The House will come back to order. Representative Whitmire, the Chair understands the gentleman wishes to be recorded as having voted, “Aye,” on the McManus amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Affirmative, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman may be recorded as voting, “Aye.” [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Richardson, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, I would like to… [SPEAKER CHANGES] The House will come to order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don’t think my vote got tallied the last time. I would like to be registered as voting, “No,” on the last minute… [SPEAKER CHANGES] On the motion to table? [SPEAKER CHANGES] On the motion to table, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady will be recorded as voting, “No.” Representative Arp, the Chair understands the gentleman wishes to change his vote to having voted, “Aye,” on the Wells amendment? Be recorded. Ladies and gentlemen, we have three amendments in possession of the Clerk not including the fourth amendment that Representative Turner…Representative Turner, is the lady working to try and get a fiscal note for the purposes of considering the amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes we are. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Then that amendment is still in possession of the Clerk. We will wait to see if we can take that up. It may have to be taken up after we begin the debate on the bill. The next amendment that we’re going to take up is the amendment from Representative Starnes, AMK-30. But ladies and gentlemen, before we do that, if the House will come to order. Representative Dollar had an amendment that was in process that the staff was working on. The Chair understands it’s not a controversial amendment, it is something that Representative Dollar requires just for an update to the bill. But I told my Senior Chair I’m holding him up to the same rule I’ve held all other members up to and that we would not consider the amendment without leave of the House. Is there objection to considering the amendment? Representative Dollar’s amendment which is ALU-20 will be considered. That leaves three amendments plus Representative Turner’s. Representative Dollar’s amendment, ALU-20, will follow Representative Starnes. Representative Starnes is recognized to send amendment AMK-30 forward. The Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Amendment AMK-30, Representative Starnes moves to amend the bill on page 87, lines 12 through 29 by deleting the lines and substituting the following. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, this amendment is technical in nature. It just clarifies how audits at the community colleges are conducted and I urge your approval. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate? If not the question before the House is the passage of the amendment sent forth by Representative Starnes to the House Committee substitute for Senate Bill 402. All in favor vote, “Aye.” All opposed vote, “No.” The Clerk will open the vote. The Clerk will let the machine record the vote. 110 having voted in the affirmative, one in the negative, the amendment passes. After Representative Dollar’s bill is disposed of the last amendment we have is ALE-33 from Representative Hanes. Representative Dollar is recognized to send forth ALU-20, the Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Amendment ALU-20, Representative Dollar moves to amend the bill on page 28, line 48 by inserting a new section to read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. All this amendment does is provide funds necessary, $145,000, in the reserve should House bill 392 pass. We have reserves for bills that are pending in the legislative process. This is one that was just overlooked to have that reserve and that’s all that we’re doing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Glazier, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Representative Dollar would yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker, thank you Representative and I apologize, it’s late and I’m just trying to figure out what 392 was. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 392 was shared arrest Warrant Status, Public Assistance. I think it’s in the Senate now. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The question before the House is the passage of the amendment sent forth by Representative Dollar to the House Committee substitute to Senate Bill 402. All in favor vote, “Aye.” All opposed vote, “No.” The Clerk will open the vote. The Clerk will let the machine record the vote. 110 having voted in the affirmative and…
...not in the negative the Amendment passes. The final Amendment before we begin debate. Representative Hanes is recognized as sending forth Amendment ALE-33, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Amendment ALE-33. Representative Hanes moves to amend the Bill on page 62, line 13 through page 67, line 47 by deleting the lines and substituting the following. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the Amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. What this Amendment will do is remove opportunity scholarships from the budget and ultimately assign funds to the teachers, assistants allotment. Ladies and gentlemen you all know that I am a principal sponsor on HB944, and so the announcement that HB944 had been placed into the House Budget created a huge dilemna for me and education advocates across the state. Not everyone in this Chamber had had the opportunity to hear debate on a standalone bill, fully vetted on the house floor. While I remain a passionate advocate of all of our children's Constitutional Rights to an equal education, equal opportunity, a sound and basic education-- that passion must be balanced with the right to open debate and for our Bills to rise and fall upon their own merit. As a matter of principle I believe in choice for economically disadvantaged students. I ran for the seat as a choice advocate and I stand by that. The decision to place 944 in the budget, however, ensures that there will be no further debate on this important issue and I cannot support that decision. I would ask that you support the Amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Guilford, Representative Brandon... [SPEAKER CHANGES] ...to debate the Amendment please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the Amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Although I agree with my colleague Representative Hanes in principle that the Bill should be debated I think we've had a lot of debate about this issue. There's a lot of issues within the Budget that we have to deal with this way. So it's not enough for me to be able to take it out of the Bill simply because of the needs of our community which are great, for a technicality. We have a number of children that need, deserve this opportunity and I urge that you continue to support dignity, justice, equal opportunity and equal access for children all across this state and go against the Amendment. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Mecklenburg, Representative Bryan... [SPEAKER CHANGES] ...to speak on the Amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the Amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr Speaker. Just first obviously we have had a good bipartisan Bill and I will respectfully disagree with my cosponsor Representative Hanes in speaking against his Amendment. We have had a very full debate. In fact about 90 of us sat and debated yesterday in full appropriations. This is after a full debate in our House education policy with public folks speaking, two separate meetings, and we also debated in ED appropriations and we will debate here again. So I think we have had a full and fair debate, and to my other cosponsor Representative Brandon's point, this is about providing opportunities for students. Let me say a couple things to reiterate some points that were made yesterday. I said three things that I will reiterate again. This program saves money, having opportunity scholarships will save the state money, it improves public schools and most importantly it improves student outcomes which is what we should be about. I want to address one point about public schools. You keep hearing concerns from folks in public schools worried about what's going to happen. I want to share two brief quotes or stories. One is from a superintendent down in Florida and I have referenced this previously. Florida has run a great program, it's been in existence for ten years. I'm going to read to you from a superintendent in Jacksonville of schools. So despite all the concern about what will happen to schools this is what she said. "I support choice because I think parents..."
The options. Especially those that don't have the financial means to go to a private school. I just don't believe that anyone should tell a parent where they should send their child to school. I'm vehemently opposed to limiting options, especially to parents whose children are in lower performing schools, or whose parents don't have the financial means to have the same flexibility that a parent would have of means. And that's historically what's happened in our public education system. In Florida, you will hear story after story of folks that previously did not support this bill, or that previously did not support choice that now do. And in fact we had a school choice day here, one of the speakers was a former chair of the head of the Democratic Party in Florida in the Senate and he came and said hey, I voted against it the first time. And he's voted for it every time since. He's seen the benefit that it's been. With that, I will implore you, I will implore you to vote against the amendment. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Cumberland, Representative Glazier rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] First to see if Representative Bryan might yield for a question, maybe a second, and then to speak to the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentlemen from Mecklenberg yield to the gentleman from Cumberland? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. Thank you Representative. Representative, just so I'm clear before we debate, is it your intent and is it the provision which is essentially the bill goal to provide every student who receives a voucher with a sound, basic education? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. I think parents will make choices that give their children a sound, basic education. That's right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up, please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman yield to a second question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He does. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just again, I want to be clear. It is your intent though, that the tax payer money, the voucher money, be used to education children so that the schools that they attend provide a sound, basic education to every child. That uses the voucher. Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Parents will make choices that give their kids a sound, basic education. They will. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Last question, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman yield to a final question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He does. [SPEAKER CHANGES] How will we determine whether or not they are receiving a sound, basic education, at the schools where the voucher and the tax payer money are being used? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The parents do that. We have homeschools. We have loads of different things in the state. Loads of different opportunities for people. And the kids are provided a sound, basic education. We do have, we have testing measures which we already have in private schools, and we've increased the testing measures in this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak to the bill, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentlemen from Cumberland is recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm sorry Mr. Speaker. Thank you. I have debated this before and I'll try to keep my comments brief. I come to this from a different perspective than a lot of you. As a school board member for six years, I fought and our district created one of the first choice programs in the state. A governed choice program that created 52 different options in our school system. For a lot of the reasons that we've talked about. I also believe and signed on and voted for House Bill 269 this year, because I think that there are rare occasions in which our system doesn't provide what it needs to for extraordinary exceptionalities. And that is important. But I am opposed to this provision for a number of reasons that it's in the bill and why I am speaking to Representative Hanes' amendment. First, Representative Brandon, this is not a technicality. To have fundamentally alter and create effectively, a second system of education when we can't adequately fund the first, is a huge matter of policy. And I think deserved a separate up or down vote. I opposed the discussion years ago when I was in this body, that suggested that a lottery vote ought to be put in the budget, because I thought it deserved an up or down vote. Whether we agree or disagree with the procedure used on it is another matter. But it was an up or down vote. This is no different. And it deserved an independent analysis. Second, vouchers in this case are being used in the bill in a way very differently than the bill was filed. When this bill was filed,
It had a 300% as I recall, rate a poverty to look at for eligibility. Which just so you know would have meant that 65% of all children in the state would have had access to the voucher. It has been reduced to the 130% and that's not a bad thing, and I appreciate the efforts that did that. But the problem with that is multiple. 1 would this one say to the parents of the multiple kids who see their tax money being spent on the 130% voucher, and they're at 140%. And people would say well there has to be a cutoff. [Speaker change] Mr. Speaker. [Speaker change] For what purpose does the gentleman from Brunswick Representative Byler rise? [Speaker change] See if Representative Glazier would yield for a question. [Speaker change] Yes sir. [Speaker change] ?? of the question. He yields [Speaker change] Do I understand that if it was at 300% you'd vote for this? [Speaker change] No [Speaker change] For the, for the bill and against the amendment. [Speaker change] No Representative I wouldn’t, I was gonna get to why. What I'm suggesting in my argument is the problems that exist at the 130. Not that I would vote for the 300. I've been pretty clear that I'm opposed to the, to the voucher system as a whole. As an avocation of the public school system accepting those exception cases when, when there really has to be a choice because the public school is not providing the particularized service that's absolutely for the child, and can't otherwise do. But at the 130% we are creating an incredible division, and that's not what public educations supposed to be about. We are supposed to be about unifying, and to me at least this states commitment to universal free public education. It’s been an absolutely crucial element in the ability of generations of North Carolinians to improve their lives. And it is unlikely that this state would have ever emerged as a leader had it left the development of education to the whim and will of a free market. The market is a wonderful mechanism in my view, for the development of small and large enterprises, and it is extremely successful for the production and distribution of a wide range of high quality goods and services. But the market for all of its strengths is not the appropriate mechanism to supply services that should be distribute equally, to people in every neighborhood, in every city, and in every town, without regard to their ability to pay or their political power, or where they live. And the reality of course is when this voucher goes into effect if it does, it will have precisely the opposite effect. And many of our districts as Representative Whitmire eloquently has argued several times, there are no real private options, and so the options will be concentrated. And some children may, if they're able to cobble together the resources have that option. But the poor child in the rural county is not gonna have that option, and that to me is the antithesis of public education. And these are public dollars being spent for. If we were at 300% we have of course the opposite problem. Which is really where a lot of the proponents and not, this is not for Representative Brian ??, believe he's done an incredibly eloquent job, and articulate job on these. But we all know that if we were at that level the problem of course was the original fiscal note had 90 million or more. And we were opening up to exactly what those of us were concerned about would say, and that is we are truly trying to replace the system. And so you end up with both problems because you're trying to do something that was never intended for the delivery of public education. I am not at all someone opposed to reform, there are a whole lot of reforms we need to do. Those reforms involve time and attention, and love, teach, child. And they involve resources. And in this budget we are not providing, all though hopefully one day we may get to the point. But we are not providing a pay raise for teachers, we are not at all hitting into discretionary cut that's massively hurt the school systems. [Speaker change] Mr. Speaker. [Speaker change] For what. [Speaker change] I do not. [Speaker change] For what purpose does the gentleman from Guilford Rise. [Speaker change] To see if Representative Glazier will yield for a quick question. [Speaker change] Does the gentleman yield to a question for. [Speaker change] I do not yield to a question. [Speaker change] The gentleman does not yield to a question. The gentleman from Cumberland continues to have the floor to debate the amendment. [Speaker change] Thank you Mr. Speaker. And so where we are in this position, there may be a time and a place for limited movement, but it is not this year. I don't know how we can go out and say that we're establishing and funding a second system. Potentially to exponentially grow
and we all know thats likely where it's headed. and we can't fully fund the first one that 90 percent of our students are in. there are arguments to be made about the cost. But again i quote from representative whit mar the other day he is right, and those of us who have served on the school board know: that in the end this will cost a lot of money and you can put all the fiscal notes you want out, we know it costs state money the argument is of course that it saves some local money. kids don't come in need packages of 23, we are not going to be able to shift those costs unless the voucher is maximized and i mean maximized you don't ever have those saves so you are again stuck wit the problem that you are in effect doing a major cut to public schools . forget the issue of who we are leaving behind for get the issue of whether or not the private schools will accept these children with vouchers. choice does not mean they get to be accepted. there are a whole lot of kids that if i had the choice and i was in a private school based on their academic record or their disciplinary record or there i occupationally that i might not want to deal with or feel that my school could deal with. public schools don't have that choice we accept every child whether they are add or adhd or with arthritis or traumatic brain injury or academically gifted. and for me the ultimate deciding point on this is about public education public education has always been and maybe because I'm the first person in my family to graduate from college and maybe because it was instilled in me but it is the one place in our country that remains the place that we are united under one place under one set of values. and if we take that away and we create hundreds of different places we take away the one thing right now that seems to be binding us together at a time that we desperately need that. so my opposition and my reason for supporting representative Haines of madment, rests on four different grounds. and some. one, as a matter of policy this is so important it should be decided separately. seconds, where we are headed and i believe on this is to damage seriously urban particular urban education without providing rural kids any real portions. third, because in the end we don't have the money right now, to do what we should for public education we at least should have the decency to wait until we can adequately fund the kids in public school s before we try to establish a separate system here. and finally because I honestly don't believe that poor children utter they are urban or rural will be able to fix this by combing in resources in order to attend and use the voucher. thank you mr. speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] for what purpose does the person from Brunswick representative ioswer arise [SPEAKER CHANGES] oh I've change my mine mr speaker but see if the gentemlan would yield for a question [SPEAKER CHANGES] does the gentleman yield to a question from the gentleman from bronswick? [SPEAKER CHANGES] absolutely [SPEAKER CHANGES] he yeilds [SPEAKER CHANGES] pleasure I got here just in time to be in the minority and i have a question coming but i don't remember a pay raise the first budget of 09 10 either but fewer than ours that we had last budget. my question is is there single child in north Carolina that you can think of in my district, your district, representative whitmeires district that would not have a choice even if this passes or not and given the whole spectrum of choices, that will not have a free choice of a school if whether or not this passes? [SPEAKER CHANGES] let me just make sure i understand the question so i'm answering it" is there any district in which there would be no choice whatsoever. [SPEAKER CHANGES] that's correct a free choice no choice what so ever. including transportation and free breakfast [SPEAKER CHANGES] well obviously every has the option in public school with transportation and lunch, you're asking about the choice. my view is and i haven't passed all 100 counties. i suspect that every county has at least an option somewhere and i don't know that to be true but i suspect that there is at least if not in that county in the adjoining county but there is a wide difference between having a choice to go somewhere and having a quality choice. and if you look at the florida experience with all due respect to representative Bryantt. it is entirely a mixed bag there are some parts of floridly whereat he voucher may be used at this point moderately successful
Although not many in my view. But there are plenty of places in Florida where those choices are really bad and where the data is really bad as well, and if you look at Milwaukee and Racine, which have the largest experience with this, you’ll see that three weeks ago the test scores came out from both districts, and both of those test scores showed that the voucher kids performed statistically substantially below their counterparts in the public school system. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Cumberland yield for a second question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Certainly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I certainly don’t want a debate because I’m not a trial attorney and I have high regard for your skills. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And I’m not a trial attorney anymore either, Representative. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Pardon my… That’s how much I know about ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman wish to ask an additional question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] does the gentleman yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Certainly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So you will admit, good, bad or indifferent, that since each county has at least one LEA, then you’ll admit there is a free choice available to every child somewhere in North Carolina whether or not this passes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Certainly I agree that there is a public school system in every county in North Carolina. Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Lee, Representative Stone rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell you first of all I appreciate the bill sponsors for original intent of the bill, and I want to tell you in Lee County we have several great schools that are public schools. For the record I have two children both going to public education. My daughter goes and my son goes to a school called Tramway Elementary. It’s extremely popular. The parents are involved in all five grades – extremely involved, and so when I ask the teachers what makes the parents do so much – they really are at this one school, and then I hear this discussion and it takes me back to 2010, I’m in a rural community and we’re having debates – school board debates and Nancy House debates – and a lady stands up and she asks the school board members, she said “I have talked to the superintendent, I have talked to the principals, I’ve talked to the teachers, I’ve talked to everyone I can talk to, but I can’t get anyone to help me with that choice of my child, the problem I have,” and it was education. She was very sincere, her trying to solve a problem. No one there could answer her question, so my question is if that was my child or your child, we’d move that kid. Everyone in this room has the funds available to move your child tomorrow if you have one, or your grandchild. It wouldn’t be a debate, wouldn’t be a question. We ask parents to get involved and then when we have a pool parent get involved, you disenfranchise them. You don’t give them an opportunity. You don’t let a pool parent make a decision about how to help their whole child’s future because you’re worried about the public education. I told you, I have two children in public education. I’m very concerned about public education, but I want to empower the parent. Let them make a choice on what’s best for their child when no one else listens, and in some of these rural communities, it happens a lot more than you know. Now we’re fortunate we have great schools, but at the end of the day, let the parents make a decision. This bill effects no one except the pool parents who we continue not to listen to. We’ve got good employees and bad employees in every industry in the state of North Carolina. Do not think that one government entity’s going to be exempt from that. So I ask you to vote no against this amendment and help empower those parents to make a decision on how and what’s best for their child in the future. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Rockingham, Representative Jones rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I cannot more strongly implore suggestion that this bill and that this issue has not been well debated and well vetted. It’s been through Appropriations, it’s been through Education – two of the largest committees. The vast majority of the members have already participated in this debate, but further than that, ladies and gentlemen, I would suggest that this is a core philosophical debate. How you feel about this particular issue really boils down to how you answer this question: Who is ultimately
?? responsible for the children. and should make basic decisions about how and where the children should be educated. is it the parents? or is it the state? now during the course of this debate and with some of my conversations with some of the opponents of school choose if you will i've heard comments like "well come parents make poor decisions." We've heard that we're concerned that some of these private schools if you will are not accountable enough to us and won't talk about who us is. But even on a floor today we've heard the statement "well how will we determine that the children are getting a sound basic education?" and ladies and gentlemen i ask who are we, are we talking about the general assembly the department of general construction or the parents? It's already been well said that the parents who make the decision that is best for their children and I would suggest in those very very rare instances where there is abuse and neglect that we have social services in tact; there are laws to protect those children. another statement we heard in committee, one of the committees that debated this bio l said that you are elected to represent the public schools. Ladies and gentlemen i was elected to represent people, every child every parent every family we should support them all whether their parents choose to send them to private schools public schools charter schools home school those are the people that we were elected to represent. education is about a life often a child. not a system. I think that many on the left for a long time conveniently neglected this truth if you will. I want to speak for a moment I've been listening to the course of this debate and throughout the whole process i keep hearing about vouchers. i had a little delegate with someone who came with my office who was against school choose and we talk d about that and they admitted this is not about vouchers but that's our word for it. well ladies and gentlemen i would suggest that words mean things. in case you're not aware of it a voucher is a piece of paper that entitles the holder to a discount. or it may be exchanged for goods or services it's like a coupon if you will. you might have a coupon or voucher that entitles you to go do down to the local McDonnalds and get a free cone of ice seam or something. why is that important what different does that make? well i should suggest that it make all the distance in the worlds because it makes a very important assumption because if someone issues a voucher or a coupon if you will then it suggests that they have the right the authority to do that. in other words we are telling the parents if you will when we talk about vouchers, that the state has the right to determine your childs' education. that if you somehow receive a voucher from the government that you can take that government and then you can make the choice that you want to make but not unless you do. and i suggest that if you will my friends that we not continue to let the left control the narrative if you will. control this debate, this is not about vouchers [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister speaker [SPEAKER CHANGES] What purpose does the person from Virginia [SPEAKER CHANGES] does the [SPEAKER CHANGES] I will gladly yield to my friend when i complete my remarks [SPEAKER CHANGES] he does not yield at this time [SPEAKER CHANGES] than you [SPEAKER CHANGES] continues to have the floor [SPEAKER CHANGES] so i would suggest ladies and gentlemen that we don't need to bow to the assumption that the vogvnermment needs to tell mom and dad yes we think you might have the right to decide and we will decide when that is and where that is. [SPEAKER CHANGES] mr speaker [SPEAKER CHANGES] what purpose does the gentlemen from rise [SPEAKER CHANGES] point of order [SPEAKER CHANGES] the gentleman may state his point of order [SPEAKER CHANGES] is he speaking on the amendment or is he talking on the bill [SPEAKER CHANGES] it is the opinion of the char that the gentleman is properly debating the amendment the g from rockemnanham continues to have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] thank you and i will just conclude my remarks by saying this: i represent citizens not bass els, not surfs, not subjects, but citizens with god given rights. including the life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I would add that our state constitution adds this phrase, “The enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor.” We don’t hear that one very much. I think that the parents and the teachers and the students of this state are tired of being used as pawns in political games. And I think that parents ought to have, be able to exercise their God given right. It shouldn’t depend on their income. It shouldn’t depend on their zip code. I think we ought to have the wherewithal to stand up here today and tell the citizens of North Carolina that we represent, that we respect their God given rights to do that. That we’re going to stand for them. And we’re going to stand for these Opportunity Scholarships and quit talking about vouchers. Because they don’t need the government’s permission, or they should not need the government’s permission to decide what is best for their children. And with that, Mr. Speaker, I will conclude my remarks, and I will be glad to yield any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose is the gentleman from Richmond rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I ask my question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields to the gentleman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You said earlier that you thought parents should be able to make the decision if their children go to public schools, charter schools, private schools, home schools. What about no school? Do you think parents should be able to make that decision for their children? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think that a parent ought to be able to decide what is the proper education for their children. Now… [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If I could finish my answer. I think that we have laws on the book as far as drop out rate, drop out whatever, what you might define as school. I think that every child should be educated. And I think that the Constitution of the state of North Carolina makes it very clear that everyone has the right to the privilege of an education. No one here wants to deny that right. No one here wants to deny that privilege. But for anybody to make the argument that passing a bill such as this, or an amendment such as being debated here, Opportunity Scholarships is somehow denying that right to anyone, I can’t accept that argument. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Goodman wishes to propound an additional question. Representative Jones do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So you think if a parent made the decision that his children didn’t need any school that the state should be able to intervene and make a decision for that parent? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I will clarify my remarks once again. I believe that that state has determined that children up to a certain age are not allowed to drop out of school. As long as they are within that age, they are going to be receiving an education somewhere. Whether it’s traditional public schools, charter public schools, private schools, or home schools. I believe that the parents ought to have the right to make the determination of what is best for their child because one size doesn’t fit all, and it’s not the right of the state to tell the child, or child’s parents what is best for that child. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One more follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman yield to an additional question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So you agree there are limits to a parent’s decision to make, or a parent’s right to make decisions about education with their children? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Absolutely. And I think I made it very clear earlier that we have social services in this state. Nobody here is advocating that heir is no parent out there that is not somehow… We realize that there is abuse and neglect that takes place in this state. We have laws to protect children against that. Nobody is saying that every parent is perfect. But I am saying that I don’t have a right to tell you how to raise your children, and you don’t have a right to tell anybody else in here how to raise theirs. And I don’t think that the state has the right to determine that certain parents should not have an opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice. . [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the lady from Guilford, Representative Adams, rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, we need to support this amendment. I want to thank Representative Hanes for his courage first of all, since he had taken a position regarding the bill. But it’s unfortunate that we are really debating the bill here. We’re doing that because when the bill was in committee it came, it went straight to the folks to put in the budget. And we should have had it here. That’s a part of the process. To debate it. And it wasn’t right for it to happen that way. So now we have to stand up and talk about it.
...if we feel strongly about it. But when we talk about what's fair, I have been involved with education and with public education and we do have choices. And I think parents should have choices. But I think the real question is whether or not the government should tell taxpayers that we should pay for those private choices that parents what to make. And I just believe if you, there's a cost that comes with that. So if you make that choice that is not afforded in public education, where the majority of the children will have to be served, then you should make the choice to pay the difference and to pay for that. So I still don't believe that with what we are not doing in terms of supporting our public schools, we don't have enough money to provide what's needed there and for us to take dollars away from public education and to give it to parents for private schools is wrong. But I think when we talk about these children who are disadvantage and who need opportunities, all children need opportunities. But I still will tell you that you're not going to get those opportunities if the funding, the differences that you will need in terms of the funding, is not available to you. So you really don't have the opportunity if you are at the poorest end of the ladder. So perhaps some folks a little bit above that can pay and that's probably who's going to really get these opportunities. So yeah, we have a lot of God given rights and I think some of those costs money and that's what we're talking about right now and who should pay. And the public taxpayer should not pay for private schools. That's not what we're here to do and that's not what we should do. So again, I want to thank Representative Hanes for this amendment. It is a good amendment because we didn't do the right thing in bringing this bill and putting this bill into this budget. So I'm going to support the amendment and I hope you will, as well. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Guilford, Representative Brandon rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak a second time on the amendment, please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just wanted to say that, I just want the people to understand a couple of points about this bill because I keep hearing a lot of false arguments about it. And what I really want everybody to know that this boils down to one issue. If you can look at a parent in the face and understand that this mother comes and tells you, "Yes, I understand that my child has three F's on their report card, they have been suspended twice from this school. And it's clearly not working out for me." And if you can look that parent in the face and say because you live in that zip code therefore I understand your child is going to become a statistic, and I understand your child might go to jail because of that. But because you live in that zip code, you have to go to that school. And if anybody in the world believes that is constitutional, number one, I will challenge you on that. If any of my colleagues want to believe that that's a progressive thing, I will challenge you on that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do not yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Cumberland, Representative Floyd arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm not asking the gentleman to yield, I just want him to speak on the amendment, not the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is not propounding any question. I assume the gentleman is trying to rise to a point of order. The Chair would rule that the gentleman is properly debating the amendment at this time. The gentleman from Guilford, Representative Brandon, continues to have the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. This is really, all this is about is really, simply about giving someone the dignity and the respect and the honor to make sure that they do the best that they can do for their child. And we have a lot of other arguments to talk about. Well, this might not help everybody. Can someone in this body tell me when we ever make a bill that helps 100% of the people? We have IB programs, International Baccalaureate programs. That does not help 100% of the people. Should we take that out? We have magnet schools. That does not help 100% of the people. Should we take that out? Of course not. There will never be a bill that helps 100% of the people which is...
Why this bill is so important, what we have to do is look at things differently and create the space and the opportunity so people can have more choices. This is not something that all folks will choose but it does give the opportunity for that parent that wants to choose that to be able to do that and whenever you have people on one side of the track that is able to make that decision. See, if it was the other person example that I gave you, if it was another person that lives across town, not one that lives in my district, who has the money, and if their child that gets suspended from school and if it's not working out for them, then they can simply go make another choice and put their kid in a private school, and guess what? They get to go to a college and they get to be a productive citizen in society. That does not happen in my community. And for anybody to believe that is a justice conversation, I will challenge you on that, because it's not. Not even close. This is a matter of fairness. If some people get to do it, why do not the people in my community get to do it. And I'm tired of people telling me what we can do. I remember two years ago, and there was the charter school debate and it was like 'there's no way that's going to be able to happen'. The poor folks are not going to be able to take advantage of it. That's what I heard, but I will let you know that we have a charter school in my community that we started last year. Ninety-eight percent of them are free and reduced lunch. Ninety-one percent of them have passed the benchmarks. One-hundred percent of them received transportation and food. We did everything everybody said we could not do, and we can continue to do that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brandon the gentleman will suspend, for what purpose does the gentleman... [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of order Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman may state his point of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker I am confused on reading amendment, and I'm listening at Representative Brandon. Could we stay on the amendment please Mr. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Gentleman, the Chair accepts the Gentleman's point however the Chair has tried to give both side wide latitude and debate beginning with Representative Glazier and through all sides given the nature of the issue. That being said the chair would ask the gentleman to confine his remarks to the issue at hand as well as the subsequent speakers. The gentleman from Guilford has about approximately one minute left. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was just wanting to make sure that everybody understood with the charter school bill we had the exact same arguments as we had here today, and that there's nothing different I just wanted to be clear, that we have a program in Charlotte, we have a program in Greensboro. We have private schools in Greensboro, all across the state, they have been doing this for years so please stop saying that people don't have access and people in my community won't be able to do it. My community can do whatever we want to do, we may be poor but we are not stupid. And we have been able to stretch a dollar further than anybody that I know, for decades. So please, please vote against the amendment. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Mecklenburg, the other representative of Moore arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the amendment Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You know, I appreciate the passion of every speaker that has spoke on this amendment for the last forty five minutes. But I have to rise, it's very rare that I rise to talk about education issues. But I want to make some clarity, I heard Representative Jones talk about choice. Representative Jones, I believe in choice as well. I heard Representative Stone talk about his two children and what he would do if he had the opportunity, if it was different. This amendment, does not threaten any of those things. What it does, is say that this is a major policy decision that we're making and it's not effectively killing the debate on 944 it's actually just taking it out, and putting it as a stand alone bill so the House, the Body can debate it in a judicious way and decide whether it stands on its own merits, or that it dies on this floor. That's the only thing that this amendment does. So if you talk about choice, if you talk about free speech, this is the proper way to debate it, not hide it in the budget, you put it on the floor and let it stand for itself.
because this issue is too critical to the children of North Carolina, no matter what side you that may be on, to had it in the budget. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Mecklenburg, Representative Alexander, rise?[SPEAKER CHANGES]Speak of the Amendment [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman has the floor to debate the Amendment.[SPEAKER CHANGES] Lady Speaker, ladies and gentlemen, it's been a long time since I been so confused. This morning I joined with some of you in the Finance Committee, and I heard a discussion about why it was impermissible for citizens now to check off $3.00 on their tax return and have that money to go to the political party of their choice. And the argument, if I understood it correctly, ultimately, was that was somehow an impermissible way to select windows and louvers. There were a bunch of political parties out there and not all of them were being able to be benefited from that system, and so that system has to go. Well, a few hours later I came in here and the principles that I thought I had heard my esteemed colleagues from across the Rubicon talk about this morning, seems to have been turned on their head because all of a sudden it's okay to take public money and give it to private citizens when this morning we were taking public, you know, private citizens were checking off some of their tax money and saying that that money should go to a particular political connection. Well, now, by this evening we have now flipped. And we've flipped in such a way that I'm just being, I don't quite get it, and maybe some of you all can give this poor urban waif some direction. You see, the last time I looked these vouchers or these opportunity scholarships, or these transfers of tax money, whatever you want to call them, did not rise to the point that all of this choice that I've heard people talk about can be afforded. See, if you have a tuition somewhere that's up at this level, and you've got some transfer of public money that's down at this level. there's a gap, and if you don't have resources to bridge that gap, you still don't have choice. You got rhetoric. You got a hunting license but you don't really have a choice. And then, I don't know, you know, again, I'm simple. It's hard for me to figure out how we can even contemplate this when we can't afford to deal with the traditional public schools. We can't afford to give teachers raises. We can't afford to supply teaching assistants. We got a judge in one of these buildings somewhere around here that's told us there's a disparity between the amount of money some counties have for traditional public education and the amount of money that other counties have. And the judge, as I recall, had said that we're supposed to be putting money out there to make sure that there is a basic level for all students. Well, if we're supposed to be funding that, and we don't have money for these other things, how in the name of Jehovah can we afford to put, what is it, 4,265, well, whatever it is, where's the money coming from? Somebody got a printing press down in the basement here or something? I mean, I don't get it. And because I don't get it, I don't think the citizens of North Carolina gonna get it. I don't think most of the people in here when they stop, you know, with the rhetoric and what-not will get it. And I think that it's important that this amendment pass so we get this mess out of the budget.
get this out of our budget and try to focus on their educational opportunity with supposedly given to young people in his the citizens in the state I am confused and and identifying guidance from Abraham Lincoln [SPEAKER CHANGES]Mr. Speaker what was the purpose of the the gentleman from new Brunswick represent about arise to measurement of your for some of those the gentleman from ?? yield to a question from the gentleman from New Brunswick [SPEAKER CHANGES]most certainly[SPEAKER CHANGES] he yields thank you maybe there is confusion a little bit and simple question and there is some question but would it be helpful if we felt that the public money was ultimately came from the citizens from taxpayers will that clear up some of the underlying confustion because that's what I think I see from the beginning this was coming from the test be as any objection to the taxpayers from some certain directions as it is coming from the same day as inadequate to do what advice is don't do it is permissible sundown at the thought of this confuses me we as you don't is convinced we should vote green on the the rest of this wonderful document is the arise with [SPEAKER CHANGES]?? different from an ?? ?? is the gentleman from ?? ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES]to a question from the gentleman from Guilford [SPEAKER CHANGES]most certainly [SPEAKER CHANGES] [SPEAKER CHANGES] representative Alexander who have been here for quite a while correct[SPEAKER CHANGES] only since about the mid of 2008 [SPEAKER CHANGES] doe the gentleman wished second question yes all the gentleman yield yields[SPEAKER CHANGES] I hear your point on the funding and it really have a good point of my questioning as you enter the whole body when was the last time busy adequately funded public education and how to my friend and a follow-up question today how long do I to tell my community to wait to be actually to adequately fund public education[SPEAKER CHANGES] will affect your community by community of quite similar in my brief career in my you know I'm talking about schools that the last private schools that shift cans ?? Is out the website without adequately funded education in the state in which demonstrated its go to say that and is*doing Will leave that if we this set of scholarship operation as it is written into the budget vote green [SPEAKER CHANGES] what does the gentleman from fort ?? ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES]public education as I got a bunch of emails from the systems so we need to figure out a way to do it better is no question about it but this is limited to the speaker ?? What purpose does the gentleman from Unrepresented ?? ?? Mr. Speaker inquiry to the ?? Status inquiry Mr. Speaker you what she will do you communication to us that the remaining speaker maybe it's because I speak of the amendment at this like the asked to speak in criteria is it possible that your ?? Because speak on this work represent avoid if the chair were setting is vastly would probably be begging to call make a motion this point but he is not at this time that being said that I was all member all those members who are wishing to speak to the amendment but it does appear the amendment is a inception of limited ?? ??? Try to ?? To members to fully debate on both sides of the issue for purposes the gentleman from representative Steinberg [SPEAKER CHANGES] think there were ?? ?? On the amount of developmental ?? ?? Amendment some for ?? Here at 630 the couple of hours ago I got up and then spoke about
Public schools, rural public schools, and the need for us to continue to adequate, adequately fund those schools and this, this body voted overwhelmingly, I think it was a hundred and four to three or something like that, to do so. So I want to just preface my remarks as I speak to this amendment on the fact that I am someone who enthusiastically supports public schools. In my other life, I have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for public schools. I'm a book buddy, and, and I. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Duplin, Representative Dixon rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Inquire of the chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman may state his inquiry to the chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Speaker, if I do not participate in this debate, will my vote, whether it's green or red, still count as much as anybody else's vote? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It absolutely will, Representative Dixon. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, mister Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Chowan continues to have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don't even know if I understood what he did. What, what, what, can someone explain that to me, what Representative Dickson, are you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think, I think what the gentleman was saying was he's ready to vote. But the gentleman from Chowan continues to. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, there's still five in the queues, so I appreciate it. But anyway, what we've come down to with this debate on this particular issue is this. We've, we've kinda framed it, or some have framed it, as an either or, you're either for public education or you're against public education. And that seems to be the substance of this debate when in fact this is not an either or situation. There has been plenty of money that has been spent on public education in North Carolina over the last ten or twelve years, and I would like to refer folks back to the Leandro Case. Judge Howard Manning, I'm sure most of us here are familiar with, with that particular case when. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the, there's so many yellow lights, for what purpose does the lady from Surry, Representative Stevens rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Representative Steinburg would yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Chowan yield to the lady from Surry? [SPEAKER CHANGES] When I'm finished. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He does not yield at this time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. The problem with the, with his findings were that we had a number of public schools that were failing, I see the queue with thirty seven, thirty eight, thirty nine, I've only been up here for two minutes for Heaven's sake! The, my, my point is that there is, there is an, this is not an either or situation, that we have, we can do both, and we need to do both. Going back to the Manning decision, there are schools ten years later after that decision was rendered, ten years later, who are still, they're failing. Their reading grades are failing. And so do we continue just trotting down the same course that we've been trotting down, or do we try to do something different? This is, this is what this Opportunity Scholarship is all about. It's, you've heard it's a, you've heard it said that it's about creating choice. Well it is, and it's also about creating success, and it's about creating competition. And so for us, for this debate to continue, and I know mine won't very much longer, but for this debate to continue as an either or, I think is making a big mistake, I think we need to be thinking about the students, the opportunity that they will be given, some of them, to escape failing schools and failing school systems while at the same time we're trying to stabilize and in fact even improve our public school system, which is going to take a lot more to do than just money. So if that pleases the Speaker and pleases Representative Dixon and everyone else, I'll go ahead and sit down, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Cumberland, Representative Lucas rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mister Speaker. I realize that the hour is long, but I support the amendment, and I'm a little bit concerned because you've had a proponent who supported the bill, but it seems like now that many of those who were with him a few days ago have turned on him.
I don't understand that, but Ive heard time and time again that parents need choice, becuase it helps studdents. You know, and Im concerned about parents having choice and helping students and I think we all are. I heard representative brendan say that these students have been suspended, and he blames that on the school, I think hes missguided, he aught to blame that on the parent. Parents are responsible for childrens deportment, not the school. Now, I support these parents being able to help their children, but I also would submit to you that there is a residule of students, who have diliquent parents, you may not believe that. Ask any qualified educator and they will tell you, I can tell you some right here in this chamber, representative richardson, representative hollaway, representative cothom, representative rengan, representative whitmore, representative johnson, representative larry bell, representative charles graham, theyve been on the firing line, and they can tell you that they have in schools, what we call, local parentace. we are those childrens parents, because those parents have advocated their responsabilitites, now the parents your talking about have not advocated their responsibilities, they are there for the children, but what about those children who have those diliquent parents, whose advocating for them? tell me who, those dedicated and qualified social workers, those dedicated and qualified guidance counselors, those dedicated and qualified principles, those dedicated and qualified super intendants, and by the way, how many super intendants have asked for this voucher bill? I dont know of any, because they on the firing line, now if we are truly interested in giving children choices, look at those children whove come from, i mean decrepade circumstances, who had a gregat teacher. That local parentace teacher, and they will you, many successful folk will tell you, I was successful in life because I had a teacher who cared, my parents werent there for me, I had a teacher who cared. These students that you have attempted to help have parents, now if you really are interested in vouchers, you say you don't like that word, your interested in choice, than you ought to be terebly terribly interested in those students who have dilinquant parents, give scholarships to them, I rest my case, mrs. speaker Speaker changes what purpose does the gentleman from camberlane representative floyd rise Speaker changes Inquiry chair Speaker changes the gentleman may state his inquiry Speaker changes mr. speaker, I just want to ask a question maybe you can help me understand, is there anyone above you that can address the question that you would normably direct? Speaker changes representative floyd, there are many above me, but it does appear, that the queue is growing smaller, so hopefully it will continue that way, for what purpose does the gentlemen from craven, for what purpose does the gentlement from ash, representative jordan rise Speaker changes inquiry to the chair Speaker changes the gentleman may state his inquiry Speaker changes mr chairman, my inquiry is, is the person propounding an ammendment able to call the question representative floyd is discussing? Speaker changes The maker of the ammendment would be in order to do that Speaker changes thankyou mr chairman Speaker changes as well as the other designated individuals, for what purpose does the gentlemen from craven, representative specially rise Speaker changes i just had my light on in hopes that it would stop someone else from turning theirs on Speaker changes for what purpose does the gentlemen from wake, representative stan rise? Speaker changes to speak on the ammendment Speaker changes the gentleman has the floor to debate the ammendment, the house will come to order Speaker changes I'd like to make two points which have not been discussed yet today, and i would discourage representative hayes, from making a motion for the previous question because the speaker would like to speak, first representative adam says public tax payers should not pay for private schools
…but she’s been getting her salary from public taxpayers at her private schools for years. It’s called the legislative tuition grants, which go to [sic] students—North Carolina students—at Bennett College [inaudible] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ms. Speaker [SPEAKER CHANGES] …Augustine [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from [inaudible] Lewis rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Reluctantly to a point of order. I don’t believe the gentleman is speaking about the matter that’s before us. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Chair would—the Chair has tried to give wide latitude and would ask the Speaker Pro Tempore if he could bring his remarks a little closer into line with the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, I will, Mr. Speaker, the amendment deletes several pages of opportunity scholarships, which are attacked on the basis that they are use of taxpayer money for private choices. I pointed out, first of all, that this has not even been controversial, in this house for several years and we’ve been doing it for forty years of giving public tax money to students at private colleges in thirty—thirty-five private colleges in North Carolina. For about fifteen years, we’ve been doing it in pre-school; it’s called Smart Start. No objection from the left to using public tax dollars at private pre-schools. Second point…I put on your desk one of the arguments in favor of the amendment, and I oppose the amendment, is that we just don’t have enough money, we’re not funding the traditional public schools, we’re not giving pay raises. But the people who make that argument forget that when you divide in arithmetic, if the numerator changes but the denominator changes, the result can be that we’re spending more per pupil with the opportunity scholarships than without. Just a little bit, but when you include the local money, it’s quite a bit of—additional money per pupil if you have these opportunity scholarships. And, I urge you to defeat the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Iredell, Representative Brawley, rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Reluctantly, to speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen, by now as you already know, everything in politics goes round [sic] and around. And, this debate has gone around in a circle. They—down here years ago, I have fought for home-schooling, I’ve fought for charter schools; I’ve fought for people to have that choice. The choice they wanted was to get away from government rules, and government regulations, and government telling them how to educate their children. And, when I first saw opportunity scholarships, I thought, oh man! This is going to be great. But the first email I got was from a charter school parent with a little different perspective: We sent our children to charter schools because we wanted to get away from the government telling us what to do. If we accept that money, then the government is going to tell us what to do. And there are forty-three pages of what the schools have to meet in order to accept this scholarship grant. So, I think the circle you’re gonna [sic] see if we continue in [sic] with opportunity scholarship direction, somebody’s gonna [sic] have to find a way again to get away from government control of the educational process. I urge you to vote for the amendment, and let’s keep our public schools as public schools. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Mecklenberg, Speaker Tillis, rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the amendment the House—the House will come to order. Members will take their seats. Thank you, Mr. Speaker— [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor– [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I’d--I’d like to maybe talk about some of the discussion here, and Representative Floyd, just to give you my perspective if I was up at the dais right now, this amendment really is about the policy, it has an appropriation in the budget, but the policy is there, so you can’t debate this amendment without basically debating the policy that would fail as a result of this amendment passing. And let me say from the beginning, I hope that you will vote against this amendment. The—I want to start, though—to kind of calm things down in terms of traditional K through 12 education, I want to thank the hard-working teachers and principals and the volunteers in the schools for some of the extraordinary work that they’re doing today. There are many wonderful examples of education outcomes in K through 12 …[end of data]
Public school. I no longer - and I'm very careful to make sure that I remind myself of this. I no longer say K through 12 public education North Carolina is broke, it's a great political [??] speech, but it's factually not true. If you go to school systems you will find some great things going on. The problem is it's not going on everywhere. We have Mission Possible over in Guilford county. We have Project Lift over in Mecklenburg county trying to serve the needs of some of the poorest, most at-risk children in this state who desperately need an option other than the traditional option that they're receiving. That's why the Gates Foundation and other businesses have contributed some 55 million dollars to help these children. If we don't help them we lose them. That's a great K through 12 public program that's going on. We can do to the digital conversion that's happening in Morrisville. We introduced Dr. Mark Edwards earlier today, national superintendent of the year. Those children in Morrisville don't need a choice because their public education is rated one of the best in the United states. President Obama was there just last week talking about it. The problem is it's not available everywhere. That choice, that public school choice is not available everywhere. Representative Brandon I consider to be one of the most courageous people in this body. I remember his speech a couple years ago when we were trying to lift the cap on charter schools. This man moved into a district to get closer to the people he wanted to serve. He got to know these people. He got to know the mothers and the fathers who have children that they desperately want to educate. They desperately want to have a better life. They desperately want to get out of the poverty and the day to day near death experiences that they have in some of these communities that they live in. They need a choice. I heard somebody saying that now is not the time or the place, I believe right now, right here in North Carolina, now is the time and this legislative body right here is the place where this begins. There are some people that Ive talked to, some of my members, they've said Tom this doesn't help me, I live in a rural district, there aren't any private school options. Well this actually provides the opportunity for potentially some of those schools to be created because they can't make the math work with the poor people that want a choice they can't afford it. Now there may be potentially faith based private schools, other private schools that can come up because parents can have the choice, communities can have the choice to come together and help these children. I've had others say, well Tom my school systems not a problem. My teachers reject this, they think it's a threat. Well guess what? You don't have a problem, you've got a good school system. You've got a Morrisville grade school district, probably not gonna be a lot of choice options there, you don't need them. Hopefully if Project Lift is successful those babies over in West Mecklenburg county won't need it. But the reality is there are parents, mothers, single mothers of small children who desperately want a choice. Now I want to talk about process for a minute because it's very important to me. I love the debate devices and it's good, I admire everybody for doing it, but let's be realistic here, this bill was vetted in education policy committee twice. In one case we had public hearings, we had public comments. In the next case we have full debate among the members in education policy, fully debated. But it started even before that, we've been talking about this and vetting this with members. We've had some members go visit Florida to see how it's working there, what would work and what wouldn't work. Then it goes to appropriations in finance where the chair is rightfully allowed to debate on the policy, not to constrain it to the matter of the finance issue which the chair could have easily done, or to the appropriations issue. They allowed full and complete debate. So for anyone to suggest to me that a process where we're allowing public input and vetting of the members and they're voting on this amendment because the process was somehow foiled, doesn't understand the process that this bill went through. About a month, month and a half ago I went to a meeting in Greensboro. The auditorium was full of about more than 2000 people, 95% of them were African American. There were many small children there, there were many single mothers there, there were many parents there on a Tuesday night, coming out trying to figure out how they can support choice for these children, choice for their babies. They weren't there for nay other reason than to say Dear God, give me an option that lets me...
These children get into a path that will make them successful, deliver them from the poverty and the situations, the challenges that they have every day and give them hope. This policy gives those poor parents almost invariably and disproportionately favored to the African American community an opportunity to prove that choice works. This policy is effectively a pilot. It focuses on the poorest people in this state giving them a choice. If it works we can come back and talk later about whether or not it should be extended but folks let’s try and give this generation of children who can benefit from this policy out of this chamber today a choice. Let’s continue to work on public schools that deserve our attention, that deserve our focus, that deserve increased funding, deserve more flexibility to do great things they’re already doing. But let’s vote no on this amendment. Let’s move forward on doing something very different for the children of our state. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Question before the house is the adoption of Amendment ALE 33 set forth by the gentleman from Forsyth Representative Hanes [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker point of order [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman may state his point of order [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the amendment [SPEAKER CHANGES] The question has been put to the body at this point. The question before the house is the adoption of the Amendment set forth by Representative Hanes. Those in favor of the adoption of the amendment will vote aye those opposed will vote no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote. 52 having voted in the affirmative and 65 voting in the negative the amendment fails. Members we believe Representative Turner is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Wake Representative Dollar rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Pertaining to the Turner amendment [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is the lady going to withdraw her amendment and the gentleman going to submit a substitute amendment? I believe the gentleman wishes to withdraw his request for a fiscal note to the Turner amendment. Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Objection to the fiscal note is withdrawn. We’re now back on the Turner amendment. The clerk as already read that amendment. I believe Representative Turner does the lady wish to withdraw the amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. Thank you Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The amendment will be returned to Representative Turner. For what purpose does the gentleman from Wake Representative Dollar rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sending forth an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman may send forth the amendment. Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Amendment ALG-35. Representative Dollar moves to amend the bill on page 255 lines 22 and 23 by adding between those lines the following. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Dollar has the floor to explain the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’ll attempt to be brief. What the amendment does we worked out with Representative Turner and others, it provides the $180,000 goes to the grants. 2 grants 4 parts. The money will still come from the same location but I’ve had a conversation with the secretary of revenue, we’ll get him fixed up later he’ll be fine and the department will be fine and we’ve worked out this compromise and I would appreciate your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate on the amendment. If not the question before the house is the passage of the amendment sent forth by Representative Dollar to the House Committee substitute Senate bill 402. All in favor vote aye all opposed vote no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote. 107 having voted in the affirmative and 9 voting in the negative the amendment passes. Ladies and gentlemen I think the final amendment we have to take up before [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker [SPEAKER CHANGES] we begin debate on the bill, the gentleman will suspend for a moment, will be amendment from Representative Whitmire AMK-31. Representative Wilkins please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I be recorded as voting aye please on a vote that we took about 2 or 3 days ago I think by now? It was Representative Blackwell’s amendment pertaining to the Burke Youth Center.
amendment number 19, Rep. Wilkins. The gentleman will be recorded as voted "aye". [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Avila, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd like to be recorded as voting "Aye" on the Wells amendment, please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady will be recorded as voting "Aye" on the Wells amendment. Rep. Whitmire is recognized to send forth amendment AMK-31, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Amendment AMK-331, Rep. Whitmire moves to amend amendment 20 by deleting page 1, line 1, through page 3, line 36 of that amendment, and, [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. Earlier, all of you heard me support Rep. Tine's amendment to the small school funding, and with all due respect to the chairs of the Education subcommittee, which I've spoken to at length, the purpose of Rep. Tine's amendment was to dampen the drastic amount of winners and the drastic amount of losers by manipulating the formula. My amendment actually takes that a step further, and with that, here's the amendments it improves further. First of all, it keeps all the counties that are currently receiving small school funds, and remember, they're small, they don't have economies of scale, and this is a very valid fund. This is not a slush fund by any means. It's supported in all domains from what I have seen. With that, it keeps Martin county in, it keeps Anson county in, and for the counties that are getting close to rotating out, Ash and Greene, you would be safe with an upper limit of 4080 students instead of an upper limit of 3200. You're sitting on the bubble right now. As far as winners and losers: My amendment does not take money. 24 out of 31 of the systems are still winners, and of the 7 who do suffer somewhat of a loss of funds, 5 of them lose 82,000. That is extremely small compared to what we started today at. And in the following year, 19 out of 31 are winners, and 2 of those who aren't winners, they otherwise would be getting a big cut because they would b e rotating out of the fund. And with that again, I thank you for supporting the Tine amendment earlier, I will ask you to support this amendment because 1, it just improves upon what we had. I know there will be questions, I have tried to get out information, I know it has been a busy day. And with that, I will welcome questions, I know we're ready to go home, I ask you support the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Horn, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. With all due respect to my friend Rep. Whitmire, in conjunction with the chairs we ask you to vote against this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Whitmire, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Actually, I forgot to turn my light out. I will critique my amendment in one regard. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the amendment a second time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. It does improve upon the numbers. The way we get there, unfortunately, basically we remain with the old logic so the formula can be criticized if one wanted to as being somewhat convoluted. I did clean it up by taking some things out that made no sense. Is it as clean as I would have liked to have had it? No. But at this point in the juncture, especially in the wee hours of the last day or two, this achieves a much better outcome and again I ask you to support it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Avila, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask Rep. Horn a question please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Horn, does the gentleman yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Rep. Horn, I never used the excuse with my kids, "Do it because I say so," so if you don't mind could you explain your rationale for what sounded like a reasonable explanation of this total confusing mathematical maneuvering here? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I will try my best, and very briefly. It is a total confusing mathematical enigma. The small county funding has been that way, we're moving away from that, we found a way to begin that process, we've got counties to work together to ameliorate the much of the negative impact of making that move, a decision we feel has been made that we can all live with. We ask you to support the decisions that's been made and vote against the amendment.
Thank you, Representative Horn. May I ask Representative Whitmire a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Whitmire, does the gentleman yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Whitmire, if they've worked and come to an understanding, what is your rationale for continuing to work with something and not accept, supposedly, a consensus opinion? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you for the question. Write it off to a lot of freshman being in the chamber, maybe, but I will say this is the reason. This particular logic, and it is a convoluted formula, I absolutely give you that, I have looked at this thing for several years, well before I got here. I understand extremely well, had a bill submitted way back when, and at the end of the day, in ??, Friday, we had a near unanimous vote, there may have been one whimper of a no, to mitigate what the original template had, using the new formula, which is sliding scale, and the reason that we, I submitted an amendment was to mitigate the fact that some school systems would be losing, in the next two years, like Tyrrell County, combined over the two years, four thousand dollars short of a million dollars. You can't absorb that. Some would be gaining over seven hundred. In other words, there were extremely big winners and extremely big, actually bigger, larger losers. So to squeeze that dynamic down, so we didn't have just chaos in budgets basically been decided at the local level, that's where Representative Tine and I, we actually were collaborating with this, mitigated it. And my point is this. Why is there yet another item? This makes it better, and for the small schools out there, we're going to lose, with the Tine amendment, we're going to lose Greene County. They're going to start rotating out. We would lose Anson County. Ashe County is four students away from going out of the equation, and that's a shock when you go out. And this is all, if I misrecall something, Hertford County is very close, too, not as close as Ashe. But it keeps those sound, and it also has four other counties that because, in their physical effectiveness, didn't have a tax rate in the most expensive upper-half of the state, they were penalized, and the APA study from three years ago said we should not penalize small school funding based on tax rates. So we create a whole bunch of winners. And I know, the math says, if you've got winners, you've got losers, but where the money was made up, for the counties that were going to lose it regardless, we took from them in order to bring them back in, and that's how I was able to mitigate and make the overall outcome as little of a shock to anybody as possible. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Followup. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm understanding that something is going to have to change. Is yours a step in a transition to cleaning up and simplifying this, or is this something that's going to continue on regardless of what we do, unless we go with what's proposed, for people who are not in favor of your amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] And with respect to the Chair's, the subcommittee Chair's points, Representative Horn, this buys us time so that we can actually do that in a more responsible manner. So as far as the formula, it's going to look a whole lot like what's in the Senate 402 right now, except, to honor the sliding scale concept, the change that you would see if you compared this amendment to the Senate is, you would see more length, but it says the same thing, with the exception, if you hit a certain threshold size or lower, you have a baseline at 717,000. That's what it was. But once you get above that threshold and get in the upper size range of the small schools, which are capped in my bill at 4,080 students, your baseline is lower. So we do make sure that the smaller you are, the more money you get, because you don't have the economy of scale. But we also still realize that when you're small, less than 4,080 students, you still have economy of scale issues, especially if you're geographically isolated like several of the counties are, and you can't just look out and run over to the next county. You've got mountain ranges or ocean sounds to get around. So that's the reason, and the short answer, I apologize for the verbosity, is we buy time to do this more responsibly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Blackwell, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd like to take
A brief moment to respond further, in part or mostly to Representative Alma Adam's questions as expressed by her just now. A few years back, a study was done of a number of the formulas that were used by the Department of Public Instruction and by the legislature for distributing funds among the LEAs, the school districts. Included in this study was a study of the formula used for small counties. Basically, what that report told us was that this is a very complex formula involving multiple considerations and factors - a number of which really don't have anything to do with a system being small. But factors that had been put in for a variety of reasons, sometimes for political reasons and sometimes because people had the ability to put in things to consider other factors that, as I say, were not related to small schools. The General Assembly has largely ignored that report until this year. And we decided that we should move to a formula that was based on the size of the school system. And that's what we did. And in the budget, we had, before the Tine Amendment, a proposal to change the small school formula to say that if you had 3200 or fewer students, you wold get an allocation on a sliding scale. The smaller you were, the more you got. The closer you were to the 3200, the less you got . We felt that was the route to go. We understood that some systems would lose as a result of that, and some would gain. Some would fall out of eligibility altogether. So we included in the budget a proposal to phase the change in over five years so that no school that was negatively affected would feel the impact more than 20% in a given year. Several members of the body came to us today concerned that because we are passing this budget very close to July 1, which is when the school district's new budget years begin, that even though we have the phase-in language that school districts had not had the opportunity to plan for that. So they asked us if we would consider revising it or changing it in some way. The result of those discussions was the Tine amendment. It involved an additional $600,000 that we would've needed to take elsewhere from the budget. But what we agreed to do so that we could stay with the plan to move to the simple formula based on size of the school system, that we would delay the implementation of the new formula for one year. At that point, we still proposed to have the five-year phase in beginning at that point. School systems that were already on the small school formula that was the complex formula, that is largely what Representative Graig Meyer is proposing that we continue indefinitely, those systems for one more year would get the same amount of money. That amount of money would have been about $600,000 more than the total allocation we had included in the budget for small school funding. So it was agreed that we would spread that $600,000 cut evenly over all the schools participating so that nobody in this next year would feel any significant cut. But that for next year, we would move to the new formula which allows for the five-year phase in. We believe this is reasonable. We understand that anytime you change a formula, somebody may win and somebody may lose. We feel like the additional year the Tine amendment allows, which is now in the budget unless we take it out and replace it with going back to the old system, which is presented by Representative Graig Meyer with a few modifications. We feel like giving them this extra year to plan and then having a five-year phase in is reasonable in terms of meeting the goal to simplify the formula so it's truly reflective of the needs of the smallest school systems. [Speaker changes] Mr. Speaker [Speaker changes] Representative Floyd, please state your purpose. [Speaker changes] Mr. Speaker, I want to assist Representative Blackwell...
you think what is representative way to measure how you do that, except perhaps to directly question regular Blackwell, who will not look good by good yearbook with stars and black coat is on Ulysses. I finished I got the dominance valve out underwater. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was saying that there were two things that this accomplished one. it allows us to move forward with simplifying the system so that it truly makes the need of the smaller school six.and secondly, by delaying it for a year and phasing it in where allowing the district 's time to reject now I'll be glad you [SPEAKER CHANGES] are then employed may recognize there may establish rapport questions other members wishing to speak on intimate terms of what Al Gore was the purpose [SPEAKER CHANGES] to speak on the amendment agent _ shot saved by this is not stuck possibly can this there was a study done on this formula. what this money goes forth to offset these tiny schools. one of my systems as Allegheny County, a have twelve hundred students in the whole County and this however changed. that was what happened was going to benefit me dramatically increase because the sliding scale. I do stand out. I put this amendment and the con amendment would help us transition over time to meet the goal of the committee. some of these cuts were upwards of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the school systems immediately. I don't think that's fair to our children him. this is afair way to spend the money now and two, as represented about what was citing a fair way to look at the policy and transition it out how it appreciates his work for the amendment. Rosetta brought it residual purpose delete it, then please placed in just five. Reformation, the debate on this amendment is the only thing between you to break for dinner revs in a rugged drug dose of economic aching. [SPEAKER CHANGES] this is big Rob -year-old short one of the things that I've learned in this body is that there is no simple amendment. and I guess I could take that to the next level and say that that just because were looking for a simple solution doesn't mean it's always the right solution. I do support the are presented with Myers 's amendment that I ask you also supported President McGrady, [SPEAKER CHANGES] please take your purpose becoming limited. id. is requested by a member who, as with my are co chairs I urge you to vote against this amendment representative. I would go conceded in the very beginning that the principal point, it was the question the representative Avila put forward the this is not just to the place where we need to be this allocation is about getting money to small counties. we've currently got allocation system that is broken. no one understands it. we're trying to get to a place where money goes to small counties representative Steinberg for a meantime put forward an amendment to cause us to transition their attempt to make a soft landing, and that's an appropriate amendment represented Whit mire just bills on the old bad formula that we him place right now and in the way you can tell that he is from the language that my colleague used he kept talking in terms of winners and losers, but that's not what this is about. this is about getting money to some of the most needy schools in the state. the smallest schools is not about winners and losers, but since he ways that point, let's point out what this is been about rather consistent with the First Amendment that was put forward was adopted in ingenuity brought a half million dollars to Transylvania County that otherwise wouldn't get it. this amendment will get several million dollars in Transylvania County and three other counties that otherwise would not get money because they are no longer small counties are urgent, please do not adopt this amendment, we have to transition now that has been adopted by the house, but with representative time
-This is simply a bad amendment. -Mr speaker :Representative Moore please state your purpose for a motion. :The gentleman may state his motion. Moore - Remove the previous question as to the amendment. :Ladies and gentlemen, the motion by representative Moore to remove the previous question is before us on the amendment set forth by representative Whitmire . :-This is a vote to end debate. This is not a vote on the amendment. :All those in favor vote "I." :All those apposed vote "No." The court will open vote. :The clerk will have machine record the vote 81 have voted affirmative 32 in the negative. :The motion passes. By rule we are , if the members would have the chair's disgression, allowed to have the majority and the minority leader have up to 3 minutes; unless there is objection, the chair would allow that 3 minute too go to representative Whitmire and representative Hall. The gentleman may choose, if he chooses, to delegate to someone else on the minority side. Dose the gentleman wish to designate? Representative Hall is recognized for a period not to exceed 3 minutes. Hall - Thank you Mr Speaker, and I will pass on that option to have 3 additional minutes added to the debate calender because of my debate. : Representative Starns please sate your purpose. Starns -I will pass on my 3 minutes. :Representative Whitmire is recognized to debate the bill not to exceed 3 minutes, or the Amendment. Whitmire -Thank you sir. Just a couple of clean up items that were addressed. The formula is indeed complex. The formula reflects the current, but the formula is probably less important than the outcome, and the outcome is what is critical here. We can study this some more; we can get it. We can get it quote on quote more rite, but think about what happens if we lower the cap and, we are basically kicking the can down the road to the next year; and, what the problem is now will just enter into the picture in a year delay for the most part, as far as cleaning up the formula, I did. I took out some convey-looded items that the study said shouldn't be there in the first place like relative effort of taxes,getting credit for population densities and square miles of ocean sound and national forest. It plays in , but the way we did it; it made some things that were very cumbersome come out. There is a phase out for school systems that grow; its in there. Key point, I didn't take money from anywhere else. We didn't rob instructional supplies and textbooks at all that. The senate's version is extremely similar because it looks at what we've got, and again, we can improve it; but,doing it at the witching hour at the expense of many is not the rite thing; and, on a final point representative McGraidy mentioned the quarter million. There is 204 thousand for 4 counties that are geographically separated and have small school numbers, they didn't have for years but because they were penalized for having low taxes, tax rate,they didn't get it; but, when you've got 6000 foot mountain ranges isolating your ocean sound, your small already. Do you think you've got any better help on your economy of scale as in the lack there of? I ask you to support the amendment please. This is on that makes it even better than the kine amendment. Thank you. :The question before the house; is the amendment set forth by representative Whitmire for the house comity senate 402. All in favor vote "I" All in favor vote "no." The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will machine record the vote. 51 having voted affirmative, 63 the negative, the amendment fails. Ladies and gentle men of the house. Ive been in consultation with representative Hall. Representative Hall has requested a 3 hour recess, no i'm just kidding. Here has what has been proposed, and I will tell you my predispostion has been positive. That we allow a debate tonight of three members from the majority and three members from the minority. We will go home and get a good night sleep........
And we will allow debates tomorrow. There will be no amendments allowed tomorrow. All amendment will be ruled out of order, the chair made that clear with the notification last night, and the chair believes we have fairly disposed of the amendments that have come before the body. Is there anyone who wishes to speak against this, this proposition? Alrighty then. [Speaker Change] Mr. Speak. [Speaker Change] Representative Pierce, please state your purpose. [Speaker Change] What time would you start in the morning Mr. Speaker? [Speaker Change] We were, we were talking or thinking probably, well I'm seeing 9, I'm seeing 10. Let me do it this way. Democratic institution and now we've got an out of order recommendation for 7 from Representative Cleveland. [Speaker Change] Laughter. (Group.) [Speaker Change] We're gonna, we're gonna use the light system to determine whether or not we meet at 9, or 10. Everyone who wishes to meet at 9 AM, please turn your lights on now. With 90 members choosing to meet at 9 am, Representative Samuelson, does the lady wish to object. [Speaker Change] ?? [Speaker Change] We'll be meeting at 9 am tomorrow. The, any other members wishing to ask? We will strictly enforce the 5 minute rule, will chime the bill 30 seconds before, at the 4 and 1/2 minute mark, and at 30 seconds I will take the gavel down. There will be no extended time. If the 3 members on the minority side which to light, what we will do is in turn. If the 3 members who are planning to speak on the minority side will please turn on their lights. Representative Dollar the chair assumes that you will be one of those speaking. The members need to sort out, we will begin with the, the, the person wishing to begin the debate from the minority caucus please rise. [Speaker Change] Mr. Speaker. [Speaker Change] Representative Floyd, please state your purpose. [Speaker Change] Point of order Mr. Speaker. [Speaker Change] The gentleman may state his point. [Speaker Change] Could we get just about a 5 minute recess so we could talk about who on minority side is going to speak. [Speaker Change] The chair would ask the members of the minority caucus who wish to have a 5 minute recess to put on their lights. [Speaker Change] Mr. Speaker I think we've already established what our procedures gonna be. So I think we should follow that plan as agreed. [Speaker Change] We will follow the plan now again, the member Representative Floyd please state your purpose. [Speaker Change] Mr. Speaker that’s fair for the minority side, but I'm on minority side and I don't know who is going to speak. And I think that I have a right to know who's gonna speak in my behalf. [Speaker Change] The chair considers that an inside the family question, and would urge you to go to Representative Hall and sort that out. If the member wishing to be recognized first on the minority side will please rise. Representative Michaux is recognized for a period not to exceed 5 minutes. [Speaker Change] Thank you Mr. Speaker, and ladies and gentleman of the House. We're beginning a debate on a document that has come to us filled with many errors, and filled with a lot of things that, that, that I have come to sort of abhor, in what we are about to do. Let me just, I'm gonna be brief tonight. But I just wanted to tell you that what you have done is basically, I, I just think we have morphed from the 19th century into the 21st century by forgetting about what happened in the 20th century. What we have done is we have not given people an opportunity, and what you've done is you've taken away certain things. Fact of the matter is I've seen things that you've criticized us for when we were in power, that you have already down. And, and, and because you did it I guess it, it's alright but it doesn't bless what we did in the same way. For instance you've got one of the reasons that bill is so thick is because you've got more special provisions in that bill then you can shake a stick at. We did not allow to any great extent special provisions. One of the things that I did was I did not allow our folks to come in with those special provisions. If it's
[SPEAKER CHANGE] ... should come, came in a stand up alone bill, that's what is done, but you just put in the External Opportunities Bill, which is a stand alone bill. You put in the Excellent School Act, which came from the Senate as a part of this, even though you cut it down a bit, and then you have also included in this budget some items that really beg the question. For instance there is an item where somebody is building a public library in a particular place with 1.5 million dollars. I don't know that we ever allowed anybody to come in and build a public library with 1.5 Million dollars for any reason, so what we are about to do, and I understand, and I say this, and I say it all the time - you have got the power to do whatever you darn well please that you want to do and there's nothing anybody can do about it, but my problem is that you have not really been judicious in using that power, you have not been humble, you have really ran roughshod, not only over the minority Party here, but you have ran roughshod over people in this state, you've taken away from us just a lot of things - in particularly the minority community is very much upset, because you did not allow them to have a say so. You don't have anybody on your side that looks like me, so you can't empathize with that, I don't care what you say you've done or where you have been, there is no way that you can empathize with what we feel and how we do this. We have come a long way simply because we have perceived in what we have tried to do, and so what you have done to us is you have put us, you've packed us in a district so that we can't interact with other people, you put us to the side and said "You got your 24, now go sit in your corner and just be totally and completely ignored." These things just can't happen and I'm very upset and very disturbed. Things that just have happened all along that impact the way that you have treated a lot of folks in this budget and I would hope that you would just ?? the day and overnight take another think about it and pray on it a little bit, because ... Mr. Speaker, I have tried to temper my remarks to this junction, but tomorrow maybe different. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Burr is recognized for a period not to exceed 5 minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Speaker. I just wanna hit on a couple high notes obviously concerning two areas of the budget that I have focused on as a full Chair. First, Health and Human Services. You know, the House Health and Human Services Budget really takes steps to protect our most vulnerable citizens and assure that the critical services that they receive are continued. We've continued our short term assistance for group home recipients so that issue can continue to be addressed. We fully funded the alcohol and drug rehab centers that was proposed to be eliminated by the Senate. We fund our State psych. beds. We came up with a new approach on how to fund local communities psych. beds to make sure that folks with those critical mental health needs are looked out for in all communities. We fund medication assistance programs, the budget funds, the medicate ??, and we're going to continue in this budget to take steps to continue to reform and ultimately fix Medicaid in North Carolina. Under this budget we fund an additional 5,000 slots for per-school kids, for pre-K, that's 5,000 more kids that will be served after this budget that the House has passed, that's put into law. When it comes to the Justice and Public Safety Budget, this House continues it's commitment to insure the safety and security of all North Carolinians. We fund the 25 Million dollar upgrade for Viper. We fund the 16 additional positions for ??, which will help rule North Carolina and will make sure they're increasing their number of ?? from 3 to 4, so that someone is there when law enforcement shows up to deal with the issues that they have and the individuals that they're bringing into the jails. We fund additional probation and parole officers to meet the requirements of the Justice Reinvestment Act, we fund additional positions in in the state crime lab. This budget is also really looking out for our counties ...
It has a father to his budget and buddies and pass it, and his budget also a professor and author of making sure that of this lesson from no is seeking continues to receive the support we need to save with economic development and cities and we may have nothing to review them before the shooting.(SPEAKER CHANGES) It has a positive account is guided by some possibility of his budget also protects robust run of making sure to give up those of us are from no easy to continue to receive the support of the defense And while some cases living by some passive, and his mother a syntax lover of making sure that of those lessons from no easy thing to receive the support we need to save with the economic development and cities would have nothing to And while some cases living by some passive and his wife and a sympathetic for an offer of making sure that of his lesson from low is a continued to receive the support we need to save with economic development and cities would have nothing to hide your behalf of 48.(SPEAKER CHANGES) We Resemble the city budget beds and Seattle that are still has nightmares when he grew up in an
...session. If I'm not mistaken, it passed unanimously. It funds school safety. Another very important measure that was debated in this house, a bill that passed this house, passed unanimously, the Help Keep Our Schools Safe. That's in this budget. And in ?? budget we resurrected and put money toward the Rural Center, despite our folks across the way and their opinion, we put funds there to help keep economic growth in our rural counties. We know that our rural counties struggle and don't have the resources some of the larger ones have, and we recognize that. That's a priority. Clean water management receives funds. This budget moves forward in transportation, taking the governor's budget, or excuse me, the governor's proposals, and moves forward with that. We passed that House bill on the floor, I can't recollect the number-- seems like it's 817 but I may be incorrect-- but this budget does just that. So folks this budget as a whole-- it is a good budget. Can you find something you may not like? Sure. Even I can. But when you folks in the minority were in the majority, I'm sure that you didn't like every single thing in the budgets that you passed. And you have to weigh what you like against what you don't like, and I like by far most everything in this budget. And again, I think we funded the priorities, and things that we need to move this state forward. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hall is recognized to debate the bill for a period not to exceed five minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker, and it's certainly important that we talk about this budget tonight and that we have even more time tomorrow and everyone keep that in mind. So you may hear things tomorrow that you didn't hear tonight. We've had a long day and people have made efforts to improve the budget; some have passed and some have failed. But this budget makes it painfully clear that we don't have the right priorities in mind for North Carolina as reflected by this budget. It reveals really our number one priority is to say, whatever we have to do to provide tax breaks on the finance package and reduce the revenue necessary for this state, which has increased by a million people over the last ten years, whatever we have to do that is necessary, then we'll do that with less money. And so the fact that it's in this budget for some amount doesn't mean it's a sufficient amount or a responsible amount. But make no mistake, the real victims in this budget are the middle class families. It slashes our proven job creation programs, and it even in the face of this high unemployment we have in this state and have continued to have, yet and still we have failed in this budget to address our job creation challenges in North Carolina. Worse than that, it cuts education and schools. It cuts teachers' assistants. Maybe not as much as it could, but it still does. Where are the priorities? For the third year in a row we have done that. And again, job creation not available in the short term, not addressed for the long term. Instead of working to retain teachers for our kids, we've denied teachers a pay raise. We've denied them the resources they need, and we've reduced the people in the classroom who will groom our leaders and our work force of the future. It reduces our access to health care for North Carolinians as well, even in the face of what we know is coming with our population. You know this budget is a way of us telling North Carolinians who are listening now what our priorities are and what we really value. It's not enough just to be in charge, and I know that's a good feeling and I congratulate you on that. And I was hoping that as the period of time-- the responsibility would set in over a period of time and folks would understand it's not _just_ about being in charge; sometimes it's about being responsible. But this budget is not responsible to the people of North Carolina. It's not responsible to...
children is not responsible for the future of our state and yet we sit here on the accomplishments and the forward thinking north carolanians who sat in the same seats before what responsible for state being a successful as it is even today and we're failing that tradition if we don't focus onjob creation or take action to really reduce unemployment revenues spenidng on millions on trying to create some kind of branding campaign for North Carolina we should have put real funding and real job creation programs we cut those proven job creation programs and we cut those organizations and entities to provide leveraging our communities we damaged public education we jeopardize our children's future as a result no one could feel comfortable about knowing these massive cuts we yielded on public education on our university systems and our community college system were going to let teacher assistances go… We know that our budget does that and maybe not as many as we did last year will have as many to let go as we did last year there gone a 48 in teacher training 46 education spending on our citizens and our children but when they say the race to the bottom of the finish of one and then you got a race to the top we don't have was necessary for citizens to change what they needed to do finally all communities of all the falling behind our transportation budget now continues to shield transportation dollars from the needed rule community areas back to the cities we have taken healthcare away from them and our cutting vital regional economic development organizations that will rule communities in short rule North Carolina his left without a shut out but don't messages are Mr. Speaker picograms of resident of dollars and has [SPEAKER CHANGES].repaired not exceed five minutes speaker ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES]. Thank you when I hear the distinguished minority leader say that we all these bad things we don't always bad things must be thinking about the budgets when he was in the majority and I would agree with him when he was in the majority that he did lots of bad things but he's not talking about this budget I mean think about it we had two fulldays commitments for this budget right the kinds of unlimited you so think about the things on the most of the day-to-day was actually spent talking about limited with respect to prison okay grant things what the Democrats have a hard time with and they have a very hard time with it had a hard time with it last two years and apparently this year as well is what they want to do is see taxes increased the domestic tax reform the same rates lower they seem to set the truth is what Republicans wanted to set and we've done this budget this but has been getting good reviews around the state from folks that don't that are not partisan of people who can clearly the order this budget and that this budget is realistic we live with him on the image above we fund the things that are most important in this day we fund the healthcare needs that represent a book called about we fund education needs the representative Holloway talked about we find the public safety needs that have been discussed today we set priorities in those areas and this budget is responsible we fund recurring expenditures with recurring dollars we're not all trying to buy the whole world without trying to protect every fee amount they are predestined one of the complaints we find the initiative fund that will not work trying not to find everything from their and that may cause some pain for some folks but what we really after and we have a
The report of the Governor on this is fundamental reform in the state government . Now you want to talk about the situation in North Carolina. We've had for several years, higher than the national average in unemployment. We're working on job programs. We've got a Work First program. We've got other efforts to reform what we're doing in commerce to better the market North Carolina, to make North Carolina more attractive for capital, more attractive for the dynamic economic growth that we need here in this state. Mr. Speaker, you know, people can live in a parallel universe and come up with any kind of excuse to say "No, I'm not going to vote for that budget". But a honest appraisal of the budget that this House has produced comes to one simple conclusion - that this House has produced a common sense budget that does provide the services that our citizens need in the vital areas of education, healthcare, public safety and job development. We've done it within our resources, and I think the citizens will be very well served. I commend the budget to you. [Speaker changes] The question before the House is the passage of the House committee substitute to Senate bill 402 as amended on its second reading. All in favor vote 'Aye'. All opposed vote 'No'. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote. 77 having voted affirmative and 41 in the negative, the House Committee substitute to Senate bill 402 is passed its second reading, and will remain on the calendar. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to adjourn subject to receipt of messages from the Senate and Committee reports and possibly modifications to the calendar and other provisions. But I appreciate the indulgence of the members today. It was a long session. I appreciate the decorum and the hard work of both members of the majority, the minority. We're going out of session tomorrow at 9 am. And we will continue the debate on the third reading of the budget. Again, the chair will not accept any amendments tomorrow. We will debate it as long as the members see fit. On Monday, we do expect a calendar. It might even be a lengthy calendar. Part of that is just in anticipation of beginning the conferencing process next week, and having to have a light calendar on a couple days next week as the budget is negotiated between the House and the Senate. By motion to members from Gaston and Cleveland Counties, the Chair is happy to extend the courtesies of the gallery to Craig Collins, the Chair of the 10th GOP District. Craig, welcome. Notices and announcements. [Speaker changes] Representative Cleveland, please state your purpose [Speaker changes] Announcement [speaker changes] The gentleman is recognized for an announcement [speaker changes] In view of the session, the session being at 9 am tomorrow morning, Military and Homeland Security is cancelled. [Speaker changes] Representative Larry Hall, please state your purpose [Speaker changes] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. An announcement [speaker changes] The gentleman is recognized [speaker changes] Democrats will caucus at 8:30 in the morning in our Caucus Room. [Speaker changes] Further notices and announcements [speaker changes] Representative Moore is recognized [speaker changes] If I may first of all, Mr. Speaker, if I may do three quick re-referrals. [Speaker changes] The gentleman is recognized [Speaker changes] Senate bill 635 move that the bill be removed from the Committee on Rules calendar pursuant to bill 633 the short-title Transmission Line Ownership. [speaker changes] Without objection, so ordered [Speaker changes] Senate bill 128, short-title Carbero Office Ottoman???, move that that be removed from the Committee on Finance calendar pursuant to rule 36b. [speaker changes] Without objection, so ordered [speaker changes] Senate bill 8 short-title, Increased Fine for Vehicle Removal, that that bill be removed from Committee on Finance calendar pursuant to 36b. [speaker changes] Without objection, so ordered [speaker changes] For a motion, I see an additional item. I'm not sure what that [speaker changes] Representative Johnson, please state your purpose [speaker changes] I want an announcement [speaker changes] The gentleman is recognized for an announcement [speaker changes] Thank you Mr. Speaker. I almost forgot to announce that the legislative prayer caucus does have a meeting tomorrow morning at 7:30 in conference room, or committee room 414. [speaker changes] Representative Moore is recognized [speaker changes] Thank you Mr. Speaker. I move that the House do now adjourn to reconvene on Thursday June 13, 2013 at 9 am subject to ratification of the bill
Messages from the Senate, proceeding committee reports, proceeding conference reports, rereferral bills, resolutions, appointment conferees, and modifications to the calendar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore moves, seconded by Representative Bryan. Subject to the receipt of messages from the Senate, committee reports, conference reports, rereferral bills and resolutions, appointment of conferees, and modifications to the calendar, that the House do now adjourn to reconvene on Thursday June 13th at 9:00 AM. All in favor say "Aye." All opposed say "No." The "Ayes" have it, the house stays adjourned. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative Torbett is recognized to send forth the committee report the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative Torbett for the Agricultural Commerce and Development Subcommittee of the Military and Agricultural Committee House Bill 565 "Amend Real Estate Appraisers Loss Fees". They rule to committee substitute on favor with ridge buildings and rerefer to Finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES]The committee substitute is rereferred to the Committee on Finance. Original bill on favorable calendar. Representative Blust is recognized to send forth the committee report the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative Blust for the Judiciary Subcommittee A, Senate Bill 358 guaranteed asset protection waivers. Favorable calendar. Senate Bill 614 WC Cancellation Procedure. Changes favorable and serially referred to Commerce Job Development. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Bill will be rereferred to the Committee on Commerce and Job Development. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House Bill 725 Young Offenders Rehabilitation Act. Favorable as to Committee substitute. Unfavorable as to the original bill and serially referred to Appropriations. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Committee substitute is rereferred to the Committee on Appropriations. The original bill on favorable calendar. Representative Sarah Stevens recognized to send forth the committee report, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative Stevens for the Judiciary Subcomittee C, Senate Bill 264 Bait Nuisances and Drug Sales from Stores. Favorable, calendar. Senate Bill 285 Eliminate ILAC Requirements. Favorable house committee substitute. Unfavorable as to city committee substitute. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Calendar. The committee substitute calendar. House committee substitute, senate committee substitute, unfavorable calendar. Representatives Howard, Lewis, and Setzer are recognized to send forth the committee report, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Representatives Howard, Lewis, and Setzer of the Finance Committee. Senate Bill 177 Bookerton Maisville Satellite Annexation, favorable and serially referred to Government. [SPEAKER CHANGES]The bill is rereferred to the Committee on Government. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House Bill 951 Eliminate Tax Designation for Political Party,favorable as to the committee substitute, unfavorable as to the original bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Committee substitute calendar, original bill unfavorable calendar. Representative Bell is recognized to send forth the committee report, the clerk will read. Or conference report, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? ...to resolve the difference between the Senate and House of Representatives on House Bill 433 Conference ?? and House has since adopted this report. Conferrees to the Senate. Senator Harry Brown Chair. Senators Pate, Sanderson, Meredith, and Clark, Conferees to the House of Representatives. Senator ??, Bell, Chair. Representative Whitmire, Stam, and Glazier. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Calendar. Ladies and gentleman, the conferees for House Bill 688 will be Representative Hardister, Chair, Millis, Dobson, Tine. The Senate will be so notified. Special messages from the Senate, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Speaker or those that may be in the House of Representatives with information that the Senate fails to confirm and the House Committee Substitute Senate Bill 76 and respectfully Sarah Lane, Principal Clerk. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Noted. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Mister Speaker or those that may be in the House of Representatives with information that the Senate fails to confirm and the House Committee Substitute Senate Bill 409 ?? and active main procedures, respectfully Sarah Lane, Principal Clerk. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Noted. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Mister Speaker or those that may be in the House of Representatives with information that the Senate adopts to report and conferees for Senate Bill 36, when the appropriate action has been taken by both chambers, the bill will be ordered in rows. Respectfully Sarah Lane, Principal Clerk. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Noted. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House Bill 751 Fiscal Note having been attached, will be removed from the calendar and rereferred to the Committee on Rules.