The House will come to order. Members will take their seats. Visitors will retire from the chamber and the Sergeant-at-Arms will close the doors. Member and visitors will please silence all cellular phones. The prayer will be offered by Representative Susan Fisher. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, and in the tradition of the Episcopal Church, when I say may the Lord be with you, you say, and also with you. Let’s try that. May the Lord be with you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And also with you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let us pray. May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, path truths and superficial relationships so that you may seek truth boldly and love from deep within your heart. May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom and peace among all people. May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation or the loss of all they cherish. So that you may reach out your hand and comfort them, and transform their pain into joy. May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world. So that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done. And the blessing of God be with you, and remain with you forever. Amen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Amen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members and visitors in the gallery will please stand and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. 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. Representative Moore is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, the Journal for March the 7th 2013 has been examined and found to be correct. I move approved as written. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore move that the Journal for March 7 be approved as written. Those in favor will say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Those opposed, say no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The ayes have it. The Journal’s approved as written. Petitions, memorials or papers addressed to the General Assembly or the House? Ratification of bills and resolutions. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Enrolling clerk reports the following bill to be ratified for presentation to the Governor. House Bill 44, an act stating the intent of the General Assembly to transition from funding text books to funding digital learning in public schools as recommended by the Legislative Research Commission Study Committee on Digital Learning Environments in Public Schools. [SPEAKER CHANGES] After bills will be noted. And on motion of Representative Susan Fisher I’d like to introduce Dr. Conrad Flick of Raleigh, and our nurse today, Nurse Emily Penny of Cary. If you would greet them please if they’re there. Introduction of bills and resolutions. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Goodman, Lucas, Ford and C. Graham, House Bill 253. Voter Protection and Integrity Act. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Elections and if favorable, Judiciary. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Glazier, Lewis, Szoka and Lucas, House Bill 254. Zoning Changes Notice to Military Bases. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs , and if favorable to Finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Glazier, Johnson and Holloway. House Bill 255 UNC Tuition Surcharge Advance Notice. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Education. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Farmer, Butterfield, Glazier and Lewis, House Bill 256. Veterans Affairs Survivors Benefits Medicaid Eligibility. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs, and if favorable Health and Human Services and if favorable to Appropriations. Representative Moore is. Continue reading please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representatives Hurley ad McNeill, House Bill 257. Unclaimed Property Program Improvements. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Lucas, L. Bell, Setzer and Carney, House Bill 258. School Calendar Flexibility. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Commerce and Job Development, if favorable to Education. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Wydell, House Joint Resolution 259 Honor Edward L. Williamson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rules.
Calendar and operations of the House. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Ford, house bill 260 ?? ?? Rowan county airport property. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Government in a favorable finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Ford, house bill 261 ?? ??. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Government in a favorable finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative McElraft, house ?? resolution 262 ?? Jean Preston. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rules, calendar, and operations of the house. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representatives Goodman, Wray, Waddell, and seat Graham, house bill 263, small business new job creation incentive. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Commerce and job development in favorable finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representatives Pittman, Ford, Moffitt, and Hardister, house bill 264, justice for rural citizens act. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Government in favorable, judiciary subcommittee A in favorable finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representatives Collins, Murry, Burr, and Warren, house bill 265 automobile insurance regulatory modernization. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Insurance and favorable representation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representatives Turner and R. Brawley, house bill 266, standards for some nursery stock purchases. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Agriculture in favorable regulatory reform subcommittee on local government. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representatives Collins, Torbett, Floyd, and Wray, house bill 267 NCGA prior approval interstate ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Transportation and in favorable appropriations. Messages from the Senate, clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Committee substitute for senate bill 11, a bill ?? ?? enact to designate the month of April of each year as organ donation awareness, donate life month and provide that the act shall be entitled ?? Law. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rules, calendar, and operations of the house. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Committee substitute for senate bill 24, a bill that’s ?? trying to enact amend the ?? Buffer requirement act ?? to sanitary landfills for the destruction and demolition of debris waste under certain conditions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Firemen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate bill 45 a bill that’s ?? trying to enact to amend the laws of governing and capacity to proceed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Judiciary subcommittee B. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Committee substitute for senate bill 111 a bill that’s ?? trying to enact to allow the city of Clinton to use the designed bill method of construction. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Government in favorable finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate bill 113 a bill that’s ?? trying to enact to require the department of environment and natural resources to support the application of a regional water supply system for all required federal approvals as recommend by the environment ?? commission. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Environment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore is recognized for referral of bills. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank, Mr. Speaker. A rereferral of house bill 45, which is the, short title is internet access for public schools, it’s been determined that that bill does not need to be in the appropriation subcommittee on education that’s what conference with the appropriations chair believe. And that would ask if that referral be stricken would be eligible for calendar 36B for later in the week. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Without objection so ordered. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And maybe a couple more that could be on rereferrals. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. House bill 160, which is the PED bill related to the Indian culture center will be removed from the committee on rules, refer to the committee on finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Noted without objection. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And one more motion pertains to tonight’s calendar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] State your motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House bill 142, which is the last bill on the calendar, short title is provide access to campus police records at the request ?? ??. Moving that that bill be removed from tonight’s calendar, recalendared for Wednesday March the 13th. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Without objection, so ordered. Correction to one referral of bill, house bill 266, short title standards for some nursery stock purchases, the referral to agriculture is stricken. The enrolling clerk is here now to ratify, its already been read. What bill was it? This is to ratify house bill 44. ?? would come forward now to be recognized, just line up here. We appreciate it. We really appreciate your
service this week. I know it will be educational if not entertaining. If you would step forward when I call your name and maybe raise your hand so we know that you're here. Stephanie Banale of Mecklenburg, sponsored by Representative Samuelson. Alexandra Bird of Caberrus, sponsored by Representative Pittman. Representative Anne Church of Franklin, sponsored by Representative Robert Brawley. Macy Harrison of Alamance, sponsored by Dennis Riddell. Maya Hanes of Wake, sponsored by Representative Holley. Emily Hidrick of Alamance, sponsored by Representative Riddell. Sally Hennesy of Caberrus, sponsored by Representative Pittman. Jeffery Manchester of Mecklenberg, sponsored by Speaker Tillis. Charles Moren of Wake, sponsored by Representative Hastings. Jacob Parrish of Carteret, sponsored by Representative McElraft. Abigail Euland of Wake, sponsored by Representative Murray. And Joseph Velton of Carteret, sponsored by Representative McElraft. Thank you much, and you may resume your statements. [applause] Calendar. Please take a look at the first two local bills. Does any member object to grouping House Bill 140 and Senate Bill 95? If not, the clerk will read those two bills--House Bill 140 and Senate Bill 95. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House Bill 140, a bill to be entitled "An Act to Allow the City of Lowell to Regulate Utility Vehicles." Senate Bill 95, a bill to be entitled "An Act to Provide for an Election Procedure for Mid-term Vacancies in Tabor City." General Assembly of North Carolina, enacts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there any discussion or debate? If not, all those in favor will vote aye, all those opposed say no. The clerk will open the machine and record the vote. Open the machine. The clerk will open the machine. 114 voting aye and zero voting no, House Bill 140 and Senate Bill 95 have passed their second reading and will, without objection, be read a second time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] General Assembly of North Carolina, enacts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? If not, all those in favor of the passage of House Bill 140 and Senate Bill 95 on their third reading will say aye. All those opposed will say no. Each vote carried. House Bill 140 will be sent to the Senate. Senate Bill 95 will be enrolled and sent to the Governor. Enrolled. Senate Bill 72, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate Bill 72, a bill to be entitled "An Act to Amend Uniform Commercial Code Article 4A, Funds Transfers, to Continue Applicability of that Article to Remittance Transfers that are Not Electronic Fund Transfers, as Recommended by the General Statutes Commission." General Assembly of North Carolina, enacts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Blust is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker, members of the House. This is a simple bill. We had a good discussion in vote on Thursday. I hope you will vote the same way today. We did have an objection to third reading from the gentleman from Gaston, but I met with him and answered all his questions concerning the bill, so even he understands it now. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? If not, all those in favor will vote aye, all those opposed will vote no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will unlock the machine, close the vote. The ayes being 113, the no's being zero, the bill has passed its third reading, will be enrolled and sent to the Governor. Upon motion of Representative Adams, Robert Brawley and Turner, the chair is happy to extend the courtesies of the gallery to students celebrating Youth Art Month. These students have artwork on display in the north...
Lobby of the legislative building, they have Morgan Kelly and family, Lilian Whites and family, Ricky Evans and teacher LeAnn Goss, and Samantha Manning. If you all and your families would stand, we'd appreciate it, so we can recognize you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Adams. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On a point of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Adams is recognized for a point of personal privilege not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I won't need that much time. I just wanted to speak and comment about the arts just a little bit, because they have been a major part of my life. I've spent 40 years teaching art, much of that time training young people, to teach the people that we have here today who have been honored for their work. I hope that all of the members will take some time to view the work. I want to thank Denise Weeks for putting the exhibit together and working with the schools and the North Carolina Art Education Association, and I want to congratulate all of the young people there. They have a variety of mediums there. Most all of the them are two-dimensional works from print-making to collage. The arts are very, very important. As a matter of fact, most of us think about-- generally, we think about the arts as being nice, and the arts are nice, and they're wonderful, and children-- We all love art like we love ice cream. But the arts are more than niceties; they are necessities for our lives. And they really-- what it all boils down to, it's really what makes us humans. So I want to thank those young people, I want to encourage them to find the mediums that you love to work in and continue to do that. I'm sure we're going to see your names in lights and in many, many places after tonight. Thank you. The work's going to be exhibit for a year. Is that right? All year. So you'll have a chance to pass it. I'm not sure if things are for sale or not, but you might want to really take a really good look. I think they're very rewarding, and it demonstrates the hard work of not only the young people but the teachers who have taken the time to work with them. So, again, congratulations to all of you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative McElraft, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For a point of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You are recognized for a point of personal privilege not to exceed three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker Pro Tempore. For 46, almost 47 years, I think I've been mispronouncing my name. I've been married almost 47 years, and I thought until the past few years that it was Mc-EL-raft. But I found out in caucus today and also tonight that it's MACK-el-raft. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Elmore, what is your name and why do you want to talk? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of personal privilege. It's Elmore. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You're recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. As an art educator myself, I want to reiterate what Representative Adams was saying about the importance of Youth Art Month. Not only do we have this wonderful display in the back lobby, Youth Art Month celebrations are going on all over the state in your local schools and in your local galleries. The arts are so important to the future of our state through our creativity and our innovation that it fosters. And that's a competitive edge for us here in North Carolina. I'm very proud of these students and what they do. I'm proud of the teachers that teach them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. House Bill 95. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'll be a substitute for House Bill 95, a bill to be entitled: An act to alter the standard of proof for public safety telecommunications and dispatchers. Gerald Sidney of North Carolina enacts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Torbett, you are recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You are recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen, thank you. This is-- To me, it's not a simple bill. As many of you know, the era of the past where 911 operators, that used to be called dispatchers or whatever, they've taken more training. It's not that same period of our history. I want you to imagine just for a minute that you're
Doctor in a hospital, with all the tools you have at your disposal and all of your hospital amenities that you have, all your staff you have there to help save someone’s life, take care of them. And then I want you to imagine you’re an ER doctor, with all the latest technologies in most places, and the staff and the emergency care and the assistance and all the elaborate tools you have to work with to help save someone’s life. And then I want you to imagine you’re a 911 operator, and you have three tools. You have your training, you have your hearing, and you have your speech. And that’s the only three tools that you have to hopefully talk to an individual while they are trying to save perhaps the life of their loved one. That, with very little legal coverage. So what this bill simply does, it raises their liability to the level of an emergency room doctor, gives them a little bit more coverage and protection. I want you to think about it and just what they do with those three tools. And that’s the only tools they have in the process of saving lives. And I hope you support the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debate? If not, the question before the House is the passage of the Committee Substitute for House Bill 95 on its second reading. All those in favor will vote aye. All those opposed will vote no. The clerk will open the vote. [PAUSE] The clerk can close the vote. The ayes being 112. The nos being 1. The bill has passed its second reading and will, without objection, be read a third time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] General Assembly of North Carolina enacts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any further discussion or debate? If not, all those in favor will say aye. All those opposed will say no. The bill has passed its third reading and will be sent to the Senate. House Bill 120, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Committee Substitute for House Bill 120, a bill entitled an act to require approval from the North Carolina building code council before a unit of local government may require building inspections in addition to those required by the building code, to specify the frequency and effective dates of code updates, and to exempt cable television installation from building code requirements. General Assembly of North Carolina enacts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] While Representative Hager is preparing to be recognized, I’ll announce that we will not be hearing this on third reading tonight. Representative Hager is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker pro tempore. To debate the bill and send forth an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’re recognized to do that, to debate the bill and then send forth an amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill is very simple. It has really two main parts and then you’ve got a smaller third one. The first part of the bill prohibits cities and counties from going outside the specified building code inspections that are in our building code. Let me tell you, to talk a little bit about building code. Most of you folks may or may not know it, I’ve got a couple books on my desk. One’s a thermodynamics book, one’s property heat transfer, one’s a solids as differentials book, and these are the kinds of books that go into developing the building code for North Carolina. It’s not what somebody feels like they need to do. It’s not what feels right. It’s a very scientific code, and the inspections are set out to be very scientific also, and that’s what they’re there for. Now, this prohibits them getting outside that code, but it doesn’t prohibit a city or county or individual from addressing the building code council and saying we’ve got a problem on the coast with geology and we need a different inspection. Well if that inspection’s good for my good friend Representative Shepherd in Onslo County, then why is it not good in Wilmington and why is it not good somewhere else? So it provides a mechanism, the process does, to be able to get that inspection that Onslo County folks think is good and needed into other areas where it is also needed, the geology would be the same. That’s the first part of the bill. It makes sure you stay within those needed areas of inspection and allows the mechanism for newer inspections, that are looked at in the scientific engineering way. Second piece of this bill takes the ability of the code council and says that instead of you have to look at the code for revisions every three years, we’re going to say now you can look at it every six years. Now you
And ask yourself, does that preclude them looking at it every two years? No. It just says in six years you have to look at for revisions. Does this preclude the fact that we may have, and I'll use our representative Shephards ?? as a good example. So we have a hurricane clip issues, to where hurricane clips are failing during hurricanes. Does this preclude the fact that we need to do an engineering study to determine a different hurricane clip and put in the code? No, that can be done any time. This just says, every six years you need to look at the code. Third part of this bill, looks at how updates are made, how interpretations are made and what website they're put on. Very simple. Then it actually removes cable tv cabling from an inspection because its low voltage cable and there's no safety or structural issues. Let me put it out there now, our building code is designed to make sure you can build a safe house, and a structurally sound house. Thats what its for. Its not there for product placement. Its not there for social engineering. Its there for folks in my district, where we had almost 20% unemployment, can build a house that they can afford to build. And that's what it comes down to folks, so we only allow folks to build houses in North Carolina, that they can afford to build. As you guys know, the building sectors been hurt worst than any other sector just about in this state. This helps them a little bit at a time, helps them get back on their feet. So I ask you to vote for the bill. Send forth amendment Mr speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Recognize send forth amendment. Clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Haygard moves to amend the bill on page 1 line 9 to page 2 line 11 by rewriting these lines to read.[SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Haygard is recognized to explain the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. The first part of this is very simple. It just moves the language in a general statue from the inspection work in progress to the duties and responsibilities. More of a technical correction. The second part makes sure that this bill has no effect on the cities and counties to perform periodic inspections of existing buildings for hazardous and unlawful conditions. This bill just applies to one and two family new constructions, not commercial constructions. And the second one, I mean the third part of the amendment clarifies where the explanations are put, what website. Department of insurance website. That's basically all the amendment does. I ask for your vote on it please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Discussion or debate on the amendment. There's a couple members who sought recognition on the bill. Representative Harrison or Luebke do you wanna speak on the amendment? Harrison? No? If there's no further discussion on the amendment the question before the house is the adoption of the amendment sent forth by representative Haygar. All those who are in favor will vote aye. All those oppose will vote no. Clerk will open the vote. The clerk will open the vote. The aye's are 109, the no's are 3. The amendment has been adopted. So the question before the house, is the bill as amended, representative Cotham is recognized if she desires. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr Speaker. To speak on the bill.[SPEAKER CHANGES] You're so recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you mr speaker and members. House bill 120 was created to be a simple bill. And the goal of this bill was to create a uniform building code through the state of North Carolina. And you may ask, if this really needed. Is this really necessary. And are there really problems. And to each of those questions I would say yes. From personal experience. Now I cannot speak as eloquent and as detailed as representatives Haygard and some of our other colleagues can speak because they have practical experience building homes every day and for many years. My experience comes, not from building a home, but comes from a commercial building. And although this bill doesn't involve commercial real estate and commercial building. There are still some very similar issues and some similar patterns that I would like to bring to your attention. many of you may not know but at the end of the last session, i started the process to open my own small business in Charlotte. And like anyone who's opened a small business, I knew that I would face many hurtles just as anything who's every built a custom build home. You know that you will face many obstacles. I thought I was prepared but I can tell you I met my match when it came to building inspections. And I mean no disrespect, to the local men and women from local government who perform these inspections for our safety. But I encountered some very serious and some very frustrating ..
creating issues that no home owner or no business owner should have to go through. All I wanted was a fair shake, for the building code to be enforced as it is written, and no individual interpretations or additional inspections that, guess what, cost me additional money as a business owner, and this is what homeowners face. I did not want any surprises, and all the changes that I was all of a sudden gonna have to do totaled over $30,000. That's not small change to a small business. That's not small change to someone who is building a home. Every fee, every inspection costs additional money. That costs the builder money; it costs the homeowners money. There's the cost everywhere, and that's a big part of this bill, and we need to make sure that we are talking about that. And, although my situations does involve more commercial, there's a lot of overlap and a lot of parallel. I have spent the last several months talking with home builders, with commercial builders all from over this state. From phone calls to emails to even coming into my office and talking about these issues, and some of the horror stories- it should not be like this in North Carolina. We should not allow this to occur. No builder is trying to skirt the law here. No one is trying to get something done quicker and risk safety. That is not what this is about. Everyone deserves consistency, and what happens in Mecklenburg should be the same in Lincoln or in Union or in Sampson County. That is what this bill is about. It's about creating a uniform code, and so I ask you to think about that. I ask you to think about the constituents you came here to represent, who are home builders, who are small business owners, who are desperate to be a homeowner. Those are our constituents. I ask you to support small business and support this bill. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Harrison of Guilford is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I wanted to debate the bill on Section 2 dealing with the change in the building code updates. I will defer to my colleagues about the other parts of the bill. I don't disagree with Representatives Hager and Cotham that we need uniformity and consistency, and that's an admirable trait. I don't know that that's what we're achieving in part two of the bill dealing with the delays in the building code updates. I've heard from a number of individuals and groups that are very concerned about this bill, and you all on your computers tonight, we got an email from the National Electrical Manufacturers. There are others. The NC State Fireman's Association, local government representatives, the American Chemistry Council. A number of green builders, green architects have spoken to me about this. I think it's important to remember with the building code that we're establishing a minimum standard of construction that will last for nearly 100 years, so we want to achieve the safest and the healthiest standards possible. Codes can cover everything from wind resistance to severe weather resistance to lead paint to energy performance, and these are important considerations. Right now we're tied to the international code, and that's updated every three years, and there are 25 other states that adopt the same procedure, and we are number three in housing construction in this state, so it's important that we sort of achieve a minimum standard that at least the rest of the country is achieving, and I think it's really important that the rules- that we construct our houses- that they are safe and healthy, we protect the homeowners; these buildings are around. Nearly 50% of energy produced is consumed by buildings. It should be viewed in context, and I realize it's a separate bill. There's a separate bill, House Bill 201, which will repeal the energy code that we adopted in this body two years ago, and that increased energy efficiency. If this bill passes, we will not be able to re-address that issue until 2019, and I think that's an important consideration. I don't know how many of you all saw that last week we were number two in energy job creation in the country, and that is in part because of these clean energy policies we're pursuing, and a lot of that has to do with housing; energy efficient housing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does Representative Hager rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] State your point of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm wondering if Representative Harrison is talking about House Bill 201 and not this House Bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'll allow her a little bit of leeway. We are on House Bill 120. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you
Mr. Speaker, I only mention house bill 201 in the context of house bill 120 'cause if 120 passes, and 201 passes will not be able to achieve an energy code for another six years. So, those are the major points that I want to make. I appreciate your consideration. I think this is an important bill, and I urge you to vote no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Luebke is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm wondering whether Representative Hager would yield for question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does Representative Hager yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gladly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hager, do you believe in local control? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Not when it comes to engineering standards. Local control is good in most areas, but not engineering standards. Engineering standards are worldwide, they're physics, they're geology. Those change on region basis, not local basis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You're recognized for a follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Representative Hager. I'm a little surprised about this bill, because this is the sort of thing that the committee on regulatory reform usually would not approve, because, generally speaking, the committee on regulatory reform in fact reduces regulation, and in fact what you're doing in this bill is increasing regulation. There's an extra step in here. You're requiring city and county inspectors to go to the state building council. And I'm wondering whether that doesn't seem a little odd to you that you're adding bureaucracy, which is the thing that your side usually is railing against, and so I'm just wondering where you are on this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you for that question, representive Lucas. This bill passed out of the committee with a unanimous vote. I think representive Bell made the favorable motion on it, and I don't know exactly where you're getting that I'm increasing bureaucracy with this bill, when you actually reduce the number of inspections that are done. When folks are egregiously going out there and inspecting things that aren't proven through engineering standards, that aren't proven through geology issues, that aren't proven to be structural or safety issues, they're doing these inspections willy nilly without following the process set forth through the building code council to get these inspections into the building code council if they're legitimate inspections. Now, I'm not sure how I can decrease the amount of inspections and create bureaucracy. I'm not sure I understand that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further debate, [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, I wanted to see if he'd yield for another question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would you yield for another, third question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ecstatically. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Pardon? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, he will. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I want to ask you specifically, Representative Hager on page two, line nine, and it's also on page one with respect to the counties. This is about the cities. But the language is the same, as you know, in both sections. On line nine, references that city inspectors, county inspectors must send their requests to the building code council and the building code council shall review in a timely manner. My question is, what is a timely manner? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would you give me that page and line number again, Representative Lewis? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. Page a two, line nine. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is the gentleman referring to the bill, or the amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, I'm not quite used to this new system, as maybe you aren't either. But I was referring to the bill, and I can also reference page one, line 26. It's the same question I have, is what constitutes a timely manner, if a city or county is concerned about something? What's a timely manner? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, I've got it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representive Hager. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think, representive Luebke, I understand the issues in other areas such as the law, or some of these others may be like a rubber brand, and they can expand or contract, but in engineering and scientific terms, those things don't expand and contract. Physics is physics. Geology is geology. I had explained before. I think a timely manner is when it's put through the scientific processes to determine is this a correct inspection or not. A, is it a good inspection? B, has it been inspected correctly? C, are you achieving the result that you need to achieve? Now, how long it takes is how long it takes. Now, if there's emergency issues, there's a process for emergency procedures within the building code council. And I will tell you that the building code council chairman, as an individual has endorsed this change, and also the department of insurance has endorsed this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, representive Hager. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Luebke is recognized to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Members of the house, this is a very odd bill, because it does, first of all, take control away from your building inspectors at the city and county levels. You should know that
At this committee reading on Wednesday, Thursday, that the County Commissioner's Association had a representative who spoke against the bill. Also, I checked the League of Municipalities, representing cities, and I was told by the League that it too is against the bill. So we have city, er cities in our county against this bill. We also have the Building Inspectors Association against this bill. We also have the chemical industry against this bill. Why are they against this bill? Well, they're against it for reasons Representative Harrison addressed, that having three years in one, couple, in forty eight states and six years in two states is not for them good business. So there's a whole lot of people who are against this bill and I haven't heard of very many people who are for this bill. And to me, the list of people who are opposed to it, I don't know if you've heard from your cities or counties about it, individual members, but I have, not only from my city counsel, my county commission, and from my chief building inspector in the city of Durham. Though, this, I'm looking in section one of course, and I just can't see that this represents good policy at all. And I would say finally that, will all respect, Representative Hager, the explanation about engineers and this, that, and the other to get around the definition of timely manner is really not okay. I mean our, what we tend to put in our statutes is specific times. And I don't understand timely manner, and I think there should be an amendment that says, two weeks or one month or whatever it is. How is the the city supposed to know how long they're gonna wait for the business, from the building councils, the state building councils? So I'd, I'd feel a lot better about this bill if there were an amendment that actually stated how long cities and councils have to wait. But at this point, absolutely can't support the bill and I don't really see how anyone else can either. I heard Representative Cotham and I appreciate that she had a bad experience and I'm sorry for her, but as far as public policy is concerned this is just taking power away from cities and counties and giving it to a state agency. I urge you to oppose the bill. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative McGrady is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] A question for the bill sponsor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does he yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hager, with respect to the three year insecure issue, isn't it true that our neighboring states, South Carolina and Virginia for example, and actually the majority of states revise their, their code every time the International Code Council does, which basically is a three year cycle? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative McGrady, not all of them do. Michigan for instance has a six year cycle. I'll, I'll say that the rest of those states you mentioned also have lower taxes than us. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hager, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But the answer though is that the vast majority of the states have a three year cycle including our neighboring states, is that right? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don't know, I don't know the vast majority for sure. I think our neighboring states do but I can't tell you every state does, which ones do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One last question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I guess I'd, I'd like to just hear from you why should we be telling the building code council what cycle they ought to do this on? I think they're the people that, that are responsible for doing it. And I understand the chairman came in speaking only for himself, but to my understanding it's the council itself hasn't taken position. So that's the question. Why should we weigh into this debate? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative McGrady. I, I think we as a legislative body have a, have a responsibility, judiciary responsibility to the home builders to make sure that is a managed right. It's certainly within our purview to make sure agencies we have out there are doing the right thing. In this case we think that they're not doing the right thing for the sector that ran, for the devastation this sector's seen, and for the folks in my district and each one of your districts that are trying to build that small house, that first homebuilder that's just trying to get in, that doesn't, that can't stand another twenty five hundred dollars or another three thousand dollars due to more inspections or more increase in energy efficiency and those things. Now they can always do those things. I can increase the efficiency of my house by one or two, but that’s my decision. I believe it ought to be the home builder's decision. We tell them the minimum standards that they can build to, and if they want to increase it, if a young family comes into some money, they get, they get their taxes back and they want to increase insulation, let them, but I don't want to keep them out of the home just for that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative McGrady is recognized to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Speaker, I have no problem with those sections of the bill that
to prohibiting added inspections after a building has already passed its final inspection. I don't think counties and cities ought to be going back there to do that sort of thing. My concern is with the three to six year issue. I met with the home builders this afternoon. There are a wide range of groups that the way this bill moved, it moved fairly quickly and it wasn't any bad intention. We just got room on the calendar. The lobbyists in favor of the bill did a very good job of moving their bill forward but the fact is that a lot of folks are beginning to figure out that this bill is out there and as I think Representative Harrison mentioned even as while we were here we're getting different groups weighing into the discussion with reasonable questions that need to be answered. I hope that I'll be in a position when the bill comes back on to the calendar to vote for the bill but because of my reservations about the three to six year issue I'll vote no tonight and if I can't resolve them I'll be prepared to offer an amendment when it comes back. Thank you Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Insko is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd like to speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You're recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentleman of the House, I share some of the concerns that have been raised. I spoke with the building inspector in Orange County. They still have some questions about the bill. One of the concerns they had was that building inspectors have no immunity so if there is something that goes wrong a building inspector because they weren't allowed to do some extra inspections building inspectors would be at risk. The North Carolina Firemen's Association is also opposed. They have concerns that it might affect fire safety, result in a higher insurance because it would be out of compliance with some of the fire safety standards and I'd just like to comment that there are many stakeholders, many parties, who are interested in this bill and I agree that it has been rushed. This is an example of probably a process that should have happened more carefully in the Committee. I don't know that we really need to be raising these kinds of issues on the floor. A really good Committee, a longer Committee process where people actually had time to get their questions answered, so I join Representative Grady that I'm going to be doing some more homework on this tonight to make sure that these questions are answered and I hope that we'll have a few days before we have a third reading so we'll all be able to vote one way on the bill. Thank you. Tonight I'll be voting no on the bill [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brody is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. I'd like to give a practical view of this bill. For the last decade I've been a home builder and I wasn't a very big home builder but I guess about 25 homes a year was kind of the average so I had a lot of experience in this. It is a full-time job. I actually built in about 6 diferent jurisdictions, one of them being in South Carolina so that really doesn't affect here but I built in 5 in the Nashua Charlotte area. One of them was Gaston County where I had to learn the building code and how they wanted to interpret it as well as the inspections. But then right in the middle of Gaston County I had to build in the City of Gastonia and I had to learn a whole different code and a whole different list of inspections. And then I went to Union County where I'm from and I did the same thing, learning a different code, learning different inspections and of course right in the middle of that is the city of Monroe which I think has about, behind Mecklenberg County has the record in the amount of inspections that are required and then of course I built in Mecklenberg County which the reality is I don't think they've come to grips with if they're part of North Carolina yet in that aspect. So that's a practical view of the number of inspections but I want to give you a little brief explanation of the three year ?? and I think we kind of get not an accurate view of what's that all about. When the building code comes out, let's say for example in 2009 and it isn't one where it comes out and then it's automatically enacted. The process just begins at that point and what they do is they go through a review process and that may take a year to review and decide what part of that international code is going to be enforced in North Carolina.
Then for the next, about a year maybe a little bit less, it gets filtered down through the local code officials and they have to learn what the new changes are. So once the local officials get to the word of what it is then that becomes, then that in return gets passed along to the builders like myself. So in reality by the time; for example in 2009 code comes down to our level where we have to implement it, it may be two and a half to three years just to get there and then we, I, we like to as builders, at least like to work under a code for a while before the new 2012 code comes out. So it’s a, it’s a relief for us builders to be able to know exactly what our code is at one point so we can continue to build our, our houses. I’m glad that the, Representative’s Hager’s Bill has an exception to where they’re protective over things because that does come up but it’s pretty rare that it comes up. So I ask you where you consider the practical aspect of it and I ask you to support this Bill. It is a good Bill. I say, thank you very much. It’s about time we got some relief from that. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Clark is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the Bill [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’re recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What I’d like to do is try to address some of the questions that’s been raised this evening regarding, maybe a question regarding local control. We actually have a state-wide billing code. There’s no local control in it for the specific purpose of providing uniformity. The purpose of the building code is revived for public safety, health and welfare of the public. And as such when you have a lot of local interpretations, it creates the very bureaucracy that we’re trying to avoid. The way this Bill is structured is that if a county has a specific reason to go beyond what’s identified in the state-wide building code, they can petition the building code council who has the necessary expertise to vet their request and make a decision regarding whether those additional inspections are required. And so that is still maintained in terms of providing a local element. Regarding the increased liability to inspectors I don’t actually understand that because what we’re talking about is a standard of care. In fact, if you go to interpretations beyond the code it seems to me not being a lawyer but that would increase your risk of exposure. So what we’re trying to do is actually create a standard, a uniform standard across the state that both builders can rely on in the financial aspects of construction homes but more importantly, the residents can rely on in the safety and viability and security of the homes that they purchase through the construction. And so regarding the three year cycle, I would make a distinction between the residential code and the commercial code. At this point in time we refer to the international code council for the ?? code council we adopt those and we incorporate North Carolina amendments into those. That is on a three year cycle. There is talk in industry that that is moving too fast. And from the commercial side, the commercial code references, international standards that were not even ready at the time of publication and so those had to be incorporated into amendments. And so, what I do want to make is the distinction between the commercial code and the residential code. Purpose of the code is for life standards and minimum safety standards. It’s not to interject philosophy or anything else into that. That’s why we feel like, I will certainly be supportive in be able to move this to a six year cycle for the residential code. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion or debates? If not, the question before the House is the passage of ?? committee substitute for House Bill 120 as amended or in second reading. All those in favor will vote aye, all those who oppose will vote no. The clerk will open the vote. The clerk will lock the machine and record the vote. 88 voted aye and 26 voting no. The bill has passed its second reading and will remain on the calendar so that we have a clean bill tomorrow, the Chair votes the amendment encroached.
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