Members and visitors to the gallery please silence all cellular phones and personal electronic devices. Sargent at Arms will close the doors. The prayer will be offered by representative Steinburg. Members and visitors in the gallery please stand and please remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. [speaker changes] Good morning fellow representatives and ladies and gentleman. Before I offer the prayer, I want to point out that I was given this book that is dated 1947- you can all see it right here- and these were prayers that were offered in the senate of the general assembly. They actually had booklets that each one of the members had and so I will be offering a prayer from this booklet this morning and I ask you to all please join me. Let us pray. Our heavenly father, in this brief moment, we look to thee with love and praise and gratitude for another day in which to do thy will. We bless thee for the comfort and rest of the night and for thy promise of a daily portion for a daily need. May we have strength for our toil, cleanness of mind for all decisions we must make, and grace to overcome every temptation to do wrong. May our fellow men and women recognize something in our acts, speech and disposition that will make them know that we have had fellowship with thee. There are causes that call for assistance, wrongs that need redress. We also remember that within the shadows standeth God keeping watch above his own . So, we pray for guidance and courage that will enable us to take our places and to do our full share to answer the call and meet the challenge as men and women who bear the name Christian. Thou has said if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally and unbraideth not and it shall be given him. Trusting in thy never failing word, we begin our work today with thanksgiving in our masters name, we pray. Amen. [speaker changes] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. [speaker changes] Representative Moore is recognized. [speaker changes ] This is to speak of the journal for Wednesday June the 12th 2013 has been examined and found to be correct. I move this approval is read. [speaker changes] Representative Moore moves that the journal for June 12th be approved as written. All in favor say aye. All opposed say no. The ayes have it. The journal is approved as written. Petition ?? for papers addressed to the general assembly of the house. Ratification of bills and resolutions to clerk ??. [speaker changes] Did ?? clerk reports the following bills be ratified for presentation to government. Senate Bill ?? to locate and describe underground utilities. Senate Bill 36 enacted to make certain clarifying and conforming changes to the Administrative Procedures Act. Senate Bill 124 enacted to make it a criminal offense to discharge a firearm within an enclosure in an attempt to incite fear. Senate Bill 222 enacted to revise the North Carolina controlled substance reporting system. Senate Bill 306 enacted to remove the administration of a lethal injection from the practice of medicine ?? qualify the law that prohibits ?? aborts and sanctions the health care profession. Senate Bill 439 enacted to amend and reinstate the North Carolina Limited Liability Company Act to make other conforming changes. Senate Bill 443 enacted to provide for the disposition of firearms by law enforcement agencies. Senate Bill 452 enacted to increase the jurisdictional amounts in the general court of justices. Senate Bill 468 enacted to specify when appliances to ?? licenses to perform all aspects in an insulation. Senate Bill 530 enacted to prohibit the distribution of tobacco derived products or vapor products to minors. Senate Bill 542 enacted to require long term care facilities to require applicants for employment and certain employees to submit to drug testing. Senate Bill 545 enacted provided for the use of master meter for electric natural gas service. Senate Bill 630 enacted ?? in laws regarding the distribution of blood evidence. House Bill 120 enacted to require approval for the North Carolina
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And contractor’s reason to cause of investigation and prosecution violations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Calendar, pursuant rule 36B. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate committee substitute for House Bill 664, a bill that’s been titled an act to facilitate the deployment of mobile broadband and other enhanced wireless communication services by streamlining the process used by states agencies. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Calendar, pursuant rule 36B. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate committee substitute for Senate Bill 248, a bill that’s been titled an act to ensure that patients have the right to choose their hearing aids specialist under their health benefit plans, to authorize North Carolina State Hearing Aid Dealers and Fitters Board, to increase certain fees. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Health and human services, if favorable, finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Committee substitute for Senate bill 312, a bill that’s been titled an act to requiring a referendum on whether to incorporate the village of Lake James. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to begin the debate on the only bill on the calendar. As we discussed last night, we will have no amendments taken forward today. We will allow as much debate as the members choose. Senate Bill 402, the Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House committee substitute for Senate Bill 402, a bill that’s been titled an act to make base budget appropriations for current operations of the state departments, institutions, and agencies and for other purposes. General Assembly of North Carolina next. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Dollar, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Members of the House, we had excellent debate yesterday and a very strong vote for a realistic, reasonable, and responsible budget, and I would appreciate your support and vote today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Bell of Sampson, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker and members of the House. Though I very seldom get up to talk about anything, I am concerned about the education portion of the budget, and I want to thank all of the Chairs for the input that they let us have into it. I sit over here next to Representative Horn, and I’m always whispering in his ear and talking to him about different things. And I just appreciate him letting me giving some input. You know, I came here after 36 years in education, and my purpose was to try to continue to have an input and to things that are going on in public schools. One of the things I did find out that kind of baffled me a little bit, I didn’t know that we had so many people who had such negative attitudes toward the public school system, and I’m not talking about this group. I’m talking about ever since I have been here for seven terms. I’ve not had a budget as Representative Dollar said yesterday, where I agreed with everything. Not in the seven years that I’ve been here. There were always some things in there that I didn’t like, especially when it comes to salary increases for teachers. When it came to doing some other things for the school system, the money and whatever, and I know we were limited as to what we could do, but I just feel like education is the central thing for everything that we do. It is the basic foundation, and I guess if I had my way I would just give unlimited funds to it because I believe that’s where the answer is. You know, we talk about work, and I understand that all of us have worked real hard last few days, few weeks, and ever since I’ve been here. But when I was teaching science in school, I remember telling the kids that if you can push against a wall, exert a force, if you don’t move that wall, you
...haven’t done anything. We have worked and everything and if we haven’t done anything positive for the people of North Carolina, then we haven’t done any work, as far as I’m concerned. So I look at that as I look at this budget to see just what we have done. I can go along with probably lots of things I saw in the House budget that were not in the Senate budget that I like. One of the things I like in particular was the gap. I think that is going to be a really great for my grandchildren and for all the people coming along and I really think that’s good. The end cap, I was glad to see that put back in, and also the teaching fellows. I remember when that started and I was glad that we can do it and I hope that those persons who served as conferee will not back off on that before we get to negotiating with the Senate. The things that we have in this budget, I want you to hold fast on what we have because it’s so much better than what they had given to us. The only thing that really troubles me, and I think it troubles most of the educated in here, and that is something that I’m not ready for yet and that is the opportunity scholarships. I don’t know whether I ever will be, but right now I am not for that, I don’t see that as anything that’s helping education. I think, and I raced to the top, that’s one of the things that’s going to carry us to the bottom because I don’t see where it’s going to do any good. We already have a system going wherever you want to go, to private schools, you could go, and everything. But I don’t think we need to take money and use it for private schools. Not yet. Until we get our schools, the public schools that we have now in good shape, and we have a long way to go. One thing too, I’d like to challenge you on, in Sampson County, I think we have a good school system. In the last two or three years, in the last four years, ten years, I say, we have built three new high schools. Representative Langdon knows about that. We built three new high schools. $26 million each. We have to thank the General Assembly for some of that from the lottery money and all of that used it to pay for. Those schools are second to none. We have a good program, we had a North Carolina teacher of the year. We’ve had a principal of the year. We’ve got another one pretty soon and all of that. And we’re doing really good and I think if you talk to the people back home you’ll find out that they feel like the public schools are good as well. I haven’t had anybody to ask me about any scholarships. Not a single one. I don’t think, I couldn’t come up here and say, in my district I was going to have their vote for a scholarship program whenever they’re not interested. They’re interested in improving those schools that they have in Sampson, Duplin, and Wayne counties. They’re doing a good job and then they’re getting better all the time. They’re improving. That’s what I think we should do, work to help improve the situation. I hope that as we go forward, I know that I can’t stop anybody from passing this budget because it’s already gone so far that we can’t turn it around, but I’m just hoping as we negotiate with the Senate and the Governor that we hold on to what you have here as much as possible. Don’t let them take anything away. That’s all I have to say. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Wake, Representative Jackson, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning, Mr. Speaker. To speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good morning everyone. As Sesame Street likes to say, today’s episode is brought to you by the letter P. People, priorities, and process. People in this state are hurting and I don’t believe this budget does much, if anything, to help that. Especially in the rural communities of this state. You heard Representative Graham speak yesterday what cutting this prison is going to do to his area. This budget makes it worse.
[0:00:00.0] …people lay off in the area of public safety, cutting teacher’s assistance across the state and on that particular thing I wanna speak to that. Teacher’s assistance who are those in our classrooms everyday, who help our youngest children, if there is a child that is falling behind on that effort to get at reading level, at grade level in third grade, who gives that child that extra help, when you have a child that’s sick who helps that child so the teacher can focus on the rest of the class, when you have a child he is had an accident, who is there to help them to take them to the office we are cutting those teachers. And off course this is another year without pay raises for our state employees. Now, it’s easy to come in here and talk about seat warmers and talk about how we have bad customer service but the truth is if you want good people to do a good job you have to treat them well and that has to apply to all of your state employees and not just your top level secretaries. The second thing I wanna talk about is priorities, the priorities to this budget or something I just don’t agree with we put 200 million dollars in the Rainy Day Fund and I know that when you have extra money that’s a good idea we should all have an emergency fund or savings account but we are putting 200 million dollars in savings but we are cutting our education budget by 250 million dollars. We are putting 52 million dollars in the reserve fund to repeal the state tax on people with how about the states why we are putting no money to extend the earned income tax credit which helps by definition the working floor. We are putting just this first year of 38.5 million dollars into our tax reform and 4.5 million dollars extra to pay the Department of Revenue to implement it. Well, we are taking a tax reform bill that people on the lower end who are paying next to nothing or nothing an income tax and now we are gonna pay a lot more in sales tax and then finally the bottom number on the budget is a 143 million dollars that we have even appropriate so that’s like our ___[02:20]fund, that’s like our emergency fund, our average fund and we are doing that while we are cutting 52 million dollars to our hospitals, some of our rural hospitals as you heard in the medicate whether or not extend medicate or already gonna get hammered by that decision and now we are gonna cut another 52 million dollars and then the final priority I wanna talk about was school ___[02:42] and I know my friend Representative Jones will gonna like my use of the word vouchers to make him feel better I looked it up last night and Representative Jones I have to know if you go to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary the third definition down for voucher as a noun is a ___[02:58] issued by the government to a parent to use the fund the child’s education either public or private school. So, I think the definition does fits on voucher. We have got 12 million dollars the first year in vouchers I think maybe 50 million dollars the second year and we have got 24 million dollars going to our teacher’s assistance and I just don’t understand it. The third thing I wanna talk about is process and the vouchers is kind of leads me into that and I wanna talk about the process of putting vouchers in the budget and how I disagree with that? My friend Representative Brandon, I couldn’t disagree with him more on this issue but he is very passionate about vouchers, he worked very hard for these vouchers and yeah yesterday after day not…But I’m pretty sure he voted against the budget and to my friends other side out there at least 10 to 15 of you who I know are against vouchers because that’s all the committee votes but yeah at the end of the day, you have voted for the budget. So, next time when you are up for re-election and you run and somebody is gonna be able to say, “You voted for vouchers and your response is gonna have to be John.” Well, I voted against him before I voted for. I just don’t think that’s the way to address a major policy, I just don’t think and that’s right, somewhere recently talking about all this internet monitoring and everything, I have heard a quote on radio that someone and you said, “The democracy dies in the darkness.” And I think the last example I had is a perfect example for that and this is special provision in the budget to start on page 246 about re-organization of our district courts, procedural districts. Representative Baskerville asked a question yesterday and Representative Baskerville we never discuss that on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday morning at 08:30 on our appropriation committee. [0:04:59.8] [End of file…]
It was not discussed. Not one time. Not one time. There was no separate bill. It was not identified by AOC. It just showed up on last Friday morning in our Special Provisions. On Tuesday in Appropriations we ran an amendment, and we ran an amendment to fix what someone realized is hey guys, the superior court judges that you threw into the same district, one of them is hearing our redistricting suit. She’s one of the three-judge panel. We might want to fix that, so somebody ran an amendment on Tuesday to fix that. Then yesterday another amendment was run to fix another problem that addressed some issues in some Republican counties, and I noticed that no Justice and Public Safety chair stood up and spoke about that provision or about that amendment, but the Rules Chair did, and he’s not here this morning so I feel unfair picking on him. There he is. Rules Chair did, and I couldn’t figure that out until I looked at the numbers. It turns out that Rules chair got a new district judge in his county with that last minute change in Special Provision, so of course he supported it. I don’t blame him. I’d support it if my county was getting a new judge too. Even though there was 33 counties who had more of a need than Cleveland County, he got that judgeship. Now Representative Mobley had an amendment. She had an amendment on Tuesday in Appropriations, and there was some back and forth and everything and she was asked to withdraw that amendment and said that if she withdrew that amendment, they would work with her on the floor to fix the problem created with Halifax County. We’ve got three elected female district attorneys in this state. Two of them are being put into the same district by this consolidation. They’ll have to run against each other, and we’re losing two district court judges, sitting district court judges, one long-term, in Halifax County, and so she had an amendment to fix that. She was asked to pull it from Appropriations and wait to run it on the floor, and people would help her work on it and get it done, and then when she introduced her amendment yesterday, it was tabled. We didn’t even get a chance to vote on it. I think that’s wrong. I just think that’s wrong. Representative Dollar in his closing comments yesterday said a lot of people don’t like this budget because their fiefdoms aren’t being protected. Well I disagree with that. Apparently we are creating new fiefdoms at the expense of our criminal justice system, so for the three Ps – people, process and priorities – I think this budget fails on all accounts. I’d ask you to vote red. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Rockingham rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask if my friend Representative Jackson would yield to a few very short questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Wake yield to the gentleman from Rockingham? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thanks, Representative Jackson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. The gentleman may propose his inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Jackson, I appreciate your dictionary definitions. Would you agree with me that one of those definitions in the dictionary for “voucher” would have to do with a piece of paper that is similar to a coupon, if you will, that could be exchanged for goods or services? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to respond. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would, and I think if you were actually to take a hardback dictionary from 15 years ago, that’s the definition that you would find. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would the gentleman yield to an additional inquiry? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Jackson, would you agree with me that for instance the example I gave yesterday, that if you took such a coupon or voucher to McDonalds for an ice cream cone and received that, would you agree with me that before they gave you that ice cream cone, that McDonalds actually owned the ice cream? Would you agree with that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would. They have a product for sale, yes. Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would the gentleman yield to an additional inquiry? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative, would you agree with me that Burger King would not have the authority to grant you a voucher or a coupon to go to McDonalds to get that ice cream? Would you agree with me that that would be fair? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would agree with that Representative Jones as well, and I believe my only point was that I don’t think the use of the word “voucher” as the News and Observer used it down on their headline, ‘Private School Vouchers at Center of House Budget Debate’, I just don’t think that’s an incorrect use of the word “voucher” as well. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Last follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] will the gentleman yield to a final inquiry? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Absolutely. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative, whose children are they? Do they belong to the parents or to the state? Who has the authority?
Mr. Speaker, of course the children are the children of their parents, and they're in the legal custody of their parents or legal guardians. However, our state constitution gives us all in here the legal responsibility to provide them with a sound basic education. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Wake, the representative Martin, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentleman, you're already hearing some ways in which this budget does not prepare us for the future and let me just add one more part of the budget that falls line that same pattern, one that folks may not have been aware of. In my vacation away from this body, I've spent a good amount of time up at the pentagon, and I think if we're all watching the news, we know that our military is under great financial pressure from both sides of the political aisle in congress and it is inevitable that cuts are coming. And I think it's safe to say that while congress has not yet admitted it, another round of BRACK is on the way. And the last round of BRACK, those of you who we're paying attention, will remember that North Carolina did pretty darn good. You see, at Fort Bragg, we've got Army Reserve Command, and we've also got Forces Command moved up from Georgia. Two huge head quarters in a huge building on Fort Bragg. We've got Pope Air Field, no longer Pope Air Force Base, but we've still got another Air Force planes there. A little disappointed we lost 7 Special Forces Group to Florida, but overall Fort Bragg did great. Campus ?? doing just fine also. Seymour Johnson survived, so the last round of BRACK was good for North Carolina. There are many reasons for that. But one crucial reason, one piece of that puzzle, was the invests that we made with our Natural Heritage Trust Fund. And let me tell you why that's important to our military communities. If you go down to Fort Bragg and my friend, representative Szoka, I think is a paratrooper; spent some time at Fort Bragg and perhaps fallen out of a perfectly good airplane might know what I'm talking about. On the southern part post at Fort Bragg is St Mere-Eglise Drop Zone. Now when that was built decades ago, it was kind of in the middle of nowhere, so when they dropped the paratroopers out, they would just see kind of what looks like a desert with a bunch of pine trees. The area in Fort Bragg has grown, and that's brought a lot of prosperity to Sandhills area. But what happens now, is when you jump out of a plane at St Mere, particularly if the winds are blowing south to north, the Air Force drops you out of the plane south of the drop zone, and you look down, if you're not a chicken like me and can open your eyes up, and frequently it looks like you're looking right down a subdivision. My point being, growth is right literally at Fort Bragg borders. It makes it harder and reduces the areas that Fort Bragg can drop paratroopers. It means there's a lot of people around, Mr. Speaker, perhaps even in your district we've rattled some of your windows with our artillery fire at Fort Bragg. It puts a lot of pressure on Fort Bragg and our military and other military installations, on the account of training they conduct. Now, the Natural Heritage Trust Fund has invested money to preserve buffer areas around North Carolina's military installations. That has been very calculated and that calculation paid off in the last round of BRACK. This budget cuts funds like that, that have been intimately invovled in setting up North Carolina for success in BRACK. This budget does [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just to see if the gentleman from Wake would yield to a quick question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Martin, do you yield to an inquiry from the gentleman from Wake? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, I'd be happy to yield to my colleague from Wake when I'm done. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He does not yield, you have the floor sir, please continue. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This budget here with its' cuts and the shifting around of the funds is going to put us at severe risk. If you want to know one reason why essentially Eastern North Carolina didn't fall off the economic cliff in the last resession, look at the growth we got from the last round of BRACK and the high level of activity in our military installations. Essentially the wars are one thing that kept Eastern North Carolina alive. That's going away, we can't depend on that anymore. If you wanna know what impact it can have, ask the folks that we stole reserve command and forces command from how they're doing. We don't want that to happen here. Ladies and gentleman, this budget flat out puts us at risk of losing jobs in the last round of BRACK, it's something that I hope we don't do or at least something that I urge us to try and fix in conference. And Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to yield now to my friend now from Wake County. Representative Dollar, do you still wish to propose an inquiry to the gentleman from Wake, if so, he yields and you recognize. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just curious if he had his parachute on. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm sorry Mr. Speaker, I couldn't hear. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I believe the
gentleman from Wake asks if you had your parachute on, but the chair would note that the nicely tailored suit would not accommodate such. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And Mr. Speaker, let me compliment you on your hair today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Stokes, Rep. Holloway rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. As I said yesterday, budgeting is not an easy process. And when you craft a budget that is large as $20 billion, there's gonna be some things that you like, some things that you don't like. And I think that the responsible person looks at the budget and weighs what you like as opposed to what you don't like, and you have to make that responsible decision. To make comments like "Well I voted for it before I voted against it," I think is an example of an irresponsible legislator. From all I've heard, I've heard a lot of critique and a lot of criticism about what you didn't get and what you still want. But my question is where were all the amendments yesterday to help you get those things? And the reason that a lot of those amendments weren't filed is because you couldn't find a way to do it. The money's not there. Of course we'd like to have more, of course you always want more money to budget. But you've got to live within your means and that's why it's important to always spend what you've got and run a state budget like a household. I want to take just a minute to talk about teacher assistants, because I've continually heard about how we've cut teacher assistants despite the fact that this budget does far far better than the previous two. First off, counties have flexibility with every single dollar that we send them for education. The only thing that they cannot do is move money from the classroom to the central office. This budget puts funds there to fund K-3. Yes, there's a $24 million cut, but let me also tell you that most school systems, there might be a few, but most, have not had teacher assistants in grades 3 for years. A lot of systems don't even have assistants in grades 2. So then the question is, what happens to that money? And this is not a bomb being thrown at superintendents, but superintendents use that flexibility and spend it on other things. And I guarantee you, with this budget though there's plenty of money there to fund grades K2 and K3. They will spend it on other things. No one's gonna lose teacher assistant jobs because this budget, because we have more money there, than what there'll be teacher assistants there are already been hired for that, in my personal opinion. We've heard comments, they've tied tax reform back into this. Yes, we know you want the earned income tax credit. That in itself is not tax reform. Where was your tax reform package? It's easy to criticize and say you wouldn't do this and you wouldn't do that, well what would you have done? That's what this all boils down to. Yes, I can find things in here that I don't like. I know you can. When you were in the majority, if you had your members to not vote for a state budget because there was something in there they didn't like, you would have never passed a budget. This is part of the process. You have to weigh again the good with the bad, and by far this budget has far, far, far, more good than things that folks do not like. Yes, we want to do more for our schools, yes we want to do more for this and more for that. But again, you've got to live within your means because you never know when the bottom's going to fall out of the economy again. We just experienced that last session. It was because of years of overspending. Years of not putting what you needed to in reserves. Well those comments Mr. Speaker I will conclude, but I ask you for the vote for this budget because it is a good budget for North Carolina, and it does help move us forward. Thank you.
The lady from Buncombe, Representative Fisher, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the budget, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady has the floor to debate the budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I rise today to talk about how this budget is irresponsible and unresponsive to the needs of the most needy people in the state. And to highlight the idea that this budget is inextricably tied to a controversial Republican tax plan that gives tax breaks to the wealthiest in our state, to corporations and individuals, who--while raising the burden on the middle class and those who are less able to pay. In the example that I want to use in illustrating how the tax plan is being used to pay for some of the cuts that you see in the budget is the program called the Displaced Homemaker Program. We were successful in restoring one year of funding for that program in the budget, which puts it in contention, and I'm glad of that, because now it will go to conference and there will have to be some discussion about that program. But I want you to know that before that, it would have been zeroed out completely. And currently, or last year, that program, the Displaced Homemaker Program, which by the way helps women and men, not just women, 5,700 individuals received training through those programs. There are 34 of them across the state. The training helped them learn job skills, achieve financial literacy, and work toward community college certification, and it gave them the skills necessary to move them from dependence to independence. And it includes a category of people called, that are known as "persistently underemployed." And sadly, North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation in underemployed individuals. So we can talk about how North Carolina is heading into the future, and we know that the Democrats were responsible for at least one of those recessionary budgets that had to, that included a lot of cuts, but for three biennium in a row, we have seen cuts that are specifically a burden to the middle class and the lower class of our citizens in North Carolina. We can do better. We must do better. And I hope that this budget will improve in conference, but as it stands right now, I am not going to be able to support the budget, and I urge my colleagues to vote against it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and ladies and gentlemen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Wayne, Representative Bell, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen, many of you know that I don't speak a lot, but the words I heard about this bill puts the military at risk. Made me stand up. As many of you know, I cover four counties in the east of North Carolina, one of which houses the greatest Fourth Fighter Wing, it's Seymour Johnson, and the other is Cherry Point. This body, this session has done more in legislation to protect our military bases. Whether it be House Bill 484, protecting against windmill encroachment, House Bill 433, which protected a five-mile buffer all around ?? ??. We have done this. Representative Szoka put a bill in to allow military individuals to have CDLs when they leave the military to go right into jobs here in our state. Not only that, our budget, both House and Senate, sets aside a million dollars to help us defeat ?? when it comes up. So to say that this budget
Plus our military risk, I’m completely appalled by it and you should be as well. Please vote for the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Dollar, for what purpose do you rise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if the gentleman is in the room. Is Representative Martin in the room, gentleman from Wake County? See if he would yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Wake does yield to the other gentleman from Wake and you may propose your inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are you familiar with page 169 of the budget lines 32 through 34? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I left my copy at the budget on the other side. So, I’m not having photographic recall memory. But, Mr. Speaker, I’d yield for him to go ahead and enlighten me. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman wish to propose an additional inquiry? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Propose an additional question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I asked the gentleman this question, do those lines not read as follows? And this is additional language to the clean water management trust fund. Purposes of that fund, quote. To provide buffers around military bases or for State matching funds for the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative, a federal funding initiative that provides funds for military buffers. Does the budget not say that on page 169 lines 32 through 34? And in fact it does say that, referring to the same clean water management trust fund that once had one hundred million dollars in it including 2 million dollars set aside in the last round of bracks specifically to preserve that. You can name it whatever you want, you can shuffle things around, call it whatever you want but when you cut it, you’re not making responsible investments to protect North Carolina in the next round of brack and that is appalling. Final question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Will the gentleman from Wake yield to an additional inquiry? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And what party was in charge when the clean water trust fund was originally cut? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We were together to create it and we funded it together at a 100 million. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Durham, Representative Luebke, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker and members of the House. I want to remind everyone that this budget cannot be separated from House Bill 998, the bill that we passed last week to provide massive tax cuts to the millionaires of this state. And I make that point, some have already referenced it this morning, but I make that point because this morning, my friend Representative Holloway and yesterday afternoon evening, Representative Dollar; both emphasized and I wrote it down – we have to live within our means. Living within our means or I think Representative Holloway used it and I have jotted it down, the money is not there. Well friends, the money is not there because 290 million dollars was given via a tax cut to 8500 tax filers. These 8500 tax filers, millionaires and multi-millionaires receive a tax break of 290 million dollars under the tax bill that we’ve sent to the senate. So when we talk about living within our means, well excuse me, but you had 290 million dollars additional that could do so much as; beginning with Representative Jackson, folks on our side have said – pay increases for state employees, pay increases for public school teachers, not cutting teacher assistance so badly. Those are just some that come immediately to mind. So, it’s just not right. It’s not correct to say that we couldn’t do more for the people of this state. And I think each of you who supports this budget will have to go home and tell the state employees and the public school teachers and the teaching assistants that you on, as you put the two things together, you decided that millionaires and multi-millionaires.
...yes, what I'm saying is an example of what, how priorities were established in your budget and linking it to your, Chairman Lewis's tax cut bill. 8500 filers -- that's 0.2%, a fifth of one percent of North Carolinians, would have a $290-million-dollar tax break. Maybe I've been misinformed, but you were talking about... Additional question? Does the gentleman yield? I yield. The gentleman may propose the question. Thank you; sorry for that. You realize, in the budget, that we have had to spend an additional, for the biennium, $1.2 billion, in new money, for the biennial budget, for Medicaid and for the woodworking effect of the Affordable Care Act. You realize that we're having to pay for that in this budget, $1.2 billion. Representative Dollar, in this budget and in the tax bill, the middle class of working families are hurt. You mentioned $1 billion-plus; I didn't get it exactly, but $1 billion-plus. Let me assure you that that $1 billion-plus would be $290 million less of a hit on all of us, all the rest of us, if the priorities of your caucus were not, would not have been -- I know what you're going to say, you're going to say I sound like a broken record -- we'll say it again. 8500 filers, less than one-fifth of one percent, receiving $290 million. Those numbers come, Representative Dollar, from our fiscal staff. They were never rebutted by anyone on your side as we debated this bill from the House Finance Committee through second and third reading on this floor. The $290 million given to the millionaires and hurting the middle class and working families, that's what I object to in this budget, and I vote no, thank you. Rep. Collins: Mr. Speaker. The Speaker Pro Tempore: Representative Collins, please state your purpose. Rep. Collins: To ask if Representative Lewis would yield for a question? Does the gentleman yield for a question? Mr. Lewis you mention that if we had not done away with that tax, we could give a pay increase to state employees was one of your examples. I was wondering, back in 2009, when your side was in charge of the General Assembly, and you had an historic tax increase, putting an extra percent sales tax on everybody in the state, including the poorest of people, and also increased the income tax, how much of that went for raises for state employees? Did you want me to answer that, or is that a rhetorical question? Do you have the floor? Only a handful of you on the Republican side were here in 2009, but I think if you were reading the newspapers you'd know that 2009 was the worst, the worst year for the economy of the United States since the Great Depression. It's during 2009 that the term Great Recession, juxtaposed to Great Depression, was coined. And in that setting, we had to make as the Majority, and I was Senior Chair of Finance, Representative Shaw was Senior Chair of Appropriations, Speaker Hackett [??] at the time. We had to make a decision. How bad did we want to make it, particularly in the area of public education. How far down did we want to go? We had temporary, and they were temporary two-year increases. Anyone who was here knows that I had a big chunk of that bill. It was focused on higher income tax rates for millionaires and those making more than $250,000. And we caucused, we had a caucus debate, and a few people thought we ought to put a little more emphasis, partly on the income tax surcharge -- it wasn't a tax increase, it was a surcharge for the high-end people -- and there was a temporary sales tax. Mr. Speaker? The Speaker Pro Tempore: Excuse me, Representative, for what purpose does the gentleman from Johnston rise? Rep. Langdon: A point of order. The Speaker Pro Tempore: The gentleman may state his point. Rep. Langdon: We are all enjoying the great oratory going on, but it's really not about the budget; it's about something that happened in history. I wish you would try to make sure the debate is about our budget today. The Speaker Pro Tempore: The Chair would acknowledge that the gentleman [whispering] and the Chair would ask that the Members try to focus the debate on the budget. Representative Collins...
..and I will say after looking at all of our southern states they're not normal anymore. This year when we fund at the same levels or in some cases less than what we did last year in education. Florida realizing the error of their ways pumped an additional 1 billion dollars into their education budget this spring. We just got data from Georgia which has a 6.4 percent increase in it's higher education budget and a 1.1 percent increase in it's elementary and secondary. Mississippi had a 2.5 percent increase in elementary and secondary and a 5.6 percent increase in it's higher education budget and Texas much like Florida has desperately struggled to put together well over a billion dollars to refund cuts that they took in the last couple years in their education budget. All recognizing I think that if we fail at the most important task we are given which is education of the next generation we fail at everything. Here's what my problems are in K twelve. The two highest priorities that I think every member of the sub-committee said when we went around the room at the beginning of the year were to make sure that there were substantial teacher pay raises and that we did as much as we could to cut in to the discretionary cuts for the schools. Those discretionary cuts I will remind many of you are cuts that began in 2008 and 2009 because we had no choice. As hard as the budget is for you all this year you can't begin to imagine how hard it was when that hit when the state loses 40 percent of it's revenue in a 90 day period and so we did a number of things, including starting what we now call the discretionary cut but that was meant to be short lived and it was meant to be reduced over time and where are we now 5 years later the third under republican budget we haven't reduced it a wit not really a wit and in fact some of the budget proposals suggest it will be increased. Short term sacrifice in the schools was what we had to demand at a time of the greatest recession but we cannot continue to suspect and believe that teachers can continue to due in the short term sacrifice was required for the long term and not have it dramatically effect quality. The second issue we said was teacher pay and aside from the minuscule 1.2 percent raise last year there hasn't been one in the 5 years since the recession hit. I would rather get rid of every new item in the budget in all budgets and fund state employees and teachers a substantial pay raise this year and next year and continue to put additional things in the budget that we cannot fund and sustain without using the money that we would have for our people. The Governor talks a lot about marketing the state and that's wonderful but you know the market is right there and what we market our are people, our natural resources, our universities, our community colleges and this budget invests in none of them in any serious way and that is to me when you are 46 or 45 pick a survey in the nation in teacher pay and headed down with all these other states are increasing pay absolutely the wrong way to go. Cuts to public education continue this year 24 million more in teacher assistance, 26 million next year, 4 million in supplies, 2 million next year in supplies but those figures aren't great in the large amount of money that's there but they are great in the context of all of these categories have now been cut every one of these years, going into this year there is an ongoing recurring cut for supplies of 38 million non recurring, 3 million recurring.
personnel 23 million, for non-instructional personnel 60 million. That's on top of the discretionary cut. These are people. The education budget is 85% people. There is no longer any way to avoid the conclusion that we are seriously in a modu constitutionally affecting the ability to provide children a sound, basic, fundamental education. There's no way to avoid that. What else am I concerned with in this budget? I'm concerned with the fact that we have in effect eliminated from this budget over the last several years any semblance of professional development. Any semblance. I am really grateful to our Chairs, who had the courage to put back the teaching fellows positions and NCAT, which was taken out I might add-- in my view, last session for entirely political and non-?? reasons. But they are at least back in and they should be given credit for that - we should as a body. But if you look at all the countries around the world where students are excelling in which we love to compare the charts on, what they will tell you is professional development is one of the biggest things they invest in and we do almost none of it. And then there's community colleges. Now I think-- I had not seen the last two years, or the two years prior, an attack of the community colleges that they were seriously being hurt. They understood and they dealt with the cuts. But you all have seen what I've seen in the last couple days and that is, the President Rall(?) says, and I got a call from my president, "This is a bad budget. It will not allow them to do the things that we are now continuing to assign them to do." And then we have the university system. We have yet another year of large tuition increases, exacerbated by the additional increase we put to non-residents students in the budget. The university is whopped with another 110 or 120 million discretionary cut, on top of an existing $580 million cut. Their budget from us is only about, as I recall, two and a half to three billion dollars. And we're talking about, about $700 million worth of cuts to them, that they're supposed to absorb, and then somehow with a straight face say that's not affecting quality or access or availability. And then we don't increase, luckily we don't cut financial aid, but tuitions we shoot up. We know there's problems in Washington with financial aid being matched, and we don't increase financial aid for students. We know that we had a number of students dropping out early this fall because they just couldn't put packages together. And so there's no way to avoid saying that this budget doesn't hurt access and availability and quality at our institutions. I'm sorry that I disagree about the budget because I really think one of these years it would be nice, no matter who's in charge, if we could actually all come together and find a common ground. And that may happen at conference, but this budget does serious harm. And the argument that's being used, that we have no choice, is not true. We have choices, it's just that we don't like some of the other choices. Well, for that four-year-old who can't get into preschool, for that 18-year-old who can't get into college, for the K-12 teacher who no longer has a teacher assistant and has to handle 25 kids, 24 kids, in second grade, for that university class that's not available so it means a student can't graduate on time, for all the resources that aren't available for our underprivileged children who come in at a disadvantage to begin with, they don't have another year for us to wait. We have an obligation to them. The highest priority of this state is to educate its next generation and this budget fails to do that. All the reasons I've articulated, and I'll be glad to answer any questions where I would find the resources, and for all of the reasons I've articulated I cannot vote
For this budget, despite the yen my closing comment, that I believe that the chair is operated in extraordinary good faith. And in the best process of involving us as possible. But the final product hurts the state. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from spokes representative Holloway rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the budget a second time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has recognized to speak on the bill a second time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to start off by first addressing some of the comments that representative Luebke made. He talks about these tax cuts for millionaires and how that is impeding us in what we need to do with the budget. But I want to remind you that the first thing that he said when things first started going down hill that his party's response was to raise taxes. They created a temporary tax. If my memory serves me well, last session, when that temporary tax expired, his party wanted to keep it, wanted to keep moving forward with it. I also wanted to remind you that probably for nearly a decade, and definitely for the first six years that I spent here for the minority, their answer for revenue needs was always going and taxing the poor. Sales tax increase, sales tax increase, sales tax increase. That's all I ever saw, that's all we ever heard. We know that is a very regressive tax, and it hurts the poor. The folks that the democrat party wanted to help. They constantly went and took it out of their pockets. Sales tax hurts them worse than anyone. The budget that we started with last session was the worst shortfall in state history. That temporary tax that they created didn't work. In my opinion, it dug the hole deeper because you spent money on banking a tax that you didn't collect. The economy was going south. And folks, we still are in tough times. But even that budget where you put that temporary tax in place, you put no pay increase in there. None. Why didn't you? Our budget that we have here, it does have a compensation for a year or two. We understand the importance of giving pay-raises. We want to do it. We still have conference. But we're trying to make steps towards giving that pay-raise in a year or two. We gave one last year. Yes, it was 1.2%, but it was better than the year before. 1.2%'s better than zero. And the discretionary cut. There's comments made about that. And I may be wrong, but my memory serves me that the discretionary cut was actually born in 2002, 11 million dollars. And it had grown to over 400 million dollars by the time that we took control. We reduced that discretionary cut, the money that counties have to send back to the state. We reduced it last year to around 376 million dollars. We've got a long ways to go, I'm sure, but we didn't build it. We didn't create it. And every year that we've been in charge, we've chipped away at it. This budget here chips away at it here, ever so slightly, but it does chip away. And in a year or two, it keeps it constant in year one. It chips away at it in year two. And I'll remind you that the dollars that they're sending back, that was billed into their budgets last year. We didn't increase it any this year. So we certainly have done no harm with the discretionary cut, and again, we have tried to repair it. The budget that we took so much criticism from you all last year, actually we came back with a surplus this year. But our surplus was eaten away from the affordable care act that your president passed in Washington, DC, and sent it to us, and it ate all of our surplus. So folks, again,
Tell me what taxes you want to increase for this budget. I'm, I'm very curious. I wanna know. More sales tax increase, if so how much? You wanna tax those millionaires that you keep talking about. How much you gonna get? How much is it going to yield? Does it pay for all the wish list that you put out on the floor today? Mr. Speaker I'll end my comments there, thank you. [Speaker change] The gentleman from McDowell, Representative Dobson. For what purpose do you rise? [Speaker change] To debate the bill. [Speaker change] The gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [Speaker change] Thank you Mr. Speaker. I wanna first begin by touching on what Representative Glazier talked about with process. Because process is very important to me. I don't like overreaching or heavy handedness, and I want to start by saying I think our chairman have been more than fair with the process. I think that's been overlooked to a certain extent. Yesterday or the day before Chairman Dollar in the subcommittee, or in full approach allowed every amendment to be heard, full debate, everything was discussed, everything was debated, and everything was voted on. In my subcommittee in the ENR Representative Mcelrath and Representative West listened to our concerns. Both democrat and republican had on the rule center and worked to include funds for that, because we had concerns with it. I had an issue yesterday, Representative Blackwell, I talked to him on an education issue, he looked at it. He said he didn't have a problem with it, talked to me about how we can make it better, and the amendment passed on the floor yesterday. Representative Cleveland, Representative Brown in general government I had some issues there that I had some concern. Representative Brown had lunch with some folks from my district. Talked to Representative Cleveland many times about it. So and Representative Holloway I've met with several times on some things from the budget that I would like to see. So I think the process should be commended for the way this process has went forward. Nobody can say that things have not been heard, things have not been discussed, things have not been voted on. I think that's important. So I wanted to start with that. And I also wanted to say that when it comes to budgeting I know as a former county commissioner and now in this body, you don't get everything you want. Every policy that you'd like to see, everything in funding for your district or less funding here, we do not get everything that we would like to have in budgets. I've made no secret that I'm opposed to the opportunity scholarships. I've made that clear from the beginning. I voted against it every time that we had a chance to vote on it. I would like to have seen a crime lab for the west, it was something we just didn't have the funds for and I understand that. But when you don't get everything in a budget that you want, you just don't take your ball and go home and say I'm done. You look at the overall package of how things are, you look at each section of the budget, you look at each committee, you look at each area of appropriations and then make your decisions based on that. And overall I think our chairman, I think those in the committees did a great job. I think it's a reasonable budget, I think it's a measured budget, and overall I think it's something that we can support, and I encourage you to do the same. Thank you Mr. Speaker. [Speaker change] The gentleman from Guilford Representative Brandon. For what purpose do you rise? [Speaker change] To debate the bill. [Speaker change] The gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. [Speaker change] I, when I first started this year, I was very excited about the opportunities that we had as a body to really change the course and the way we deal with budget issues. And I thought when we dealt with finance and tax reform that we would actually do that. Instead what we did was just more of the same. And I thought that, I don't know why, but I thought for sure that we would look at tax reform and say how much money does it take to really run this state. And then create the revenue to do that. But we didn't do that. We didn't even come close to doing that. So we're still here, everybody's ?? this great reform but we're still here debating budget issues that we're talking about core issues of this state that we cut. I'm not talking about what we go and talk about at the county convention. All these people are wasteful spending, and this is wasteful spending, and this is more. [Speaker change] Mr. Speaker. If the gentleman will yield for what purpose. [Speaker change] Will Representative Brandon yield for a question? [Speaker change] I'll yield as soon as I finish. [Speaker change] He does not yield. You have the floor sir, please continue.
Well I know that we can go to the county convention and we can say oh this is forks bill spending and this is that and the other but the truth is none of those people ever get cut. It's teacher's assistants that get cut. It's roads and projects that gets cut. That's the reality. All of these things that we talk about in the county convention are not even budget line items and so we make these promises to folks that so we'd have to cut the budget and so we're being lean and we're doing all of these things and everybody's excited about it until they realize that it was a program that they liked that got cut. It was their teacher assistant in their third grade class that got cut. It was their schools that got cut. It was their health care program that got cut. We don't talk about that at the county convention and we had a very great opportunity this year to be able to deal with tax reform and create enough revenue so we won't have to have this debate every single year. I think somehow subconsciously we like to do it. We love to come in here and talk about oh we want to do this is the priority for this this is the priority for that. We've done it for years and decades. We finally had the opportunity not to do that and we're still here having the same conversation that we've had for 40 50 years. The same exact conversation so nothing has really changed and people want to know how does Marcus support the opportunity tax scholarship or vouchers and not support the budget. It is because of the budget that I support opportunity tax scholarships and vouchers because it's the same budget that we've always seen. We have never adequately supported public education. We have never done the things that we needed to do to make sure that all kids have a fair shake. We have never made sure that we got rid of the of the summer fiasco where all of my kids have to go take a two month break and get far behind. It costs too much money. We don't deal with the face that we want to raise the age to 18 to make sure that people don't drop out of school cause we don't have enough money. And then everybody looks and me and says oh you should just wait until we make all these changes and then all of this fantasy world with public education will be great and everybody will be happy and everybody will be learning. Well guess what. I know better than that. I have seen it happen since I was a kid budget after budget whether it's the State House or in county commission people throwing chairs people yelling at each other about what the budget looks like and how it's not adequately funded and you want me to continue to wait till my kids adequately be served. I will not do it. I support the opportunity scholarship because of budget. I hope that in the future that when we're debating budgets and we're debating tax reform that we will just be realistic. How much does it cost to run this state adequately. How much does it cost to make sure that all of our teachers are paid a good salary. How much does it cost to make sure that all of our roads and projects are done. How much does it cost to make sure that no one is sitting in the hospital with a bad bill or has to get sent home because they don't have adequate coverage. How much does it cost for all of those things to happen? And then you make a tax reform plan around that. We did it backwards. So there is no way to know. We came up with the plan and never looked at how much does it really cost to run the state. Why would you ever do that? My point is that we have the excellent opportunity to in conference and elsewhere to be able to look at this in a reasonable manner. But I have to vote against this budget because of all of the things that's in the budget and all of the things that hurt regular people. Not just poor people but middle class people. Folks we're still at 9.4 percent unemployment. Hadn't moved a bit. Not one inch. That is a realistic conversation and we gotta have it. You can say all of these things create jobs by the transit of property but the people of the state of North Carolina look at one property. The number 9.4 percent. That's where it was when you came in power. That's where it is right now. Not moved an inch. So I say that we need to take a look back and revisit what priorities are and what makes moving forward moving forward. What really runs this state, how do we do it adequately and if we can do that we can all sit down and we can all vote for a budget. But today I'm gonna urge my colleagues to vote no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Insko the lady from Orange for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady has the floor to debate the bill [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker and ladies and gentlemen of the House I want to
[Speaker changes.]...first begin by acknowledging the good job that Representative Hollo and Representative Avila and Representative Brisson did with the Health and Human Services Budget. We had...came into the budget with many issues on the table...many, many of them were addressed. They were very responsive in committee. I hope...I will appeal to you to do everything you can to hold those gains that we made in conference committee because the Senate budget is significantly worse than our House budget. Even tho' I am very happy with what we did and the gains that we made in the Health and Human Services Budget. Taken as a package, our budget overall and our tax package fall far short of what we could do or what we should do. I think that this comment about living within our means is very significant. A low income family that was working two jobs wouldn't buy an expensive bauble for a rich ?????? while they were putting their children to bed hungry and that's what this package does. The budget and the tax package together takes money out of our budget, that our hungry children need...that our hungry education system needs. With all the bills that we pass every year, the budget is clearly...is the one that most clearly reflects our priorities. This budget continues a three-year trend of hurting our middle and working-class families. A three-year trend of jeopardizing our children's future. A three-year trend of ignoring our desperate need for jobs and stimulating our economy and a trend of undermining the ability of our rural parts of our state to compete with the urban parts of our state. You've heard a lot of other people speak about the cuts that were in the budget...we did have an opportunity to address some of these through our tax package but also through taking this opportunity through our budget to expand Medicaid. We rejected that earlier on. We could've fixed that in the budget. We chose not to do that. If we had done that, Medicaid expansion would've brought ???? 10 billion dollars into our funds, into our state over a period of five years. It would've boosted our local economies, the regional economic model that was used to estimate our Medicaid expansion would've created 25,000 new jobs. We're supposed to be focusing on jobs. That bill would've helped us expanded our job market. Even the indirect costs, the multiplier effect would have been estimated 2300 healthcare related jobs that would've come in part of our expansion. We also, because we rejected Medicaid expansion, lost access to preventive care that would've reduced the cost of operations and treatments for the uninsured and low income. We talked about our re-base this year and how much money we put in for the 'woodwork effect'? That is an investment in our future. That will result in a savings to our state. Our CCNC has demonstrated that it saves money in Medicaid. The way we save money in healthcare is to keep people healthy and the Affordable Care Act has free, preventative services in it to focus on keeping people healthy. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 2/3 of the uninsured are the working poor. These families are working but their employer does not offer healthcare. Through an expansion in Medicare we would've been able to cover these families. I'd like to remind my friends that...if...that also if you... if helping bringing money into the state to help our economy or bringing money into...or expanding Medicaid in order to create new jobs. If that isn't convincing enough, we could take a look at the fact that it actually saves lives. A recent study showed that a Medicare expansion, including the 500,000 people who are not insured...if we had covered those people, provided them healthcare, we actually would've saved almost 3000 lives next year. People who don't have insurance die because they don't have insurance. [Speaker changes.] [Speaker changes.]
I recently heard a man who lost his job who was diabetic, his insurance cost – his prescription drug costs – were 500 dollars a month. He couldn’t afford those so what he did was try to do more lifestyle changes – exercise more, eat better food, cut his prescription drugs in half. He began to show his symptoms of diabetes again and he now faces the reality that he may die. Another gentleman that I heard of recently had a job for 110 thousand dollars a year. When he lost his job, the only job he could find was a 30 thousand dollar job a year that had no health insurance for him or his family. Those are people in our counties. Each one of us, we have uninsured people in every one of our counties. We come to the General Assembly to take care of those people, to make sure that we do what we can to provide healthcare for them, to provide jobs for them, and we’ve made a decision not to do that. That’s an intentional decision. Finally I’d like to just remind people here that by rejecting Medicare, we don’t hurt President Obama or Democrats. We hurt the people who live in our districts. For that reason and for others, I cannot vote for this bill, and I hope that you will take the opportunity to fix it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If the lady will yield, Representative Blust, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] See if Representative Insko will yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No thank you, Representative Blust. [SPEAKER CHANGES] She does not yield. You have the floow, ma’am. Ladies and gentlemen, if I could have your attention please. We are going to proceed with debate, but after consultation with the speaker and with the minority leader, the Chair’s been asked to announce that after all members who seek that chance to speak have had the chance to speak, we will allow about four or five minutes to pass before the actual vote. There are several members of the House who have been called to presrnt bills in Senate committees, so the Chair wanted to accounce that that is the intention. At this time we will proceed with debate on Senate Bill 402. The gentleman from Union, Representative Horn, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I really do try to not rise unless I can either… I really believe that I could change someone’s mind, really affect the vote, or maybe to entertain once in a while with a Churchill quote, and I have no Churchill quote for today. I have plenty but I’m not going to use one, and I really don’t expect to change any votes, but I can’t help but give just a couple of brief observations. Can’t help myself. I should know better but I don’t. My first observation is my life experience tells me that pretty much nothing is as bad as we fear or as good as we hope. That’s pretty much how it works, and I feel like that’s exactly what this budget does. I don’t think it’s the end of the world and I don’t think we’re going to devastate public education in North Carolina forever and ever, and nor do I think that we’ve saved really much of anybody or much of anything. It is what it is. I greatly appreciate hearing the comments from both sides about the sub-chairs and the process. That’s a good sign for the future of our legislature. I think there are some several things that we did well – not great, but well – and there are some things that I wish we could have done, I really wish we could have done, that we did not do, but it is what it is given the constraints that we have, and we have to work in the moment. This is what we’ve got to work with. Representative Brandon said we need to know what it’s going to cost, and then we work our tax policy and our budget based on that. I suggest that that’s an illusion. What’s it going to cost? I have yet to see anybody firmly tell me without maybe a little grin on their face
Well here’s what it’s going to cost because the moment you agree to that, it’s “Oh, I forgot about this”. So that’s a great idea. It’s like zero base budgeting. I really like that idea, but I want to know who here wants to stay all year long, 16-hour days to go through the zero base budgeting process. So I’m going to end my brief comments with a challenge – a challenge to every person in this House. Get out in the schools and volunteer in the classroom. Ride with the policemen, a uniformed patrolman at night, two o’clock in the morning. Ride in a garbage truck. Work in a jail. Get out there. Stop pontificating and get out there and understand. We’ve heard about how people are hurting, and they are hurting, and the recession’s not over. I don’t care what some department or somebody in Washington DC says. It’s not over. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to understand and work with… Have a couple of shots out there for some things to go right, and stop shaking our fingers at people. Listen. Get involved. Do it. We can save hundreds of millions of dollars if every one of us would just pick up a shovel and a broom. I’m asked all the time what’s wrong with this place, what’s wrong with you people. I say “I’ll tell you what’s wrong: Look in the mirror.” We’ve got to do it, not talk about it. This budget… Am I really proud? “Oh, this is a great budget.” It’s as great as it is for what we’ve got. Would I like more? Who here wouldn’t want more? Every one of us, “I want to do more for my county.” [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Horn, if you’ll yield. Representative Blust, for what purpose does…? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Representative Horn will yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman yield to the gentleman from Guilford? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I can’t help myself. I’m just dying ??. I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Horn, I want to help – [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Blust. Did you say you would yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir, I did. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman does yield. You may ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I want to help, you I’d like for you to explain to me how my picking up a shovel can help with this budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] How you picking up a shovel would help entertain all of us. Representative Blust, I appreciate the question, and you know exactly the point I’m getting at, and I appreciate the entertainment. As I said, I expect I’m not going to change any votes, which would be one of my goals when I stand up to talk, and the other one probably is to entertain, and that’s part of that process. I’m just asking all of us, the process does not end here, like has been said by Representative Lewis, today’s Speaker Lewis, that this is not an event; it’s a process. We’ve all got to be involved in that every day. We can do a lot better, but I think what we’ve done is pretty darn good given the pieces of the puzzle we’ve got. I encourage you – truly, I encourage you. Vote for this budget, please. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. The gentleman from Durham… The gentleman from Durham, Representative Michaux, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Top speak on this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate Senate Bill 402. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker, and ladies and gentlemen of the House, I told you last night I’d be back here this morning again, and in all deference to Representative Daughtry, he doesn’t like to hear any history, but since you all refer back four sessions ago forward, I’d like to refer back even before that. Four sessions ago forward, we were in the depths of a very, very serious recession in this country, and you criticize us now for what we did then to help keep this state, to keep the ship right, and that’s what we did, in spite of the fact that yes, we did raise some tax. You call us “tax and spend”, but that money was put in there in order to help keep the services to the people of this state moving forward. But I want to remind you that last night I
...told you that we were morphing from the 19th century to the 21st century forgetting all about the 20th century and the progress that was made during the 20th century when Democrats were in charge of this body and you cannot deny the fact that the budgets that we passed, the legislation that we passed, all of the things we've passed during that period of time brought about the prosperity, whatever prosperity we had, whatever notoriety or whatever we got, came about as a result of at least 100 years of Democratic rule, if you want to call it, in this state. We have become one of the most recognized sates for progessivity, for education, for anything that you want name. We have been rated in top five, six or ten places for anything you want to do for bringing in new businesses, for providing new jobs and doing all of these things. Now that takes care of what we as Democrats have done for this state over the last 100 years. Now you want to take four years when we hit that rough spot and blame us for every ill that now that arises but you don't want to offer any solution in your budget to do it. What you're telling us, I mean, give me a break folks. You put this educational opportunity thing in the budget thinking it's going to make some changes in education. Let me give you...and here again, we get on all these esotery clouds and auditory flows and ureteric just gushes but when you stop and think about what you're doing or what you're trying to do. You can understand it doesn’t make any sense at all. Like the educational opportunity thing that you put in the budget. Here is a black person in Durham, North Carolina who has two children in the family and he says “my kids are not getting the education they need in public schools. So I want a choice. I want to send my kid to Durham Academy. That's my choice. That's where I’m supposed to get a good educational opportunity for my kids.” The tuition at Durham Academy is $20,000 a year. What choice does that individual have with educational opportunity for his kids? I'm just asking because you see, when you do these things and everybody supposed to see these beautiful clouds out there you just really off base. Now I’m not...I'm sort of like the great theologian Martin Luther, who put out the the 95 theses against the holy Roman Catholic church and he was called in to the inquisition and asked did he stand by those 95 theses and he said, “let me think about it.” He came back the next day and he said to them, “yes, I stand by them.” And they ask him would he recant. And he says “give me another day to think about it.” And he came back the next day and this is what he said. “I neither can nor will not recant anything for it's neither right nor safe to act against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other.” So I’m standing before you today to tell you that this thing that you call a budget is not going to work for the betterment for the people of this state. You criticized us again, for raising taxes. 1.2 billion dollars in taxes which kept the ship of state on the right course. We said it was temporary. You claimed that we wanted to keep it but you didn't find out whether we wanted to keep it or not because you came in and took it out. Your the ones that took it out. 1.2 billion dollars in there would have gone a long ways for doing the things that we needed to do and we still need to do. I mean, look I'm thinking the Representative Alexander's medical marijuana bill has passed and some of us has taken advantage of it. So...
him, how can I ask you to pass his budget and see how far you get the people in this state walked a true honest budget. they walked through on his education. we have tried to make up over theyears progress energy that the state is suing you can't deny you came in here talking about jobs, jobs, jobs, you really created not one job and I know right now you have collected all the money you talk about putting is it you've got reserves in here for the government shot at alleviating the text. could you talk about anti- three-pronged if you're talking about is not what or how well you got agencies, you got people out there this long text only missionaries in their agencies on trust fund in their agencies could cover off a lot of things, like getting tedious raises. I demonstrate employees raises an slower than you had to be about getting a sample raised somewhere because I don't know how many more of you can become a nun in on the less than the poverty wages you receiving, but that's another a fun-loving, while trying to tell you is that we need to go back reorder priorities, which is something that you always say we wanted to pop out priority and come back. that's still fill out a budget for a special provisions. we never try to allow it in the budget we passed a five hundred twelve Bytes hundred and fifty to two hundred pages, as compared to the three hundred fifty to four hundred pages you got you now because we don't allow special provision those things that need to be talked about that you will are you doing committee.we say we have the best system in the country because of the committee system. the committee system works. when you start bringing in things to put in the budget at the last minute. two minutes before you pass the budget summit will come up with something to put in their book by speaker that he's not going well. any amendment: no, we get some more but the bottom line folks is that we need to go back and rethink our priorities and try to get these things right so that people won't be current. just I just look at all the things that we had not think we should have done things that have been successful about being cut out in this budget and I would suggest you again that we go back rethink our priorities and come back into something that is right for the people of State of North Carolina [SPEAKER CHANGES] . the lady from Chatham representative McManus [SPEAKER CHANGES] for what purpose do you rise, distinct abilities lady has afford to speak with you. I actually want to share some words came to me a couple of e-mails from teachers of the first says that he says McManus, I am writing to let you know that sadly I will be leaving with teaching in North Carolina. currently I work in a supportive title I school with SF. I enjoy. I been in North Carolina schools for eight years, working with high poverty and high minority schools. it has been a rewarding experience. in addition, each music teacher. my husband and I are ready to expand our family and we struggling with how to make ends meet financially, this past year, I was forced to start looking for a job in Fort Mill, South Carolina, for there will be able to compensate me for over four thousand dollars more for doing the same job. even after my Gaston County supplement actually the smallest boom that has much more parent support any more resources and I will receive the higher salary. I my family to grab it made me sad to leave the only school where I have ever talked we are truly a family here. if I felt that the North Carolina legislature value teachers and thought the right things. I would've loved to have stayed and continued my work year. North Carolina is doing a disservice to everybody involved in educating children is unfair to teachers and a pay freeze for so many years. it tells us that we are not considered professionals. we are not valued, and I work is not worth the cost if we can continue to spin around money on supplies that inflation is that we continue to be asked to be higher and higher standards, the feeling that comes with it is one of deceit we go. we're never going to be able to create a life for ourselves. this is worthwhile, who wants to work in a state
Valuing teachers. Not me. I decided to cross over the state line and work in a state that more fairly compensates me for educating their future. Please share my feelings of frustration and sadness with your colleagues. Teaching is rewarding life changing job but I will be leaving North Carolina schools next year. I do not feel that I could recommend for anybody to enter this profession in North Carolina. Please listen to the teachers that are still going to be here. Please treat them and compensate them as professionals, as people that spend more waking hours with the children than parents do, as people that instill morals, values, etiquette and manners as well as academic skills to other people’s children every day. Pay them appropriately for truly shaping this state’s future. Thank you. I’m not going to give the name on the. Representative McManus thank you for all the work that you do. I know that it’s not an easy job. You must make many decisions about many different industries all across the state. You’re expected to know about many different topics. I’m aware that education is the one topic that is close to your heart and that’s why I chose to write to you. Please help me. I’m a 4th year teacher in North Carolina, I originally worked in a corporate field for a few years upon graduating college. I do not have my Master’s degree. I came to teaching because after a couple of years I learnt that I’m not a cubicle kind of person. I wanted a profession that allowed me to work with children and so far I have excelled in the classroom and found my passion in working with middle school children. However, with not having any higher education and with a pay freeze in place since my first year teaching I barely make over $32000.00. My husband works hard but also being a state employee he and I do not make a combined income that amounts to a lot. We have one child now and another child on the way. Our son Sam is in daycare during the week. His daycare costs us about $140 a week or $480 a month. When our second child is born our price will nearly double. As state employees we’re terrified. I have no idea how we will afford childcare for our children, a basic need. The price of daycare will take over half my entire monthly take home pay check. How is this fair? I feel panicked every time we sit down to work on a budget because there is not enough money to support our small family. I’m afraid that I will have to leave a profession that I love simply to support a family that I love even more. I hope this general assembly can do something to help the educators in North Carolina. I feel so desperate right now. How is it that my husband and I are working our tails off at our professions that we care about and yet we’re not rewarded, I’m sorry I can hear myself talking right now, and yet we’re not rewarded for it financially. We’ve spent more time worrying about our future child than we’ve spent being excited. I hope that you and your fellow representatives realize the burdens that teachers are taking on in their personal lives simply by staying in the profession. Please do something to end the pay for jobs fairly and help our family make ends meet. Thank you for your time and consideration. I know you all got another one that I got about Masters because saw that it went to everybody and it was also from somebody who’s thinking he’s going to have to leave the state because he started his Masters a year ago but he will complete it after the cut off time so he will not get compensation for that. The teacher that’s leaving for South Carolina, I did look, if she had her Masters she would make even more in South Carolina. I think education is the most important thing we do. It’s the reason I ran for this office. It’s the most frustrating [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman [SPEAKER CHANGES] thing I have dealt with. No I will not yield to a question right now. Let me finish before I do that. Then I’ll be happy to. I am so concerned and even in this budget that gives 5 bonus days to teachers, I don’t know how many representatives know, but teachers can’t take those days. It gives it to state employees. Teachers are not allowed to take a day while students are in class so it doesn’t help teachers at all to give them 5 days because they are not allowed to take them. Unless you let them carry these over as far as like days towards their retirement but that’s not what we’ve done in the past. I know what
legislature’s done in the past, and those were only good for the year, that fiscal year, so teacher’s lost them, they weren’t allowed to use them. We aren’t doing anything, anything at all for the teachers in this state who work so hard, except blaming them when they can’t do everything we want them to do. We have the highest graduation rate that North Carolina has ever had in its history. We have been performing very well. Someone in the Speaker’s Office actually looked at some numbers and said “I don’t know how the state’s been doing as well as they have when they’re at that level of compensation,” and I said “Well we’ve been riding on a wave of when we were compensating, when we were working hard,” but that wave’s getting ready to break because teachers cannot continue to do what they’ve been doing without compensation. We’re going to lose our best and brightest because you can go to any state that touches North Carolina and make a better salary and be treated better, with more respect. I think this is a sad statement about this budget. Thank you. I’ll take a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Collins, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m wondering if the Representative would yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would the lady from Chatham yield to an inquiry from the gentleman from Nash? She does. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just wondering if you’re aware of when the pay freeze for teachers started and which party was in control at that time, and also which party was the last party to give the teachers a pay raise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m quite aware, and I think we have reached a time when we could better afford to give them a raise now than we could at the time that that freeze began. I would not have been in favor of it then, to tell the truth, but I understood it. I think we’ve gone far too long and I think a 1.2% increase is really almost nothing anyway, so I think it was an election tactic and I didn’t feel like it was to benefit our teachers or our state employees at that time. So I hope I answered your question. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Faircloth, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would the lady yield for a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would the lady from Chatham yield to the gentleman from Guilford? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Certainly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] She does. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. I appreciate what you’re saying. I have great regard for teachers, I have a lot of friends who are teachers, but I also have a lot of friends, and I know you do too, who since 2008 are engaged in private businesses and other public jobs who also had not had an increase – in fact have had many decreases. Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is correct. I don’t know how many of them though have been given higher and higher standards for their work year after year, and that is what we do for teachers. We set a higher and higher bar for them to meet every year while we have taken away the money we provide for supplies, the money we provide for their continuing education, we’ve expected them to take on part of their healthcare insurance. If anything, it’s like they’ve had a pay cut in that time. Now I know other people may have too and I’m really sorry about that, but like I said, I don’t think we do anything more important than educating our children. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Will the lady yield? She yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you ma’am for another question. Of those people, those friends of your and mine who work out here in the world every day since 2008 you say have seen cuts in their salaries or in their commissions or whatever their income’s based on, have you seen or are you aware that they are paying a lot of the cost of us trying to operate government? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. I have watched my husband’s pay shrink, and you wouldn’t think that would be the case because he’s a family practice physician, but through managed care I have watched his reimbursements get smaller and smaller each year and we’ve taken a salary cut. I understand that, and in my town, in Siler City, we lost Townsends. We lost our major industry, I’ve seen people unemployed, but I’ve gone to county meetings with farmers, people who show up in their overalls and their John Deere hats and still say education is the most important thing, that their kids and grandkids have got to have a good education if they’re going to be able to do better than their parents.
grandparents did. I still think it's the most important thing we do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One final question. Will the lady yield to one final question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Of course. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you so much for your time and patience. Where is the balance point, or how do we go about finding the balance point, between continuing to demand more and more payment from our citizens for taxes and so forth, fees and what have you, and the way we manage government in deciding what salaries are. How do we find that balance point? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I feel like this year we are putting money into other programs: the voucher program. Right now, I don't have them in front of me, but other things that if we had put that money into a state pay raise, we could have compensated our teachers this year. We could have come back and addressed vouchers in the next budget. We could have waited. I'm just not sure the best and brightest in our education system can wait. I believe there are things that we are doing that could have waited. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] This one's important. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Cumberland rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Representative McManus would yield for three questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would the lady from Chatham yield to the gentleman from Cumberland? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Absolutely. [SPEAKER CHANGES] She yields. You may propose your inquiries. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative McManus, would you agree with me that every other job in the world is dependent on only one job, that is, teachers who teach them their skills in order for them to go out into the work force? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Of course I do, you know that. You know how I feel. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And would you, secondly, like to tell the body, what--since this has come up and hopefully will put an end to this type of questioning--what was the party, or which party was in power, that last gave a substantial raise to teachers and state employees? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I believe that would be the Democratic Party. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. And the last question is, when we compare the world of work and the world of children, would you agree with me that there is a wide difference in making widgets and educating a child? [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is an argument I have had, even with school board members, for many years because--if your friend who was on the school board with me used to say... [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] ...if you put something in--I'm going to answer my question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Please state your point, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Please state your point. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are we debating the budget? I stepped out a few minutes and I came back and it sounds like we're debating something else. Is this the budget we're debating, sir? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Your point is well taken. The lady is responding from an inquiry from the gentleman, and the chair would ask that she continue to do. But the chair would again ask the members to try to focus the debate on the bill that is before us. Representative McManus, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was saying, yes, with widgets, if you want to make a better one, you get better materials. You raise your standards for your materials; you raise your standards for production. There are so many things you can do. When you want to produce a better student, you can't say, "I want better materials. Send me better kids to begin with." All you can do is help your teachers be better at what they're creating, and we've taken away the professional development money. I think those three young women that were up there yesterday, of which my daughter was one, are incredible teachers. They are incredibly devoted, motivated, creative young women, who are pouring their heart into a Title I, mostly second language school and working their tails off. I don't know what more we can ask of them or what more they can do and we're not compensating them. And these are people who are really smart young women. They could go into the business world and get a job easily, even in this job market. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] They have to be thinking about that. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Wake rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Question for Representative McManus. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the lady from Chatham yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady does understand that it's optional to yield? She does yield. The gentleman may pose his inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative McManus, were you aware that the difference between the salaries: Fort Mill, South Carolina, and North Carolina, first years Master's teacher is $2,100 plus side to North Carolina? Fort Mill was $2,100 less.
[Speaker Changes] Thank you. [Speaker Changes] I’m sorry, I missed the question in that. [Speaker Changes] Mr. Speaker. [Speaker Changes] Would the gentleman like to restate his inquiry? [Speaker Changes] Representative McManus. I wonder if you were aware, as you gave the example of the teacher moving to Fort Mill because of the salary benefit. According to the data that I’m able to collect. The salary for a first year Masters degree teacher is $38,547 in Fort Mill, in the North Carolina $40,656. [Speaker Changes] Actually, I have a chart with different numbers right in front of me. I’d be happy after, when we get a moment, or to come over there and show it to you. [Speaker Changes] Okay, I’m looking at the chart for Fort Mill’s salaries right here on my computer. [Speaker Changes] Well, I will bring you my two charts. Thank you. [Speaker Changes] Mr. Speaker. [Speaker Changes] Representative Stevens, for what purpose does? [Speaker Changes] I was going to see if Representative McManus would yield to one question from me? [Speaker Changes] Does the lady from Chatham yield to.. [Speaker Changes] I’m getting lots of “no’s” around me, so I think I’m gonna pass. Thank you. [Speaker Changes] She does not yield. [Speaker Changes] The lady from Guilford, Representative Adams, for what purpose do you rise? [Speaker Changes] To speak on the budget, Mr. Speaker. [Speaker Changes] The lady has the floor to speak on the bill. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentleman of the house, its been a very long debate. I think its been necessary. And I think that I heard someone saying that the recession is not over. And I sort of agree with that, and I think that because it is not, we have to show some compassion for people. As I said, there are lots of things that I could talk about in this bill, and many of them have already been commented on. And I’m still concerned about all of them. I’m concerned as an educator about education. And I’m concerned as a woman about women and children and families. But I’m also concerned about the inconsistencies that we have in this bill. We talk about how we fix things, and I think its really all about priorities. We have given priorities to some folks, and not to others. I think that the citizens who I have heard from, from Guilford county and other places throughout this state, are very concerned about the hurt on them and their families that this budget will cause. It is a particular concern as we face high unemployment and a troubled economy. That we will in fact lose jobs, when we have focused, as has already been said. When we came into this session in January we talked about jobs and more jobs and the economy. But of concern to me, is the impact that not only some of the policy decisions that we’ve made throughout the session, but those in this bill that will have on women and families. I’ve always believed as long as I’ve been here that sometimes when we make decisions we are looking at the immediate fix of what we can do about saving the state money and we don’t look enough at the outcomes that will result because of what we do. Women are among the lowest paid workers. We all know that. That is not the way it should be, but thats the way it is. And many poor women, in particular, are heads of many of the households here in North Carolina. And many of those are included among those unemployed people that we talked about who will, in just a few weeks lose their benefits and have serious problems trying to make the ends meet. Again, compassion for people. Now in the programs that we have eliminated from this budget. And I want to mention minority run non profits. We have had little compassion for those individuals. We’ve cut them off without warning. No time for transition. But yet, we allow transition for other people. These programs, many of them, are designed to help women. Employ a lot of women. Many of them of them serve women through the various programs directed to advance economic growth, and to uplift low wealth communities all across the state. Including some of the communities that you represent...
[Speaker Change] As it has already been stated, as we talk about education and I have a daughter who has been teaching in Guilford County now for seventeen year. Who is now looking for other things to do simply because she feels that teachers have not been respected and they are continually not being able to provide for their family’s because of the money that they receive. Well, the majority of our teachers are women as well as teacher assistants and our retirees and state employees for that matter. And so we won’t even provide an opportunity for the teachers who are working to earn me by continuing their education. So we’re not going to recognize the years of experience of the advance degrees that a lot of these women in these jobs work hard to earn. And I have to go back to my daughter who worked to get her Masters so she would not be impacted in that way because she’s had it for a couple of years but was looking forward to working on her PHD. So, and as we talk about those teachers I just want to again mention may support of our universities, for students who attend them, and for the fact that we are going to find that we will not have students coming to the State to matriculate through our universities and colleges because we’re putting a special burden, a tremendous burden on students from other States. When they do stay here, they provide for our economy and they are good citizens, good workers, and we’re not going to allow them an opportunity to come. I got to tell you students have difficulty paying for college education. And because the come from other States, I can tell you that they are just as much in need as students here from North Carolina. So, I just think that we had an opportunity to enrich our diversity and I think we’ve reduced that by the decisions that we made in this budget. So, you know, we talk about opportunities but I think that we have to make opportunities available for all people, in all neighborhoods and so I got to tell you again I’m not sure, or I’m not convinced that the opportunity scholarships are going to do much for the children they have been designated to serve but to merely raid public school funding, to support private interest that parents may have. And like I said before I think if you have that interest you should pay for it. It’s alright to have those choices. I just want to mention that I did work for forty years in a private college and I understand when I stepped out yesterday, there might have been a comment about that. But the private, the support that comes to students at private schools from North Carolina come for scholarships. They don’t come to pay wages for faculty members as I was paid. But anyway, I won’t yield if that’s what your question will be. But yesterday, we heard in terms of the opportunity scholarships, about a gathering in Greensboro where there were thousands of people attending. And I heard about that event. I wasn't able to attend and probably if I was I still wouldn’t have attended but I think a lot of people probably came because it was a concert, featuring a popular singer, Marvin Sapp. People like music. I think music is a good thing. And I think that’s probably what drew people to that meeting. As opposed to coming there for the opportunity that was being present. But you know, the final thing I want to make as it relates to women and to, and to other people who are deprived in so many ways. About fifteen years ago. [Speaker Change] Mr. Speaker. [Speaker Change] I think it was, I did… [Speaker Change] Representative Adams, if you would yield just for a moment. For what purpose does the gentleman rise? [Speaker Change] Would the gentle lady yield for a question? [Speaker Change] I will not yield at this time. [Speaker Change] She does not yield at this time. [Speaker Change] Thank you. About fifteen years ago, I think one of the first Bills I had in this General Assembly, had to do with and was the Displaced Homemakers Bill that helped many North Carolinians, I thinks we’ve heard Representative Fisher talk about that earlier, but this, this Displaced Homemakers Program provided opportunities for people who had lost substantial income that had been provided by heads of households. They lost…
that income, and now they have to retool, and go back to work. They may need to go to school, and do some other things to make themselves more applicable to helping in providing for their families. And so, I think by eliminating this item from the budget, we do a tremendous disservice not only to women, because the majority of displaced home makers are women, all of them are not as has been said, men benefit as well. But people who become victims because of divorce, or health, or death, or other kinds of circumstances that they have, and so that to me again, puts another burden on women. Now, I do want to say that as we began this session, we've had a lot of bills in my opinion, that interfered with women's reproductive decisions. Bills that have targeted women and their families in a very negative way. So, it's interesting to me that we reject federal dollars at sometimes, and we love to get them at other times, and I'm talking about the $250,000 in the block grants from the maternal child grants that are in the budget. Federal dollars that will now go to crisis pregnancy centers which are anti-choice organizations that give medically inaccurate information to essentially block women from considering abortion or even birth control as an option. Now just I believe we have to be fair, and I don't believe that [SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative Adams, please yield just for a moment. [SPEAKER CHANGES]If I could just say. [SPEAKER CHANGES]For what purpose does the gentleman rise. [SPEAKER CHANGES]To see if the gentle lady would yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES]She does not yield at this time. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Mr. Speaker, just so everyone will know, I want to finish my comment, before I'll consider yielding. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Yes, Mame, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES]So 21% of women of child bearing age are uninsured, yet we provide no opportunities, opportunities again, for these women. No resources for organizations like Planned Parenthood, or any other organization that provides comprehensive health care, preventative health care services like screenings and mammograms and so forth. And so 1000's of women, especially young women who depend on these organizations, sometimes as their medical provider, is the only doctor that they'll see, will have no opportunities for health care and they are among those 500,000 uninsured, and the number's higher than that in North Carolina, simply because we did not want expand Medicaid. We didn't want those federal dollars to help those poor women, so we made the choice no to help them at all. I just want to add that 220,000 women in North Carolina would have benefited from the expansion. 30% to 50% of uninsured women are more likely to die from breast cancer, and 60% of uninsured women are more likely to get a diagnosis of cervical cancer in the late stages. Not in the early stages, because they didn't get to a doctor, and they weren't able to get that preventative care. So overall, uninsured women will have less access to prescription contraceptive medications, and women in North Carolina will have worse health outcomes than other women. And so for those things and many other reasons I am against this budget, because I don't believe that focuses on the needs of all of our citizens. And regardless of what district, and what community you may come from, or that you may represent, you can't just single out a few people in your communities and say I'm speaking for my people, and I'm representing my people, you've got to look at all of them, regardless of what their income level is, their racial background, their medical history, all of those things. You represent all of those citizens. And so because of this budget, targets a lot of people who I represent, who have contacted me, the most vulnerable, especially women, because it's been very disrespectful to them and to a lot of our citizens, it's going to harm so many people, many of those in Guilford County, who I represent, I will not vote for this budget because I believe that our citizens
don't deserve to have us turn our backs on them, and I'm going to vote no on the budget, and I hope you will as well. [SPEAKER CHANGES]The gentleman from Catawba, Representative Wells, for what purpose to you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES]To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]The gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you Mr. Speaker. Despite the suggestions by Representative Michaux, I have not partaken in any marijuana, medicinal or otherwise, but I will confess that if we had allowed growler sales on the floor, I would have been surely tempted. We've gone on a long time, and this is about the most depressing debate I've heard. And I'm coming from an area that's lost 20% of its jobs. I'm ready to go home for an upper. We cannot solve this problem in a year, the problem facing the state, but we can a step. This is a process that we have to go though. I would like to think that in 6 months of this general assembly and a new governor we could have fixed all the ills of North Caroline. It's not going to happen. Some of those go back much further, and out much further than the State of North Carolina. The only way we fix this is to grow the pie. We sit around for weeks debating how we split up a shrinking pie, but that's exactly what we're dealing with, a shrinking pie, and it's our fault. We have a system here where we're not attractive., Of the states in the Southeast, our marginal tax rates are 25% higher than the average of our competitors. If I want to cut my personal tax rates by a third, by over a third, I simply move from the Catawba Valley to the Shenandoah Valley. It's that easy. We don't get more money for our budget, we don't grow the economy of North Carolina by adding on costs. We have watched, particularly in my area, we've watched Southeast Asia decimate our economy on one thing, price. It's not quality, it's not design, it's not craftsmanship. They have stripped out our manufacturing in our area, and across our state, and across the Southeast on price. We've watched retail empires grow, huge empires on one issue, price. We're not going to increase prices, or hold prices at a 25% higher level and grow this economy. It cannot happen, and I've never heard any family have a conversation, or heard of a family having a conversation where they say, Honey, let's go to that store, they're 25% higher than the others, they must be a lot better, let's shop there. And that's exactly what's happened and it's happening 2 ways. Now, I'll concede that North Carolina is 25% better than the surrounding states, and I'll debate anybody in any surrounding states about that. But I'm a 9th generation southerner, I know the differences, the distinctions in this area. The folks in Michigan, and Ohio, and New Jersey, they don't understand those differences. They just look at us and see that we're pricing ourselves 25% higher than all of our competitors, with the same generally speaking, beaches and mountains and rolling red clay hills, we're 25% higher. That does not work. The only way we'll grow our economy is become competitive, and we'll do that by cutting regulations and cutting tax rates to where we're in line with the others, and then we can let our nicer beaches, and our nicer mountains, and our nicer red clay hills speak for themselves. So what we need to be looking toward is that this budget, whether you like everything in it or you don't, it's a positive step in the right direction to grow this economy in North Carolina. And it is but one step, and we're going to need to take steps for probably 5 years or 10 years. We're going to need to keep moving ahead and making ourselves competitive. And our question is how we're going to do that. This is a step, a tax reform is a step, regulatory reform is a step. As we do that, we'll be successful, and we won't have these debates about how we split up the shrinking pie, we'll be having much more enjoyable debate about how we share a pie
…that is in fact growing each and every year. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Wake, Representative Malone, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’ll tell you what, this has been a test in patience waiting for my opportunity to speak. First of all, I’d like to say in regards to some comments I heard regarding education, “There are a lot of Republicans here who fought for NCAT and for teachers’ assistants in the entire budget.” I can even share with you something that I shared in the Appropriations for Education Committee that in 2008 Wake County, for instance, to give you an example, had 2,800 teaching assistants. Today it’s 2,000. They were looking at maybe losing another 400 to 500. That’s not going to be the case now because of what we’ve done here. I know that the Superintendent has been speaking with Governor and has been very happy with what we’re doing and I’m happy to say that they’re in a better place for it. Second, I want to talk about issues with loss of jobs. Just to correct something that Representative Brandon said, our unemployment rate is 8.9 percent, not 9.4. And I can say that when I was running in the primary last year it was 9.7. So, it is going down. Now, whether it’s because we’re here or whatnot, I’m not 100 percent sure but I can tell you, it might very well be. Certainly we’ll be happy to take credit for it. Now, budgets, as you all know, are there to manage the system of governance and tax policies to lift all boats. I’ve heard a lot of interesting conversation here today and that’s about as caustic as I’m going to characterize it. But I’ll say this. It concerns me that I hear what I hear and then I go on the Internet and I see the Washington, DC- based Tax Foundation that looks at growth. It looks at what kind of opportunities we’re going to be providing the people of, in this case, North Carolina to better our life, the quality of life. That at our current level, our law basically says that our ranking is sixth worst out of the 50 states and when this is done it will be 19th. I’ve got to ask you the question, “Why did it take seven decades to do this?” Thank you, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady from Wilson, Representative Farmer-Butterfield, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady has the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to say to you that I genuinely appreciate the Chairs of the Health and Human Services Committee and the procedure and process that they utilize to address health and human services, and for that I’m grateful. I do want to say, however, that Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Land loss prevention was cut. Community Development Initiative was cut. The Institute of Minority Economic Development was cut. The Association of Community Development Corporations and indeed the Indian Economic Initiative. Injustice everywhere. Dr. King also said a great deal about disparities and injustices in health care. He declared, “Injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhumane inequality.” This budget does not expand Medicaid which would have been the most efficient way to handle rising Medicaid costs and extend quality health care to half-a-million residents. Medicaid reform is great. I want to see it occur in North Carolina. I want to be a part of that. But Medicaid reform on the backs of poor people is just simply wrong, it is unjust. The results of the Medicaid cuts is that patients and doctors will be negatively impacted. This budget limits the number of doctor’s visits from 22 to 10 per year per person. It raises co-pays and it lowers reimbursement rates for providers. So who does it hurt? Children and families, pregnant women, the aged, blind and disabled. What else does the budget do in health and human services? Well…
Speaker: to 13 percent of the Federal profit level. Changing the eligibility knocks thousands of children on the waiting list for [peekay??] and will make it harder for them to enter school ready to learn . The decision not to expand Medicaid, or otherwise provide healthy change to North Carolina’s poorest populations hurts all hospitals. But this proportionately negatively affects rural hospitals which tend to serve poor communities. This decision will cost North Carolina hospitals $413 million every year from the facts that I have been able to ascertain. Providing quality health care, it doesn’t do for many citizens ,but take rural hospitals it does not ,create jobs in these areas it does not. North Carolina hospitals are already facing massive payment cuts from the Affordable Cure Act; a possibly $7.8 billion over the next decade. This is already causing hospitals to reduce services and eliminate over twelve hundred jobs and jeopardizing upto 12000 hospital jobs. The poorest and the most vulnerable are most affected in this unconscionable budget. These actions are being taken by rural hospitals and urban hospitals. Some we have read about and some we have not yet heard about but they are occurring quietly. So I ask that you look at going forward to consider these points and ensure that our children, and families, pregnant women, the aged ,xx or disabled are not affected so severely. I ask you to vote no on the budget. Thank you. Speaker changes: Mr. Speaker, I propose the gentleman from[ Ash??] Speaker changes: Inquiry for the previous speaker? Speaker changes: Would the lady from Wilson yield to the gentleman? Speaker changes: Two, allowed time for my colleagues to speak what they want to speak, I’ll speak with you, answer your question, thank you. Speaker changes: She does not yield, Representative Jordan. Speaker changes: Ladies and gentlemen the House will after additional consultation, all members who wish to speak will be recognized to speak in order. At that time we have agreed that Representatives Paul and Representative [Hurley??]. will be the last two we recognized to speak on the bill. Prior to the point that Representative Paul will be recognized to speak, we are going to take a five-minute recess which time the clerk is directed to ring the bell of the House to call members because after Representative Paul is allowed his 15 minutes of time and Representative [Hurley??] is allowed his 10 minutes of time, the chair stands corrected his 5 minutes of time then the question will be put. With that for what purpose does the gentleman from union Representative Arc rives Speaker: Speak on the bill. Speaker changes: The gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. Speaker changes: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Speaker changes: I must say the argument from the other side of the aisle seems almost schizophrenic ; it bemoans cuts, in a budget that reduces the cost of state government, it’s been great talk about those who are hurting and I understand that as well, and yet there has been talk about raises in the tax for those who are hurting and it seems illogical in the debate to me. Speaker changes: Representative AAAs I assure your concern. North Carolina is all hurting. Speaker changes: I come from the construction industry in reports there of unemployment had 30 percent. Many have had their income reduced to half, if they still have a job. I have many friends who are teachers who are struggling to make it and it hurts me because they are my friends, and in it there are precisely that that we need to have an effective budget , an efficient budget. I have heard a lot of..
and bemoaning about the cuts, as if all cuts are bad. That's far too simplistic of a view, and even demagoguery. Somethings need to be cut. For example. the school bus issue is a bipartisan effort, and I appreciate my friends who supported that, but that's a common sense way to simply changing the way we purchase school buses. By doing that we saved $185 million over 5 years, $30 million this year, $40 million next year and by doing that we have saved money to pay for teachers and teacher's assistants, to put school resource officers in the schools for school safety, to put stop arm cameras on buses to save children's lives. Some things need to be cut in order to spend money on the priorities that we all share. We cut where necessary, and it's called government efficiency. Hard working tax payers expect, hard working tax payers demand that we are first making sure we're spending their tax dollars wisely, with their money, before asking for any more. That we need to be effective and efficient. Ladies and gentlemen, this budget is a common sense budget. It's a budget that we do what every other North Carolinian is doing, and that is living within their means. I urge you to vote for this budget, vote yes for a more efficient and responsible state government. The future looks dim, but the people of North Carolina have elected us as leaders. And one thing I've understood, is that when you're a leader, you lead. You look into that dark future, and you say follow me, this is the path that we should go on. People are looking to this body to give them hope, to give them encouragement, not to mire with them of the possibilities of a dark future, but to say we can be responsible, we have a brighter future. Ladies and gentlemen, that's what America does. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES]The gentleman from Randolph, Representative McNiell, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES]To speak on the budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES]The gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you and I'll be brief. and I don't mean to pick on Representative Brandon, I didn't stand up to ask him a question when he was speaking to be rude, I really did have a legitimate question. I was intrigued when he got up and he started explaining how he came down here he had a certain idea of how we were going to do the budget. And that's that you just come down here and you decide everything that you need and you want, and you just go out and find the money and do it. And the more I sit here and listen, I'm less intrigued because I feel like he's not alone, and everybody in his caucus probably pretty much feels the same way he does, is that we just come down here and we just decide everything we want and we just go out and find the money for it. It's just that easy. Maybe there's a money tree outside that I don't know about. Anyway, I don't know any body in this body, me included, does our personal budget that way. I don't think anybody in here just decides, Well, I want a new bass boat, or I want a new car. You know, if I decided to do that, if I decided I wanted that, and I decided I'd go out in my neighborhood and take some of those things from my neighbors, I think they'd probably have a problem with it. I think law enforcement would probably have a problem with it. We can't just go out and just take things, and that what you all seem to want to do as a government. we just come down here and decide this is what we want, no problem. We'll just go out and take it from somebody because we're the government.
And we can do that, we can just go out and take it. Well you know what? I think this budget is a very very good budget. I think it shows that the state of North Carolina realizes that it needs to live within its means jut like each one of us has to live within our means. I think it's a good budget, I think it speaks well, I think we've funded the basic needs of this state and I encourage you to vote yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Guildford rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I had forgotten about Representative McNeil's question but I would like to ask him a question if he wouldn't mind. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative McNeil the gentleman from Randolph do you yield to the gentleman from Guilford? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well nobody around me is shaking their heads, so maybe if it's a quick question I'll yield, even though you didn't yield for me but [??]. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Randolph yields to the gentleman form Guilford, you may propose your inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I did say I would yield after and you didn't do it after but I waited until your response was over. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My fault. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But I did understand your comments and I just wanted to ask a question because you were talking a out we felt like that we wanted to do whatever we wanted to do, but I just wanted it to be clarified that I was saying an adequate what we had to do to make sure that we ran the state at an adequate level. Teachers, things that we need. So when you're doing your budget for your house, do you exclude out healthcare for your children? And when you're doing the budget for your house do you exclude out education for your children? And when you're doing the budget for your house do you exclude out electricity and things that you basically need to be able to function your household? That would be if you say yes to the question, teat would be a more accurate term of what we're talking about. We're talking about basic needs, not wants and boats and things like that. So that's my question to you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So your question is do I exclude those things from my personal budget, is that your question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brandon the Chair would point out that the gentleman yielded for a short inquiry but if you would like to try and shorten perhaps your question and maybe restate it so he can reply. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair, my basic question is that would you cut out basic essential needs in your house like education, food, things like that and call that an adequate budget for your household? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Brandon when I do my budget for my personal budget I try to include everything that I think that my family needs to survive, but I also live within my means. If I cant afford the mot expensive insurance policy then I get a lesser insurance policy, and I certainly don't expect my neighbors to fund my personal budget. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Queen, the gentleman from Haywood, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] the gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My concern with this budget is what it does to rural North Carolina. I represent the mountains, the area of our state, the Appalachia, which has a higher unemployment than our state and our nation in some of my counties. I came down here to try to create jobs and get us back on the track of recovery. And I could speak about many of the things that my peers and colleagues have spoken about, education and so forth, but I'm gonna focus on on which is my rural hospitals. I represent Haywood, the Jackson and Swain counties, and we have a hospital system all of partners, there are Midwest Haywood, Midwest Jackson, Midwest Swain, they are struggling. In the last biennium this legislature cut a billion dollars out of Medicaid and my rural hospitals lost 240 jobs. Now in the first part of this session we have denied Medicaid expansion which would have been 400 jobs to healthcare in my counties, those are lost. We're looking at further cuts in this budget to rural hospitals, whether it's payment costs cutbacks from 80% to 70%, whether it's set asides that are being talked about for rural...
My hospitals are in real trouble. And for my communities to lose their rural hospitals has a huge impact. So I am asking you all, all of my members here, to think about what we're dong to our rural hospitals by not expanding Medicaid. We've done great work in this budget. I agree by rebasing it we worked in previous weeks to try to fix it in the budget. Lets declare it fixed and lets expand it sooner rather than later. Because we are on life support out where I live in our rural hospitals. And if we are to lose them those are economic engines that drive our economies. You lose your hospital people don't want to come to your communities. You can't grow and you're in a downward spiral. So healthcare is about health. It's about healthcare and jobs. And it's about the healthcare economy. All of those are very important in my area and this budget hurts all of them. I do agree. I'll say one other point. We need to grow. I agree. We need to grow our economies across the state. We need to invest to grow. All of you all are talking business talk. You don't cut in times of competitive hardship. You invest more so that you can grow. We need to grow this economy and we need to think of it are we growing it are we creating jobs or are we losing jobs. So I'll be voting no against this budget and I hope you will. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Iredale representative Brawley for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen I've enjoyed the discussions. I hope I am brief. But isn't it interesting how God gave us free will and then gave us politics and then told us to work together. I just think he's got a real sense of humor. I support the North Carolina constitution and paying as we go. I've also used the argument the user should pay for certain items. And I would bring to your attention two items in the budget. Highway trust-fund physical year thirteen fourteen one billion one hundred and eighteen million dollars. In physical year fourteen fifteen one billion one hundred and fifty-two million dollars. Then we go down to budget code sixty-four two zero eight. Physical year thirteen fourteen one hundred fifty-one million eight hundred and seventy-nine thousand dollars. Physical year fourteen fifteen one billion four hundred and four million dollars. Physical year thirteen was one hundred and fifty-two million dollars. Physical year fourteen fifteen one billion four hundred and four million dollars. For those of you who don't know what sixty-four two oh eight is it's the budget for toll facilities. We're putting thirty percent more emphasis on toll facilities than we are the highway trust fund. It's coming. I will be opposing the budget not for that reason only but because it is one very big reason. I do appreciate what the budget workers have done. I think it is a very good general budget but I do think there should have been more discussion and input before it was brought to the. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Bunkham representative Ramsey for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen of the house. Seventy-three years ago today the USS North Carolina came out of the shipyard in Brooklyn New York to begin its voyage in service and defense of our nation during World War two. In that time the world was very different. The greatest generation my grandparents they grew up and lived in North Carolina lived in a very different world than we live in today. Back then North Carolina...
...was a very poor state. North Carolina faced many challenges but what that greatest generation did through their hard work, through their thrift, through their innovation, they helped build this state and a state that we all love and that we all enjoy and cherish today. The budget that we're talking about today is not perfect. No budget is and this budget is a process and my hope as this process continues this budget will continue to improve. I want to thank the members of this house for doing many good things for restoring funding for alcohol, drug, and rehabilitation centers for funding pretty much all of the funding for teacher assistants and doing the things that we need and our communities depend on. Certainly, we've all been hit through this recession. If you look at our schools, from the place that I'm from, our [unclear 00:01:01] County Schools spend 85th out of 115 LEAs in per pupil expenditures but they rank near the top of the state in SAT scores, graduation rates, and third grade reading proficiency. The school district that President Obama came down in [unclear 00:01:19] County, Morrisville City School District, they spend just under $8,000 per student but they have very high achievement. I understand not all school districts are the same, not all demographics are the same. When you have a small school system in certain communities you have certain advantages that a larger school system does not and we understand there's a great diversity. But if we look at per pupil expenditure over about the last decade we've increased school funding in North Carolina by about $1,000 a student. That's about $20,000 a classroom, $25,000 a classroom. One of the first things you find out when you start looking at school finance and school achievement is there's not a direct correlation between the systems that spend more money and the systems that have higher achievement. But like anything else in life, more funding, more opportunities do lead to better outcomes potentially. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sir? May I ask a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the lady from Chatham rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would the gentleman yield for a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from [unclear 00:02:25] yield to the lady from Chatham? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He does yield. The lady may propose her inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you so much. Besides the per pupil expenditure, I know that Ashville has the highest teacher supplement in the state. Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have two school districts in [unclear 00:02:45] County, Ashville City Schools and [unclear 00:02:47] County Schools. The county schools spend around $8,400 per student. They city of Ashville district spends about $13,000 per student. The supplement in Ashville City Schools is a little higher than the supplement that's offered by the county system but there's not a tremendous variation in pay. I probably ought to defer to representative Fischer because she was chair of the Ashville City School Board so she would know that better than I, Representative McMannis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I know they have a local tax and they have one of the highest supplements in the state. Correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Ashville City School District is around the third highest funded system in the state. They serve about 5,000 students. [unclear 00:03:32] County Schools have about 20,000 students and they're 85th out of 115 LEAs on a per pupil expenditure. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But my point was the teacher pay though part. I think their teachers receive a higher pay because of their supplement than most teachers in the state. That was my point. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The chair apologizes. The chair apologizes to the gentleman from [unclear 00:04:00] to the lady from Chatham and to the chamber. All inquiries should be directed to the chair. The chair failed to address that and apologizes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm very sorry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Ramsey, you have the floor to debate senate bill 402. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And my point being was that there is not a direct correlation between spending and achievement and finances do help. But we look at what's driving our budget. Chairman Dollar talked about over a billion dollars has been increased for Medicaid. Medicaid after the end of this buy in will constitute about 18 percent of our total budget. In 1990, Medicaid was 5 percent of our total budget. If we were spending the same amount today on Medicaid that we did
?? in 1990 as a percentage of our budget. According to my simple math, that would be about 2.6 billion dollars more money that we would have for tax relief, for investing in our schools, for investing in our infrastructure. It's not that we're spending less, this budget actually does spend actually more money that is constrained. There is a tax reform component to that, and I think that's very appropriate. From where I'm from we compete with upstate South Carolina, East Tennessee, oftentimes for businesses, and when our economic developers sit down in the room and talk to us; we can sometimes match them on incentives. We have a great community college. We have a strong infrastructure, but their tax rates in those other communities, even after our incentives, we get down to their starting point where they were before they provided any incentives. So I think it puts us on a stronger path, there are some things I would like to see improved. I hope those things are improved, but at the end of the day, for the last 15 years, we've trailed the nation ?? we have had a higher unemployment rate, and had slower job growth than the rest of the nation, and we've got to figure out a way to turn this ship around and so lets do what my grandparents generation did, the greatest generation. And 73 years ago when the launching of the USS Carolina. They saved freedom, they came out of a very difficult economic environment, and they were able to give us the lifestyle that we enjoy today. And lets try to do that for those that come from behind in the future. Mr. Speaker I commend this bill to the body. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen if I could have your attention please. At this time there are two other members known to the Chair who seek recognition. The Chair, there are now three. The Chair will acknowledge those three. The purpose of this announcement is after they speak, the Chair's going to, the Chair's going to issue the call of the House, and then take a visual survey. If everyone is in their seats, we will not have the five minute recess as planned. For what purpose does the gentleman from Transylvania representitive Whitmire rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rise in support of the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I encourage y'all to support the budget, and again you have heard me; whether it be committee, or on the floor, fight for things that I feel dear to my district, my state, my nation, my values. With that, you win some, you lose some, some are temporary setbacks that you'll continue to pursue. With that, in the end, our budget in my opinion is fiscally responsible. No, not everything in these times of economic times that are trying and challenging, can necessarily be the outcome that you wanted, but going forward I think is does point us on the path to get our state back on to the road of prosperity, and I know there will be plenty of debate on that, but that's my opinion. On a positive note, I encourage all going forward to pursue constructive solutions, and try to leave the criticism as much as possible behind, but look at solutions. Instead of just analyzing problems. And with that, we definitely must keep an eye on our healthcare, our rural healthcare in particular. When it comes to education, everyone knows where my heart's on that. I will be pursuing finding ways to make sure the efficacy of our special funding for education, is actually fulfilling the definition for which it is. And with that, I thank all for their debate, and I ask you to support our budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Rockingham, Representative Jones, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, once again today we have heard a lot of generalized rhetoric. All very predictable. Most of us could have written the script. The truth of the matter is that the left is never spend enough, never taxed enough, never borrowed enough, and this budget is no different. Now just as in the last session, we once again hear that the sky seems to be falling because our state is moving down on a more responsible path, a more sustainable path. That recognizes that we have limited resources
Indeed it is a new day in North Carolina and I understand that there are some here that are very unhappy about that. I understand that this budget and our philosophy of governing will not sit well with those who believe more government to build a better world, a better nation, a better state. If bigger government and more spending were the answer ladies and gentlemen I would suggest to you, that we would have solved most of our problems by now. By any measure of history we live in a time of the biggest most expensive government ever. You know there was a time in our history, if we learn from our history, when it seemed that more Democrats and Republicans were somewhat more like minded when it came to sound economic policy, and this budget is built on sound economic policy. Not relying on debt, and understanding that lower tax rates are a good thing, that indeed can generate more jobs, more growth and more revenue. Democrat president Kennedy and Republican president Reagan both understood this, and successfully lowered tax rates to simulate the economy. To our friends on the left, we’ve heard some today, take some bows for your past successes and very well that you need to take responsibilities for your failures as well. Many of you criticize this budget because it is indeed not the budget that you would have desired, it’s not the budget that you would have passed, certainly based on past performance. We could go back over the past decade since _me and this chamber were part of that. We could talk about 6 huge tax increases in 8 years that catapulted our state to having the highest tax burden in the south. We could then talk about our state’s descent into the bottom 5 states in the country in unemployment. We could talk about the last term when the Democrats were in the majority and how this budget and its priorities differ from what that budget did. It’s very clear that the last answer in good times was higher taxes and more spending. And then the last answers in bad times was once again higher taxes and more spending with North Carolina in the depth of the worst economy since the Great Depression. The democrats answer was not to control spending but rather to enact a 1.3 Billion dollar tax increase. The results: the highest unemployment rate, the highest rate of bankruptcies, the highest rate of foreclosures on record. Another difference in this budget is it doesn’t add more debt, now before this new majority took the reins, even the democratic state treasurer warned this legislature that it had maxed out its state credit card the left had accumulated the highest debt in state history, it left us with the largest budget shortfall in state history. Many of you continue to rail against the very policies that your party created, and now that you’re the loyal opposition nowhere is this more apparent than with education and teachers. You define their pay, you froze their pay, your governor furloughed them and now you accuse us after this new majority gave them their first pay raise in 4 years, gave them additional benefits that you never would and are working to maintain and strengthen pension and health plans that the left had virtually run into the ground. I was sent here as was this new majority to change the way things are done in Raleigh, it is time to get past the politics of greed and envy. The left works hard to appeal to the majority by implying that we can balance the budget on people making over a million dollars a year. Well guess what, that’s less than 3 out of a 1000 households. So theoretically in an ideal world were some people seem to think that they live, for every 1 percent rate you want to raise their taxes you might bring in another 10 million dollars assuming they don’t change their habits or move somewhere else were they might keep more of their own money. But wait Houston, we have a problem; you see it gets back to this idea of liberty. People can change, people can move, those businesses that are taxed as individuals and in reality make up-
the so-called millionaires that so many of you like to harp about a after day. these job creators. if you will, or maybe they'll just say some of that money by creating a few less jobs or Megalomania takes somewhere else where they can better operate and profit. our speak also for the parents, teachers and students of this statement are tired of being used as pawns by people pull pushing a political agenda people they seem to think that education is all about the system. this budget recognizes that education is about people and often about children in particular. our site is apparent. I am very passionate about school choice and I think it's a significant fact that the left would often prefer to ignore that public school teachers disproportionally send their children to private schools. they are citizens that want to exercise their choice and to suggest that supporting choice is somehow being against the public schools is just plain wrong and should not be interjected into this debate, I do I take this opportunity to thank my friends Representative Lued take for his honesty and his forthrightness representative liturgy and I often disagree on policy, but always admire and appreciate the fact that he seems willing to say things that sometime others are unwilling to say and listen closely to his argument against school choice on the basis of his concerns that some schools will endeavour teach children from a faith-based perspective. he opposes that on the basis of his interpretation of separation of church and state that praised the Thomas Jefferson wrote in an eight to the Danbury Baptists, fifteen years after the Constitution was written, in which Jefferson expressed his concern that the state not control the church, but I understand there are many him a lap that would oppose school choice. for this reason. it's time to recognize that if were going to support people and not institutions, but actual parents and their children that one can anyone must support their God-given fundamental right to choose the education of their choice for their children. and yes, that includes teaching them from the perspective of their choice of faith in God. if that is their choice. it is time for budgets to reflect an attitude that puts government and its role in its proper place and I believe that the majority of citizens in our state and a majority of citizens that sent me here to serve believe that government has become too big too expensive and too intrusive, ladies and gentlemen, America is an ongoing experiment in liberty and freedom from its beginning, people were divided.they were about as many people who wanted to stay under the leadership in the protection of the King as they roar that believe that no way the people should be the government, and that government should be the servant and not the master as I conclude my marks. I would say that a problem with the last approach is that at some point you run well on other people 's money to span the ladies and gentlemen, I would suggest that we are at that point know some here seem ready to proclaim that the recession is ever happy days are here again. Maggie sometimes live in a parallel universe. I don't see that CV we live in a nation and in the statement demands responsibility that room that demands that we do live within our means, and I believe ladies and gentlemen at best. while we were sent here to serve the speaker that reason, I would come in this budgeting [SPEAKER CHANGES]. for one purpose of the general Marco Russ has represented Jones a question. does the zone rocking ham yields in general, gladly yield to my friend gentleman yields the Des Moines River. Susan Jones, I agree with virtually nine percent what you say that. are you aware that the one. four billion dollars for toll roads as future debt seven percent of the budget representative, probably if I can get hundred nineteen other representatives to agree with ninety nine percent of what I say I will be trailed the gentleman from ash represented Jordan for what purpose the right
The gentleman may debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Chamber. I’m going to briefly address just one specific issue. I think you all know that my legislative interests vary widely though. I work with many of you on many different issues through committees and so forth. But I am the product of public schools. One of the schools that I went to as I was growing up has been a low performing school for decades, decades. Why has the system not helped the students in that school? We know its been low performing for decades and guess what? It was a majority minority school. Why has the system ignored those children? Generations of those children, my fellow students, and not fixed the problem in that school? And other schools like it? There’s a lot of good our schools have done. There’s a lot of things we need to work on. Funding is one of those issues and I'm going to briefly address it. I fought for education dollars. I fought for small schools, for rural schools, for all schools. Because funding is important. My children are in public schools. Where I have a rising kindergartner and a rising second grader. So you see the issue is very important to me. Even my friends in the NCAE know that this issue is very important to me, even if I don’t agree with them most of the time. It’s a very important issue we should take very seriously. Our children are not interchangeable parts. One reason I’m a primary sponsor on the scholarships for disabilities, different students have different needs. They learn different ways. They need different school environments. Whether that is the government run public school, charter schools, home schools, private schools. Children are different. And it’s our friends on the other side of the aisle who keep saying, “No, everybody needs to be in one system and it must fit all, and we’ve got to pour as much money into it as possible.” Money is not the only thing, it is important. But we have to to be realistic. We have limited resources. We’re better off now to all my Freshman friends. We’re better off now then we were when we started last session. Last session I came in and I was told, “Guess what, y’all have a 3 1/2 billion dollar red ink to deal with.” Three and a half billion dollars, what it started off as? Everybody talks about 2 1/2 billion but it was started as 3 1/2 billion, that was about 15% of the entire General Fund. Guess what? I wasn’t here before 2011. Those of you who were know where that problem came from. I’ll let you think about that. We keep hearing about adequate funding for schools. Last session, it was fund schools first. Important issue, important idea. But what does it mean? No one on the other side can tell me what is that amount. We spend as of last session, $8,436 per diem. Well, that’s not adequate apparently because we kept hearing problems from the other side, not adequate. Tell me what that number is please. Since I can’t get that answer from folks, I ran a sensitivity analysis. Is it 9,000? Is it 10,000? We want 14,000? Representative Shaw, my friend, I’ve worked with before on issues mentioned 20,000 Durham Academy. Well, I looked at the numbers here, and if we spent between 14,000 and 15,000 dollars per student, that would be a total of 19.8 billion to 21.2 billion dollars. Why did I pick that number? What’s our General Fund? That would be the entire General Fund. And that’s what I’m afraid some of our friends on the other side think is adequate funding. Adequate funding would be your entire General Fund.
...objection to not going into recess but to go into the closing remarks offered by representative Hall and then representative Gothler. Is there any objection to not recessing at this time. See none. The general from Duram representative Hall is recognized to speak on Senate bill four oh two. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Appreciate the debate by everybody in the assembly today. And as we go through this process and I think representative Wills was the one who said this is a process we do have some complaints about the process not being honored. And I appreciate that people have provided their opinions because all of our opinions are important. We roughly get elected from the same districts. We represent in many instances people who have the same concerns for the most part. And I hope that because you're in the majority as republicans and as far as democrats as well we understand we did not ask and do not expect you to lay down for your principles. And I hope you don't expect and ask other members of the assembly not to give you their viewpoint. Because again you never know. You may be pleasantly surprised that by getting additional information other than what you have only in your experience you may get a greater appreciation. You may come up with some ideas you did not heretofore have and you may do a better job for the future of North Carolina which is the objective or should be of all of us. I know that on both sides a lot of folks indulged in trying to say as representative Collins referred to it telling other folks about what they think and what they feel as opposed to what they've said. And it's probably going to be enough for the record to reflect what we said. I'm not here to change any minds in this body. I'm going to trust that you've studied the issues. You've done the best that you can. Now I'm not going to give up hope that you can't learn more and do better. But I'm going to trust that at this point in time you've studied the issues. You've done the best you can. You've made the deals you made. You've made the promises to yourself and or to other people that you've made. In some areas you've done your best. In other areas you had to look the other way. Sometimes you had to swallow hard. Sometimes you stuck out your chest because you were proud you did the right thing at the right time for the right reason. So it's not a black or white record that you're going to have and we know this budget in some areas is better in some areas worse. This budget is the least of all evils for the budgets that are out there and you've created it and have the stamp at the end of this vote of the authority of the House of Representatives. When it goes into conference all of us are going to ask you not to give up what was hard fought and debated in here. Because its going to have the seal of approval. Not my vote but from the institution which I'm very concerned about. And at that point when whoever those members of that congress committee are go in there don't let your fellow republicans down and in many instances your democratic colleagues as well. Don't let us down when you go in there after all of this debate after some of this name calling and questioning of people's principles and beliefs and we come out of this. Don't go into that conference committee and then sell us out. Don't do that. I'm going to talk a little bit about and these are my views so if anybody has a question might want to understand these are my views. These are the views of the world that I live in, the concerns that I have that are just as valid as any concerns anyone else may have or may have heard. Usually four letter words are bad words in many instances anyway. Representative Cleveland is looking at me saying most of the ones we heard in the Marines were bad words when they were four letters. But there's a three letter word that we bandy about in here all the time and no it's not tax.
It's not tax. And I know that's a bad word for some folks on the other side of the aisle as well. But you see, there's a more appealing word that you like to use. And it's the dirty little secret in the budget, we all know what it is: it's a fee. And so, in this budget, at the same time we gave the $50 million plus estate tax break to those 8,500... for those 23 families or 28 families... at the same we did that, we also said let's raise an additional $54 million in fees in this budget. Now, who are those fees going to be on? Those fees are on small businesses and other businesses. So let me get this straight now. We gave a tax break to millionaires, 8,500 of them, we gave this tax break to estates over $5 million being transferred to the next generation, supposedly so we could create a better business environment in North Carolina. And so what did we do? I'm not saying it was dollar for dollar, I'm just saying $50 million here, $50 million there, $50 million additional costs for fees on small business. Does that create a better business environment? Is that a way to encourage small businesses to do more? Now, it sounds to me like, as someone said, those millionaires got their tax break, and again those small businesses end up paying that $50 million plus in additional fees. Lot of ways you can look at that. If you're paying that additional $50 million in fees I think you look at it as an increased cost of doing business and a reason why you won't hire more people and expand your business. I want to talk a little bit about the market in North Carolina because we continue... and this is a myth, and I'm going to come to the credit myth in a minute... Well, let me deal with the credit myth right now. We keep talking about we going to be on a cash basis and we run our households on a cash basis, and the State of North Carolina can't use credit, et cetera, et cetera. Now, we all know that's a lie. First of all, that everybody in here's got a piece of plastic in their... in their pocketbook or in their wallet. That means you're using credit. That means you're not paying everything in cash. Even if you pay your bills at the end of the month, you're financing it or carrying it for a couple days. If you're a member of a household, that means your household uses credit. So to say it's irresponsible for the State of North Carolina to leverage its resources and use credit where necessary to have a better future, you're holding the state to a different standard than you use for yourself. And the question becomes, how do we maintain our state's bond rating and credibility so we can effectively leverage debt? So let's put aside that whole issue of "we're going to be on a cash basis and we're going to pay everything as we go." I heard a comment by Representative McNeill, said we think there's a money tree. And no, my friend, it's not a money tree. It is a tree, but it's a fee tree. It's a $50 million increased fee tree. That's the tree we're pulling on right now. That is to say, the funds had to be found somewhere and the decision was made to get them, and that's who's giving them up. It is what it is; that is the decision of the majority. But let's be clear about it. Let's not fool ourselves. It's not the best budget we could put together or you could put together, or maybe it is, but let's not fool ourselves about what it really is. Because, as Representative Wells said, this is the first step, or one of the steps, and we're going to have to do more steps. So let's be clear about what we have to do. The question of North Carolina... And the market's great, the market tells you how you compete. So let's not continue to pull these -- as I call them, and this, again, my words -- these bogus surveys by these bogus think tanks, let's talk about what the market does. Let's let the market be the guide. Everybody that believes the market's the greatest truth-teller we have, let's let the market be the guide. Who's coming to North Carolina? When have they been coming? Lower state and local tax burden on business, according to Council on State Taxation...
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I'd ask that you vote against the budget, and for those who do I'd ask you to take the responsibility for the people of the state of North Carolina and for this institution to ensure at least the best things in this budget don't get given away in a conference committee behind closed doors. Thank you Mr... Speaker thank you members. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Wake Representative Dollar is recognized to speak on Senate bill 42 a second time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr... Speaker and members of the House. Never has logic been so tortured what I've heard the last several hours, as a 3rd full day of debate, and logic continues to be tortured in this chamber. And I find it a little bit strange that my friends on the other side of the isle, they say "fight for the budget, fight for the budget, but we're not going to be with you". Well, you want us to pass this budget, you think it's the best budget of the 3 budgets that are out there then vote for it today. You don't have to be stuck, you can be bipartisan. I voted for a budget once. There were 6 budgets that I voted on, during the time that I was in the minority. 1 out of those 6 didn't raise taxes, and so I voted for that budget. I'm very thankful to say today, this is the 3rd straight budget the republicans have produced that do not raise taxes, and I'm proud to support it and vote for it. Because we have the resources to fulfill the needs that we have in the state, and we have the capability in this state, and the intelligence in this state, and the wisdom in this state to be able to set priorities, just like every other family does in this state, just like every business does in this state. There's some real curiosities that I'm hearing out there. Most of the things that I have heard in committee, most of the things, almost everything I've heard on the floor yesterday and today, it's all small stuff, it's all little things here little things there. Then today, a few moments ago, we heard "the great evil in the budget is there's 50 million dollars in fees" A lot of those fees were fees that people were asking for to help them with local projects that they had. But if you want to talk about fees, I remember a year there was a budget with 250 million dollars just in DMV fees, and you weren't worried about that. You were standing up saying "This is a wonderful thing, we gotta have these fees." We've had plenty of years with 100, 150 million dollars in fees, come on. Let's be serious about what we're doing. It's also curiosity to me that this budget is somehow evil. Really, evil? The other day we finished in committee and one of the lobbyists for NCAE, for the teachers, came up and shook my hand, thanked me for how good the House budget was and really appreciate what we had done. I tried to stay in here for a few minutes of the debate, but I went out for a few minutes a while ago because the scenic people wanted to take a picture, they appreciate what the house has done in the budget, now they represent the state employees. So, evil? That's a very odd thing to be saying. Here's what you're voting against, do you want to talk about what you're voting against if you voting no today? You're voting against 16 billion dollars over 2 years in K through 12, more than what we have spent in the past. You are voting against full funding for the rural center, which is supposed to be so important, and we know that it is, to our rural legislators. You are voting against full funding for the North Carolina Museum of The Arts, you're voting against the North Carolina Symphony, for all those folks in here that say the arts are so important, then vote for the budget, you're voting against funds for transportation reform. You are voting against funding for the justice reinvestment act, that was a bipartisan legislation and now you're voting against the funding for it, I don't understand that. You are voting against eugenics compensation it's supposed to be so important. You are voting no on funding for the board of governors strategic plan. You're voting no on compensation, we wish it was in the first year, but it's in the second year, compensation for teachers and state employees you're voting no. You're voting no on full funding for Medicaid. You're voting
Voting no on the fact that we have been able to, once again, even in difficult times preserve the optional services and preserve all of our healthcare facilities all across the state. You're voting no for a fix, at least a temporary, one year fix for our group homes that's so badly needed. You're voting against 5,000 additional slots for pre-k children. For all those who say they're interested in education, you're voting no on this budget? This is a common sense budget, it meets the needs of our citizens in the areas of education, in the areas of healthcare, it meets the needs in the areas of public safety, and job development. And anyone that wants to rally with us and vote for a budget which is good for all of the citizens in North Carolina, I ask you to vote green. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen, the question before the House, is the passage of the House committee substitute for Senate bill 402 as amended on it's 3rd reading. All in favor will vote aye, all opposed will vote no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote. 77 having voted in the affirmative, and 40 in the negative; the passage of Senate bill 402 has occurred. The chair orders that it will be engrossed and sent to the Senate by special message. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen of the House the chair is happy to extend the curtsies of the gallery to rising North Carolina high school seniors interested in industry of agriculture, who are attending a week long institute for future agricultural leaders, at either NC A&T or NC State University. Please stand and let us welcome you. Ladies and gentleman we're just about to wrap up, we have one pronouncement that we'd like to cover, a couple of notices and announcements, we should be out of here in just a couple of minutes. The clerk will read: [SPEAKER CHANGES] State of North Carolina House Representatives certificate of honorary page,this is to certify that Regan Lynn Brown of Pitt county was appointed, on this the 11th day of June 2013 honorary page of the House of Representatives. Speaker Thom Tillis attest Denise Weeks Principal Clerk, Representative Brian Brown District 9. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As a point of personal privilege from the chair, the chair wants to extend a congratulations to his seatmate for adding one more citizen to North Carolina, welcome back and get back home real soon. Ladies and gentleman we're also going to have someone else do the adjournment resolution today. I know that t generally speaking you all ignore me at that point, but I would ask you to maybe indulge the final speaker for today's session at the appropriate time. She will be taking a motion from Representative Moore. I will tell you that on Monday we will have votes, we'll have items on the calendar and we'll try to manage it, but there will be votes on Monday.The calendar for the rest of the week if we can sort it out, depending upon conferencing that may be occurring obviously with the budget but perhaps even tax reform. We may not have much in the way of
Sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and we'll announce that as quickly as possible for your planning purposes. Notices and announcements. Representative Brian Brown, please state your purpose. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Point of personal privilege. [CHANGE SPEAKER] The gentleman is recognized for a point of personal privilege. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Thank you Mister Speaker. [CHANGE SPEAKER] The House will come to order. [CHANGE SPEAKER] I would just like to thank this entire body for your continued prayers and encouragement throughout the process of having our little girl. It was an exciting time. Mom and baby are doing great and I look forward to being back here with you full time in the coming days. Thank you very much. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Pages, as were are continuing with notices and announcement. If you'll please approach the front of the chamber and the pages ?? save one. Please step down. Representative Lucas, please state your purpose. [CHANGE SPEAKER] For an announcement. [CHANGE SPEAKER] The gentleman is recognized for an announcement. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Thank you Mister Speaker. Democrats are reminded about a retreat on Monday at a location previously announced. Time is 11 to 4. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Representative Grier Martin, please state your purpose. [CHANGE SPEAKER] For a moment of personal privilege. [CHANGE SPEAKER] The gentleman is recognized for a point of personal privilege. The House will come to order. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Thank you very much Mister Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, tomorrow is Flag Day and I think it's appropriate as we approach Flag Day to remember another important occurrence to celebrate tomorrow and that we pause to honor the birthday of the branch of the American Armed Forces that has defended that flag longer than any other branch of the American Armed Forces. On June 13, 1775 months before Representative Roger West's navy built it's first boat. And with all respect both to our Speaker pro tem Representative Stam and our minority leader Representative Hall, months before the United States Marine Corps was founded at some place called Tun Tavern, I do believe that Representative Cleveland was tending bar that day in 1775. And 172 years before fathering a bouncing baby Air Force, Representative Whitmire, this is the service first entrusted by the people of the United States of America to defend our nation. A service that over 60 years ago enlisted a hard charger like Mickey Michaux and that counts amongst the ranks of it's veterans infantrymen like Garland Pierce and John Szoka. A service that even managed to make a man out of John Blust. I may have slipped into a little bit of hyperbole there. But ladies and gentlemen, please pause tomorrow to honor the 238th birthday of the only branch of our Armed Services whose core mission is to fight and win our nation's wars. Happy birthday United States Army and hooah. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Representative Starnes, please state your purpose. [CHANGE SPEAKER] For an announcement. [CHANGE SPEAKER] The gentleman is recognized for an announcement. [CHANGE SPEAKER] The Republicans will caucus on Monday at six o'clock in room 544. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Pages, we want to thank you for your work this week. We had some long sessions and some long debates and we appreciate the things that you've done to serve the body. Hopefully along the way you learned a little bit and had a little bit of fun and got to make some friendships that will last beyond this week. And we also hope that you will go back and talk to your brothers and sisters and friends and encourage them to come and visit with us as well. Members, let's show our gratitude. We're going to do this a little bit differently. Instead of dismissing you back to your stations, we're going to let you continue to remain up here through the adjournment. Representative Lucas, please state your purpose. [CHANGE SPEAKER] A moment of personal privilege. [CHANGE SPEAKER] The gentleman is recognized for a point of personal privilege. [CHANGE SPEAKER] Thank you Mister Speaker. I know we just congratulated Representative Brown on becoming a new father. It occurred to me that this weekend will be an opportunity for all fathers to be honored. And so I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very prosperous and happy Father's Day.
Representative Moore is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Madam Chair, I move that the house do now adjourn to reconvene on Monday, June 17th, 2013 at 7:00 p.m., subject to receipt of messages from the Senate, receipt of committee reports, receipt of conference reports, re-referral of bills and resolutions and appointment of conferees. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore moves, seconded by Representative Brian Brown, that the House adjourn, subject to messages from the Senate, committee reports, conference reports, re-referral of bills and resolutions and appointment of conferees to reconvene on Monday, June 17th at 7:00 p.m. Those in favor will say aye, opposed no. The ayes have it and the House stands adjourned.