual drivers licence examiners [INAUDIBLE] Governors budget you see this is reduction based on nine months verses a four year assuming that the wrapping up of these will take about three months so that's the main deference their. It's not a reduction by margin it's just delay in implementation. Here this is also as a result of lot of work by the commissioner and his people to help the customer friendly part of DMV to fill in with contractual people where you have like overtime extend the hours include the part of Saturday I don't remember the hours but there is a lot of hard work going into this simple little provision here on the DMV side here just want to clarify some of that. >> Representative Martin. Thank you Mr.chair thank you a question on page eight I think the question is probably from the department but I will differ to your judgement there. I think the department requested this provision which increases the threshold at which the project needs to be put out to certain kinds of bids raising it from two and half million to five million. So it seems to me that that sort of thing could help promote efficiency and timeliness, deliver your projects but anytime you do this of course you have to be concerned that the public interest are being served that we are getting the best price for the public through a competitive bidding process. So I would just like perhaps if you could ask the department to comment on how they are protecting the public interest and raising the threshold. >> Absolutely. Mike Holder with the department of transportation transportation. [BLANK-AUDIO] [INAUDIBLE] advice that allows we go through the same robust procedures that they do here in [INAUDIBLE] related to acceptance

bids that they set time, reveal deeds just like we do, they o here in [INAUDIBLE] and we use exactly the same procedures is actually the same protocols, we go through the established goals for the DBE problem with those projects and we also go though good faith reviews the contractors submit to us. So the [INAUDIBLE] $5 million is an ambitious measure for us because many of our road servicing contracts now receive $2.5 million and it helps us to get that workout to the contractors and deliver it to the public on timely manner, also as we get through and implement our restructure, there;s really more projects that the division needs in regional level that will be a bad dollar amount and allow our divisions to deliver those projects and are given in the hands of contractors to build and more efficient and effective manner. >> If I can put you back and then see if it provides any more clarification for you, over the past year you know we've done a significant investment into resurfacing and bringing our roads to up to standard. And one of our issues is getting ramped up to be able to handle the capacity of the new funds, and this is one of those measures that will make sure that we can get it moving. Cuz the other side is losing opportunity, creating an opportunity risk of not putting it on the ground right now and having prices go up as we move forward.First senator Martin? >>Thank you sir.So I'm I right in reading this that now for projects 5 million or less they still have to get informal fees, or they don't have to go to the more structured , formal betting process? >> [INAUDIBLE] Chief Engineer, that's correct Representative [INAUDIBLE] they will go through, it's quoted as an informal process for the purposes of the statute but in essence it's a very formal process at the division, that they go through. The [INAUDIBLE] policy require procedure in development of the contracts,the arrangement of contracts and the reward subsequent posting of the bid results, and [INAUDIBLE] estimates. >> Thank you. >> Emma Cameron, fiscal research. >> Based on Representative [INAUDIBLE] request I've emailed you all three items, first is a presentation given by BP to the house-like committee on strategic transportation planning that contains the formula on page 16 of that presentation, I've sent you a map by county that shows the number of unpaved roads around the state and then I've sent you data that shows the distribution change, to show where the funds will be dispersed around the state based on this provision for the next three years verses existing law. So that is in your email and is also online. >> Representative Bumgarder/g. >> Thank you for that miss Conrad. I had a question back on the increasing the bid threshold and my question is how long has it been 2.5 million when was that number set and what was it before that. Are we not increasing the bid threshold because of the increase in cost namely. When was it set at 2.5 million? >> Does anybody know? >> That's CDOT and research [INAUDIBLE] is looking for the [INAUDIBLE] so a long time was what we had, Mr. Holder do you have an answer to that now? >> [INAUDIBLE] two and a half million for at least since 99. And so that's many years of course. We went back and looked at pool data from our historical average of research and contracts that we've put together. It led us to division level versus what has to go to rally for the more formalized bidding process. And our largest contract was 7 million over 5 years. Most of our contracts averaged about 3 and a half to 4 million. So instead of having to go through the rigor of the review and rally and send it to the formal bid process, we thought it more extraditious to allow us more flexibility at division level, to put that work

together since [INAUDIBLE] most of our larger division contracts where we have to send the [INAUDIBLE] are little less than $5 million, and allow us to be more efficient in extradition at the division about to get the walk out to the comeback. >> Thank you Mr. [INAUDIBLE AUDIO] any other question, comments or concerns from the committee. >> Since you've comment that I would hold off until questions are answered. >> Representative Martin. >> Great. All right so a couple of things as I look through this budget and in conversations with the chairs this is the short session so it's not the time for let's say for sweeping changes that's more of a long session thing and so this is not a budget that gets us to where North Carolina needs to be and the same could be exact set off. Might be short session budget that I turned out when I chaired this committee to. In the long session the chair of these committee made a really solid effort to move us towards where we need to be. We ended up not yet getting their. Again commend the chairs for really making serious big boy and girl attempts to address our state transportation problem. Again better in anything I tried to do when I was a chair. And so look forward to working with you all not you. >> [LAUGH] >> You won't be looking forward to working with me anyway, Representative martin. >> That's a really really heavy list. it's something that we all need to work on together and so I'm committed to doing that, that said there is a couple of really good news items in this budget if we are going to get there as a state it's going to be through a recognition continued recognition that [INAUDIBLE] as transportation appropriators to take if not what does this do for my district, my part of the state, this is the issue of towing for ferries is a great issue there is good arguments on both sides, I've probably voted for both sides at various times in this committee but the point is that there is no necessarily perfect writing but it's a matter of what accommodation we can get to, I'm not going to be able to [INAUDIBLE] I'm not coming to see you after you retire- >> You are more than welcome to [INAUDIBLE] like to come out and see us. >> I'm not going to be on this ferries, it's my constituents maybe maybe not but it's part of my state and it's a huge economic importance to my state so I'm really happy to support something that benefits the ferries. Repealing the light rail cart doesn't immediately help my district but it helps districts like minded and districts adjacent to mine and you all put that in here even though it doesn't directly benefit those districts so the point is when I see a budget that has two provisions like that it shows that we got the right sense of coming together as a state but I think we'll service well as we address the big boy and general issues that we've got to address for a transportation infrastructure roads, rail, ferries, aviation, everything yeah I'm too late to get that invite but and I do not [INAUDIBLE] >> [LAUGH] >> I think that's out of order. >> [LAUGH] >> Let's see just a couple of just small concerns that I think I still do have on page 11 of the special provision, what we've got there is moving away from the state wild party and going into this equal division amongst the highway division and you understand the reasons for that and it's the age long battle in North Carolina on how do we make the best prior to use our fonts but still acknowledging that no way gets left behind. I'm not comfortable that this is the best solution, it is what it is and so I wanted to put it out there that I think that we're looking to take step away from just pure state wide prioritization, for what's that worth. There's nothing directly in this budget that I see that advance to something that I'm deeply concerned about, that the department is doing which I think is rushing to far forward in privatization, I remain unconvinced that a lot of the jobs we're looking to go to the private sector could better performed, more efficiently performed via state employees and I'm gonna continue to look at that issue. The only thing I see in here that really talks about that is on page 15 of the special provisions and that's just, as I look at it you know reporting requirement. So I ask the department as they move forward, looking at that outsourcing and any other outsourcing they are planning on doing to really show their math, and they're gonna have to make, at least to me a pretty persuasive case that a state employee in the state has paid to train, to hire and to train and to get experience can't

do the job in a way that provides a better return investment for the tax payers. That's all I've got to say Mr. Chair, and then whenever you deem it appropriate, be recognized for a motion. >> Thank you Representative Martin. Are there any other questions, comments or concerns from the committee? Mr. [UNKNOWN] >> [UNKNOWN] Representative [UNKNOWN] has a question. In 2002 $800,000 that moved to 1.2 million in 2002. And then 2013 it was raised to 2.5 million. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> We have a visiting representative here. Representative Hunter/g is there any questions or concerns you'd like to- >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Okay. We appreciate you being here, and your interest in the committee. Representative Bob Gunner. >> Are we going too? Are we gonna vote on this now? >> My next question was going to be if anyone had any amendments, that they wanted to prepare,if they did then we would recess and come back.Otherwise we would look for a vote on it with the thought that we will be in appropriations to again the same material on Tuesday where again there will be the availability to make amendments at that time as well. >> A tax in full appropriation is not in here. >> That is correct. >> Can we take a recess for a short while? >> Absolutely. 30 minutes? 45? Hour? What would you like to say Representative Bomgar? 30 minutes? >> Yes. >> The committee will stand in recess until [INAUDIBLE] 9.45.