The House will come to order. Members please take your seats, visitors please retire from the chamber. Members and visitors in the gallery, please silence all cellular phones and electronic devices. The prayer will be offered by Rep. Rick Glazier. Members and visitors in the gallery, please stand and please remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker, and after last night we can all use some prayer. We cannot only pray to you God to end war, for we know that you have made the world in such a way that we must find the path to peace within ourselves and with our neighbors and colleagues. We cannot only pray to you God to end starvation, for you have already given us the resources with which to feed the entire world if we would only use them wisely. We cannot only pray to you God to root out prejudice because you have already given us eyes with which to see the good in all people, if we would only use them rightly. We cannot only pray to you God to end despair, for you have already given us the power to clear away poverty and to provide hope if we would only use our power justly. We cannot only pray to you God to end disease because you have given us great minds to search out cures and healing if we would only use them constructively. Therefore today we pray to you instead for strength and determination and courage and will, to do instead of only to pray, to become instead of merely to wish, to act instead of merely to speak. For your sake and ours, speedily and soon, for our state, our nation, and world to be made safe, and may you bless all of our lives, 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, with liberty and justice for all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Moore is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, the journal for July 31st 2014 has been examined and been found to be correct, and move its approval as written. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Moore moves that the journal for July 31st be approved as written. All in favor say "aye"? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, "no"? The "aye"s have it, the journal will be approved as written. Petitions, memorials, or papers addressed to the general assembly of the House, ratification of bills and resolutions, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Enrolling clerk reports the following bills to be ratified for presentation to the Governor: Senate bill 163, an act to designate reclaimed water as source water. Senate bill 193, an act to modify ?? ethics reporting ?? Senate bill 403, an act to amend and clarify various provision election law. Senate bill 648, an act to create transparency in contracts between the attorney general and private attorneys. House bill 1145, an act to require mopeds to be registered with the division of motor vehicles and ?? House bill 1218, an act ?? chartered city of Monroe. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, please take your seats. Members, with the budget today we will take up the budget conference report, then we will recess before we take up at least one more matter in the calendar. Of course we have staff here available, will be available on the floor to help the members with any questions that they may have about the budget, but we felt like that we needed extra resources for this particular day and this particular vote. So we brought in a page corps to help us today, and I would like the pages to now come before the front of the chamber. Pages, please approach the front of the chamber. Again, given the amount of time and work we've put these member- these staff through it's not clear to me how they could have so many children, but we're
we're happy to have them here today, is honorary pages and the clerk will read the pages. Pages, if you can hear me, or parents, as your name is called, please wave to the members so they can put a face to a name or hoist your kid. The clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Luca Ciamelle, Lilliana Ciamelle, Lawson Hayes, Reeves Hayes, Arianna Morales, Selina Morales, Isabel Morales, Marissa Morales, Henry Munn, Jack Munn, Henry Roberts, Jeanette Roberts, Maddy Wilson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Starnes is recognized. No. It's an old joke. Pages, thank you for being here today, and staff, thank you so much, I know after the last couple of weeks you've been with use more than you've been with your families. It's kinda nice to see you together. Thank you all. Members, let's welcome them. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Moore, please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman may state his point of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just wanted to let the parents and the pages know, that crying is okay, we're used to it when we're dealing with the Senate last night. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you pages, you may now return to your stations. Senate bill 744, the clerk will read. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To the president of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The conferees appointed to resolve the differences between the Senate and the House of Representatives on Senate bill 744, a bill to entitle an act make base budget appropriations for current operations, state departments, institutions, and agency, and for other purposes. The conferees recommend that the Senate and House of Representatives adopt this report, conferees for the Senate: Sen. Brown, Chair, Senators Apodaca, Berger, Brock, Harrington, Hise, Hunt, Jackson, Meredith, Pate, Rabin, Randleman, Rucho, Soucek, Tillman. Conferees for the House: Rep. Dollar, co-chair, Rep. Johnson, co-chair, Rep. Holloway, Burr, Horn, McGrady, Avila, Hollo, Lambreth, West, Murry, Daughtry, Bowles, Faircloth, Hurley, Cleveland, Sheperd, Lewis, Moore, Hagar, Tillis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Dollar is recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, I move that we do adopt the conference report for Senate bill 744. And I would like to be recognized to speak on that motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized to debate the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker, members of the House. Let me first begin by thanking our full chairs of the appropriations committee, who provided leadership in daylight
At night and in the early morning hours, Representative Johnson, Representative Burr, Representative Halloway, Representative McElrath. I also want to thank all of our appropriations chairs of the various committees. There's some 20 of them, who did yeoman's work not only in their individual areas, but helped mightily in the other areas of the budget. I also want to take this time to thank our staff. The staff did a tremendous amount of work. They were up with us not only for those late night hours, but when we went home, they were still at work tryign to make sense of the things that we had agreed on. And sometimes that's not so easy. So I want to point out and thank the staff, and I think we'll do a round of applause for them later when the vote is concluded. Mr. Speaker, members of the House, this conference report represents a compromise between the House position and the Senate position. You have to be able to give in a negotiation. You have to be able to stand on your principles and those things that you believe are most critical and most important. Members of this House, I believe that we have stood on those things that were most critical and most important to this House and more importantly, those items that were most critical, important to the citizens of this great state. When we started this year, we made a commitment to raise teacher pay, but to do more than that. We wanted to raise starting pay because we want the brightest and the best of North Carolina to consider teaching a worthy position, that they, a worthy career for them to come and to be a part of our system. We have fulfilled that promise. We have started the two year process in this budget of raising starting teacher salary from $30,000 to $35,000, when we will pass the budget next year. We moved to $33,000 this year. That is a promise fulfilled. Mr. Speaker, members of this House, we said that we needed to raise the average teacher's salary for everyone. We did that to the tune of an average of 7%. And we do have a focus in some of those early middle years where we have seen the greatest loss of teaching expertise to the private sector and to other pursuits. That is a promise fulfilled by this House. We also provided the $1,000 pay raise, we got the Governor and the Senate to agree to come to the House position. And we also provided 5 bankable leave days for our state employees. That is a promise fulfilled. We provide a 1% COLA for our retirees. That is a promise fulfilled. We increased the highway patrol and a number of other critical areas in state government who work on various scales that had been held for some time, even though they had been promised raises. There was quite a bit of work done by members of the, full chairs on that. That is a promise fulfilled. And one of the promises that we made and a commitment that we made in this House that we were up late hours defending, was to ensure that our teaching assistants would be there this year, that no teaching assistant would lose their position and that the classroom resources that that line item represents would be preserved in this budget. That is the case. That is a promise fulfilled. This House made a commitment not to directly cut eligibility for Medicaid patients. That is a promise fulfilled in this budget. Mr. Speaker, members of the House, we strengthened our community colleges, we strengthened out universities, we provided capital funds for a variety of important projects, some for repairs and renovations actually repairs and renovations in the ?? building in particular there represents a 72 million dollar investment that we have made. We made the investment to construct the western crime lab, and we have provided reserves. This budget provides 186 million dollars
Preserves a rick reserve for any medicaid contingency, over the course of this budget year. We also have in total, in the various reserves of available to the state. Close to some 1 million dollars available to us. Mr speaker, and members of the house, one of the projects that has gotten attention and at this house address this conference report addresses and I wanna use it as an analogy. The battleship North Carolina some of you aware, that mighty ship that was the most decorated battleship in all of world war 2. It was having problems below the water line. It had bad foundation. It was beginning to show rust. And ran the risk, runs the risk of being reduce to a heap because it had a bad foundation. You wouldn't see that just looking at that across that wonderful grass out there in the across the cape fear river. But under the water that was the situation. When we came in in , that battleship was much the analogy of what we faced with the budget. It kinda looked ok from this part, some paint had been put on it. We could see the battle scars but what was really wrong was the foundation. We began to work on the foundation. This budget works on that foundation. Now particular to the battleship, we're providing 3 million dollars so they can put the coffer damn in place down there. And so that we can leverage I think another 10 million dollars in money from citizens and the private sector to repair that battleship. And insure and it will be there as a shinning symbol of freedom and as a shinning symbol of the strength of this state and the people of this state, for many generations to come including all those young people that you saw up here. Ms speaker, members of the house. This budget is sound, its responsible, its reasonable. It fulfills our top promises. And it ensures our budget foundation just like we're ensuring with our battleship. It's gonna be sound and ready to sail into the future, a bright future with a better economy, stronger jobs. People who have their educational needs met, who have their cultural needs met, who have their healthcare needs met. I commend the conference report to you. Madam speaker I believe you have a list of area chairs that would like to speak to some of the specifics of this budget at this time. And I would appreciate you recognized them. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the representative from Union rise, representative Horn. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you madam speaker. Pleasure and an honor today to stand before you and address the educational portion of this budget. When we arrived here, in May, teacher pay was the number one issue across this state. This budget responds to that issue by investing more dollars in teacher salaries in at least a decade. Probably much longer than a decade. More dollars in teacher salaries in at least that long. Every teacher in every school will make more money int he coming year than they did in the last one. We're all embarrassed that our teachers were 48, or 45th or 46th, or somewhere near the bottom on average pay. This budget moves average teacher salaries to 32nd in the nation. And 4th in the entire southeast. This conference budget appropriates over 8.1 billion dollars to public schools. More than a billion dollars to our community college system and over 2.6 billion dollars to the UNC system. This budget commits to over 11.7 billion dollars an increase of nearly 350 million dollars. As you heard representative Dollar say, teacher salaries will go up, approximately seven ...
Including longevity. And as you all know, teachers do value their longevity pace and we roll that into a new salary schedule that reforms an old and antiquated 35 step system into a new 6 step system. Under this budget those educators at the top of the pay scale will receive a $1000 bonus, in central bonus and non certified personnel will receive $500 increase. School based administrators, principles and assistants will be paid on a new salary schedule that provides them with an average 2% pay increase. In this budget, we've allotted 43 million dollars for classroom teaching positions in grades 2 and 3. Resulting in 7 additional positions. Which will reduce class size in grades 2 and 3 to 1 to 17. The total funding increase as a result in these class size reductions, compared to last year is 85.3 million dollars. In this budget we live up to our promise to restore master supplement for those in the pipeline who completed a class towards qualifying for masters advance degree or advance degree by August of 2013. And we will implement a study for paying supplements as well as recommend a plan for supplements to teachers who demonstrate effectiveness and take on additional responsibilities. In this budget, we've added 3.2 million dollars for services for children in private sector psychiatric residential treatment facilities. For our great community colleges in this state, no cuts. We have increased that budget. We have funded the closing the skills gap. And we have funded the yellow ribbon program to reduce tuition cost for our non resident veterans. In this budget, the UNC system, no cuts to overall budget. The conference budget for the UNC system increases general fund appropriations by 1.1 percent over the fiscal year enacted budget and by 1% over the authorized budget. It implements the yellow ribbon program in the UNC system just as we have implemented it in community colleges. When we replaced the million dollars of federal revenue lost for the college foundation of North Carolina. We appropriated 3 million dollars for initiatives in UNC's own strategic plan. And appropriated 2 million dollars toward that 10 million dollars that Northeast State is getting for a 70 million dollar federal grant. Mr speaker, madam speaker, members of the house, ladies and gentlemen this is a good budget. It accomplishes a lot. I would, we all would wish to accomplish a lot more. And we will. In just 5 months we'll be back here working on the next one. And we will accomplish a lot more. Now it is alleged that Winston Churchill once said, vote for this budget. I dont, speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, members of the house it appears that we've had another honorary page grace us with her presence. And so if she would come forward we'd be happy to introduce her. Come forward, we'll be happy to introduce ya. Come on up to the front. Come on down to the front. Face the members. Oh ok. I'm sorry the delay was that the page had a flat tire. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Victoria Skalley. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And again we thank Victoria for being with us. Thank you for your service Victoria. For what purpose does the gentlemen for Versailles, representative Lanberg arise.[SPEAKER CHANGES] debate the conference report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you madam chairman. Ladies and gentlemen, let me share with you a high level overview of the health and human services budget. The conference budget does not close the right school. It does not eliminate school nurse positions and retain current eligibility levels. There are many positives in expansion. This budget provides 5 million dollars additional funds in pre k. It add's 2.2 million to support an increase crisis services. It increases funding to 1 million dollars for the medical examiners office while increasing requirements for training and increasing accountability. Within child protective services...
[provides] 7.3 million to reduce County Departments of Social Services investigative cases work load. It provides funds for 9 new positions to provide enhanced oversight of Child Welfare Services at local County Social Service Department $750,000.00. It provides 4.5 million for child welfare in home services which provides interventions that focus on child safety and the prevention of negligence and abuse. The childcare market rates are increased 25% of the difference between currently in use and the 2013 market rate, a $6.8 million allotment. It provides 4.9 million to remove 1000 children off the waiting list and when fully implemented the waiting list will be reduced by over 4000 children. Within Medicaid, it restores the 2014 3% shared saving reduction effective 2015 for nursing homes. It appropriates non-recurring funds to address liabilities to 136.5 million and the 2014 year Medicaid Health choice a net short fall of $72.3 million and it creates recurring contingency reserve of 186.4 million. If these fund are needed it will require legislative approval. Medicaid also creates a single base rate at the state wide medium and it increases the state share in the Hospital Assessment Plan. Overall, this is a solid budget and I commend it for your approval. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Wake Representative Murry rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the Conference Report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mad’am Speaker and members. Its been a real pleasure to work with Roger West, I hope everyone gets a chance to spend time with Roger working on a piece of legislation or something. He’s been work on the NER budget for years and is a true gem for the state of North Carolina. He’s definitely a strong advocate for rural North Carolina and you see that reflected in our budget. With in the department of commerce you’ll see that we expand the Rural Economic Division by an additional $1.2 million for the duration of this biennium that will go back into your rural districts and help infrastructure get developed so economic development can prosper in your rural district. We also focused on farmland preservation trust fund providing it $1 million of non-recurring money to match federal funds to purchase development rights, so we protect our military bases and agriculture operations, that’s a true win-win. The 2 top industries in our state, agriculture a $77 billion industry and everybody knows the strong military presence we have in our state. We’re going to preserve lands around military bases through agricultural preservation. We’re also working on increasing the state aid to Bio-technology Center, a growing sector in many areas of our state, additional $1 million bringing total funding for Bio-technology Center up to $13.6 million. We are also working with our universities to make sure that there are researches going on at the bench that is being translated to real innovation in the market place and job creation. We are providing an additional $600,000 to NC State on a non-recurring base to develop 2 initiatives, food processing and plant science. This is getting our agricultural economy to a place where we could process that food right here in North Carolina and create jobs, it’s a good investment for our state. We’re also expanding programming for one North Carolina small business program with $2.5 million from the One NC fund cash balance to provide early stage support for small high growth and high tech businesses. Also within the Department of Commerce we’re funding the Main Street Solution program with $1 million from the industrial development fund utility account to support downtown economic development, small businesses and job creation. This is the reason why are here, to help make sure the we have a prospering economy for the state of North Carolina, the NER budget does that and I recommend the Conference Report for your adoption. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Johnston Representative Daughtry rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the Conference Report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mad’am Speaker. When Representative Dollar mention the battleship as it compared to the state
Justice and Public Safety represents the big guns, on the boat that protects us from our enemy, and the anti-aircraft weapons that protect the sailors within the boat. I'm proud to say that because of the hard work of Justice and Public Safety Committee, we have a good budget, that reductions include closing two women's prisons, thanks to the good work of the Justice Reinvestment Act, we've done all ?? those beds. Reduces the appropriations of the administrative offices of the court by 2.9 million, but only can those reductions occur when there is not 100% of the offices filled, based on the formula so if you have a funding mechanism whereas 100 people are working and you are allocated a hundred, you will not be cut. Only those that have more than has been allocated will be cut. As far as expansion goes, we added 1.8 million dollars to purchase vehicles for ?? probation and parole officers. We funded 2 dedicated confinement facilities. One in Burke County and one in Robinson County for those violations regarding the Justice Reinvestment Act, when you have someone who violates their probation. We transferred all the misdemeanors from the state prison system to the county jails, which will help us free up more room in our prisons. If it's permissible Madam Speaker, I would like to call on Representative Faircloth to finish the presentation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. For what purpose does the gentleman from Guilford, Representative Faircloth arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madam Speaker. A part of budgeting and dollar concerns in criminal justice certainly has to do with the operation of law enforcement agencies. And I did want to speak specifically to the discussions that we've had regarding the state bureau of investigations and alcohol law enforcement. We have come to that time in history when consolidation of such things as communications equipment, firearms, vehicles and so forth is such that they can be, demands by separate agencies can be combined for savings. And so for efficient operation, we feel it's now time to move our law enforcement agencies into one particular area. The SBI, State Bureau of Investigation and the ALE will be combined. The ALE will become a part of the State Bureau of Investigation and the State Bureau of Investigation is moved into the Department of Public Safety. The movement of the SBI protects the ability of the SBI to not be politicized in terms of investigations or arrests or law enforcement activities. In that that director of the SBI will now be appointed by the Governor, for an 8 year term. That director will be confirmed by the Senate and the House and will be independent as far as investigations and law enforcement activities, from the Department of Public Safety. For administration, it will be an integral part of the Department of Public Safety, which will result in savings for both. We feel like this is the correct move. We feel like it protects the officers of both agencies from interference where interference is improper and that's a very important part of the concern of our local law enforcement agencies in the state. So with that, I do commend the report to you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. For what purpose does the gentleman from Gaston, Representative Torbitt rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To give the transportation piece, Madam Chair, Madam Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And the floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you. Representative Shepherd and I had a somewhat difficult time in our first meeting with chairs when everyone else was looking for money to help fund the largest teacher pay increase in North Carolina history and Transportation came in there pretty much with 100 million additional dollars of revenue. So it was tough. And that revenue increase came
from projections going over, or the actuals going over the projections in fuel, tax, and also the sale of automobiles. So it was a good thing. Let me tell you where that money went. And probably by now you're getting talking points on your computers, as well. There's a couple of thing we needed to face. We wanted to make sure that we were efficient, effective, and economical with the citizen's tax dollars and transportation. So we put about 5.75 million dollars more into resurfacing, contract resurfacing, which pushes that money, as you've heard me say before, out into the private sector. We focus a lot on system preservation. We actually set it up, it's its own program. We actually asked D.O.T. to do something, or actually, mandated them to do something they've never done, is to develop a preservation program, so they know from year to year to year what roads are going to be maintained and how they're going to be maintained and get that down into a programmatic system, so we can better fund for that system. And in doing so, we did something that is very important to only 14 specific areas of North Carolina, and those 14 specific areas is every D.O.T. division in North Carolina, from one end of this state to the other end of this state, to effectively address the quality of roads when they're maintaining them, and to compress the contracting time, to get the people's tax monies, that they have worked hard to give for transportation needs, quickly onto the roads that they use. So we have compressed the contractual time. We gave them a little bit, just a little bit of leniency this year, and a very contracted contractual time going into next year. So what you should see is that as the revenue is there, it semi-immediately performed and goes out to every division in this state, to better the quality of your roads and get them done at a much quicker process. The quality is a big piece. There's some of the other things that we did, specifically, you can look through here, on the talking points, and pretty much, there's a ton of stuff we did. But if you have specific questions, I'm here all day, Madam Speaker, and if you have questions about talking points, feel free to ask either Representative Shepard or myself. And before I sit down, I'd like to thank the Chairs, the members of this body that had lots of input into this as the process went through. Oftentimes it seems like you didn't, but every time you said something, you were heard. You were listened to. This is not a red and blue, this is North Carolina transportation, and we're making it better. Thank you for your time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. For what purpose does the gentleman from Onslow, Representative Cleveland, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the conference report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Madam Chair. In the general government area, overall we reduced 8.6 million across the agencies. We expanded the state board of elections, that'll receive three positions for investigative purposes. Out of the Department of Revenue, we'll open a call center in Guilford County. And we provided 1.4 million dollars for the call center in Rocky Mount to improve its services. The Housing Finance Agency received 10 million, nonrecurring, to create the Workforce Housing Loan Program. The Department of State Treasurer is going to hire ten new staff. That will internalize the portions of investment management for some of their investment management, and reduce fees to a third-party vendor. And the division is also granted a compensation reserve to bring them up to, it won't bring them up to market value, but to get these salaries closer to market value for those people. In our special provisions, we exempt the Investment Division of the Department of State from portions of the State Personnel Act, and we provided an exemption for rulemaking in the cultural resources for hours and days of operations to help them further their self-sufficiency. And the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee for General Government was created. Madam Chair, that's all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. For what purpose does the gentleman from Lenoir, Representative Saine, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the conference report, Madam Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And the floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And thank you. From Lincoln County, but we'll. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oh, Lincoln County, I'm sorry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But Lenoir's a nice place. I'll be brief in my remarks
In the Information Technology portion of budget. Quickly I will tell you, our work has led to reduction in costs for IT, which has allowed us to give back those savings to help contribute to our other priorities in the budget. We continue much of our good work started last year, which includes an additional 5 million provided to GDAC or Government Data Analytic Center to continue the state’s efforts to develop an enterprise business intelligence capability. We provided an additional 1.1 million to expand support of the criminal law enforcement data system, also known as CJLEADS which will further assist our law enforcement and court system. 1.5 million for planning for enterprise resource planning system which will allow the state to move to a single system for business management. We also require state agencies to utilize the eastern and western data centers first for new equipment purchases unless an exception is granted by the state CIO. Madam Speaker, we have accomplished a lot in the way of expanding efficiencies and I thank you all for your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. What purpose does the gentleman from Wills? Representative Elmore, arise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Madam Speaker, to speak to the conference report. Today I want to speak to you from a teacher’s perspective, not necessarily from a Representative’s perspective because I found in my short time down here so far that everybody’s some sort of educational expert because they sat in the classroom. Which, that’s fine, but that’s how close the issue is to all of us in the room. About what’s best for our kids, putting the best people in front of our children. To where they can have the best futures. And that’s important to each and every one of us. I want to talk specifically about the compensation piece. In the conference report. And what this compensation piece does and how it works. And I think always when you’re dealing with an issue this big, and an issue that changes so much, you have to get a historical perspective with it. And how do we get to a point that we’re at? When I first started, over a decade ago, I walked into Mountain View Elementary and most of the staff there were older ladies. They had 25 years or more experience. And they were wondering why the young guy was there. And there was that kind of feeling, but at the time with student populations and trends, we had the bulk of our teachers were older more experienced teachers. And then during that time was the economic boom of North Carolina. Where our urban areas were growing exponentially and we were having major issues filling our classrooms with teachers. So how does that get adjusted? What is the theory? The ?? scale was created to help preserve those older teachers. To make sure that they didn’t leave the classroom so we would not have a big hole. That makes sense. Now as time moves on, what has happened in our schools? Many of those folks have retired. That’s one reason why I wanted to talk about it, my kindergarten teacher’s husband wrote an editorial to the paper. So I felt like if my kindergarten teacher was asking questions, I better explain a little bit. The older teachers have, a lot of them, have retired. So what happens is, you’ve got a void on the front end. Meaning we’re having difficulties filling our classrooms with the teachers that we need to help our children. A statistic that I read a few weeks ago said in some of our urban areas that 60% of our classrooms have a teacher in front of them with less than 3 years experience. What do we do to keep those folks in the profession? To keep them going? To do what’s best for our kids? Well we looked at the changes with the compensation scale. What does the compensation scale truly do? First, it helps the entry level pay go up. To where we’re competitive. Because we are losing them. They work a couple of years, get some job experience, then they move to the private sector. Also it gives increases to our older teachers. Because cost of living is tough. It’s tough for me. I told someone the other day, I love Wheat Thins. And every time I go to the grocery store, the Wheat Thin cost keeps on goin’ up, like a dime, 20 cents, it’s just very frustrating. So cost of living for our employees is important. And we’ve done that with the older teachers here on the higher end of the scale. There is not one teacher that will be receiving any sort of pay cut under this model. From currently what is happening. Even with the longevity that is beign talked about because it is rolled into the new scale. Even for our retirees. That are
close to the tail end. Now their salaries will be slightly higher, which will be figured into their retirement, which will benefit them for the next 20, 30 years. So I think that’s very important when you look at what the scale actually does, and for this moment in time, it’s pretty good, and it does set up a framework for the future, so now that we have a flattened scale, we can look at ways, like Representative Horn was talking about, of increasing pay in different ways through the amount of work that the teachers are going through, and that will be capable with this foundation that we’ve set. I feel very comfortable with the compensation schedule at this time as a teacher, and I ask for your support for the conference report today. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion, further debate? For what purpose does the gentleman from Durham, Representative Hall rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the conference report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madam Speaker and members of the House. We’re here to debate this conference report. Last time we debated something regarding the budget, we sent a limited bill out to the Senate to try and increase teacher pay. We sent it out of here with 100% support, so we voted for teacher pay increases, and they were refused, and so we know that this is really not about, in this conference report, this is really not about teacher pay. This is a 90-day budget and we all know it. We didn’t want anybody to see it until the last minute so they couldn’t review it before we got out of session. We all know it. It’s not sustainable. We all know it. There’s a saying out there about chicken salad, and they say you can make chicken salad out of chicken feathers. Well this budget is chicken feathers. Kind of fluffy, looks good, no substance when you test it. Now I know you want to look on the bright side of things, and we should do that, but as I said before, we’re not trying to measure ourselves against the past or other people. We should be measuring ourselves against ourselves. We’re not worried about what other people failed to do, which we shall learn from. We’re not worried about what other people are doing that doesn’t measure up. We should understand that. The question is, are we doing the best that we can do where we are? They have to handle where they are. Let me talk about this budget a little bit. First of all, when we talked about protecting things, we’re reducing the Department of Public Instruction by 10%, five million a year. We’re increasing the tuition cost by 50 cent per credit hour to our nonresidents, and that’s for our community colleges. We’re cutting 16 million to contracts and administrative expenses across the Department of Health and Human Services, and lord knows they need all the help they can get, competent administrators and help. We eliminate 17 million in reserves meant to buy equipment, furniture and information technology for new Broughton Hospital, which was supposed to open in December, and we’ve eliminated that reserve, which was calculated on an old number. So if we’ve eliminated that reserve then it has to be delayed. The administrative office of the courts have been required – [SPEAKER CHANGES] Madam Chair? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does Representative Burr rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Representative Hall would yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hall, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Madam Chair. As soon as I’ve finished my presentation, I’ll be glad to yield to all questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman does not yield at this time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We tell the administrative office of the courts to find 2.9 million in savings, and we cut the administrative office of the court technology budget, which makes of course the fact that they’re already behind across the state as compared to other states in the nation, and now we’re asking them to catch up with even less, and then of course there are ferry tolls that we have hoped we could deal with that we have left unaddressed and still in place for the citizens of eastern North Carolina. And so there are many things in this budget that we could point to, but again, it’s not sustainable and it does not do the best that we could have done. 90 days and we’ll all know throughout North Carolina what we all know in this chamber today. This only gets us to the election. I find it kind of interesting that the Senate has said “We’re not going to deal with issues of major importance to this budget – Medicaid and Medicaid reform. We’re not going to deal with it, so we know that’s problematic.”
So we just won't put it in the budget, and we're accepting that and moving on. Why are we here in this problematic situation for the citizens of North Carolina? We created a tax system that's just not working. And if you keep doing the same thing you've been doing, you're gonna keep getting what you've been getting. And what you're getting now is schematic efforts to say, well, let's find the responsible funding, the recurring funding we need, by relying on poor people to pay the lottery. Let's try to go do that. Well, even if we max that out and didn't tell them the truth about the lottery, it's not gonna generate the kind of funds you need to be running a responsible state government. But we continue to look for these schematic ways to do the responsible thing. That's just not what we should be about. We can do better. We should do better. We're taking longevity pay away from experienced teachers, taking money out of their pocket that they would normally get, and then we tell them this is a pay raise for you. Now, you know when you're being rained on and you know when there's some other substance in the mix. This is not rain and they know it. You can't take their pay raise they’ve already earned and give it back to them, their longevity pay, and give it back to them and say, look, you just got a pay raise. Same money, you already earned it, but now it's a pay raise. You can't do that. How do we get here regarding teachers? This is an emergency, yes, it is. I heard someone make comments that we continue to mix this about this is the biggest pay raise for teachers, et cetera, et cetera. Well, let's go to the record 2006/2007. State Legislature granted a 5.5% across-the-board increase to state employees, and an 8.23% average increase to teachers. Check the record; check the facts 2006/2007. So as people continue to go out, understand what is being said now. Someone is make more money is being put into teacher raises. Well, I would hope so. We have more teachers, we have more citizens, we're a growing state in migration. I hope you don't think we can continue to provide and increase the value of service in education without having some increase in cost. So we do need to make sure we're all talking about the same numbers in the same way. Again, I’ll make that reference for everyone who needs to check it. It's the 2006/2007 5.5% across-the-board increase for state employees, and an 8.23% average increase for teachers here in North Carolina. So, what's going to happen when our teachers figure out that it really ain't raining, that they really already earned their longevity pay, and that other states will pay them and respect them and provide them compensation at their worth and value? They're going to keep going to other states. People are going to continue to come to North Carolina and raid us and raid our best teachers, and they're not gonna stop until we do something real, something more than a 90-day plan. They're not gonna stop. Our teachers are in education for a reason. They can figure it out. What kind of cuts are they facing? Raises in the classroom size? Cuts for at-risk students? I already talked about the cut, the DPI. Cut to staff and personnel. Eliminating teaching fellows. Reductions in cost to the university system. Yes, some of these would have to be done to some extent but not to the extent we did in this budget, except for the hole we put ourselves in. So the question becomes do we keep doing what we've been doing? Will this get us past 90 days before the public finds out? Well, we'll be back in November, so what happens then? What happens then is we're past the election. What happens then is we don't to have to be responsible now to the voters because we provided them something that is not sustainable and is not worthy of the efforts we could have and should have put in. We got figures last week that showed projections that revenue would be down. We got information that shows that
900 million more than was expected, or somewhere in that area. That trend will continue, so when over a period of time, what we're looking at. Increase in population, increase in need for services, and currently on a path where we've given the tax breaks to have estate corporation millions, and that's fine. They should be taking care of their taken care of, just like everyone else should be taking care of. But we haven't taken care of them. We can't balance this budget on the backs of poor folks in North Carolina, we should stop trying. They don't have the jobs. We were 4th from the bottom as far as being the lowest job generators for last month. We're not generating the jobs fast enough. We've taken away the unemployment, even though folks want jobs but can't find them and are qualified to work, and can't find them. And so, as we continue to grind our citizens into the red clay of North Carolina, they won't be able to rise under these kind of budget provisions. It's time we stopped these special interest handouts, it's time we became real about what we're doing, and it's time we supported the citizens of North Carolina. May I ask that you vote against this conference report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Rep. Burr, did you still have a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes ma'am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Hall, do you still yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes ma'am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Hall, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but not your own set of facts, and if I heard what you said a while ago, you mentioned a item 45 in the money report, and made the claim that we are the delaying the opening of ?? hospital and eliminate the funds to open that hospital. You do understand that that is a construction delay caused by the contractors, not a delay that's being made at the decision of this general assembly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, my reference is not to the construction delay, but the reserves that were there to provide the contents to go into the building and the furniture and the other items. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You may follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You may understand- [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You understand this delay is until 2016, and this is a nonrecurring cut which means it will reappear in next year's budget so those cuts are not there and they will be able to fund the items that need to go into that hospital once that's built? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do understand that once that hospital's built, we will have to find additional funds or other funds at that time to pay for what is necessary to operate it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Stokes, Rep. Holloway arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madam Speaker. Folks, as we work on the budget, and we go through this process every year, it's always an emotional time. And in the 10 years that I've been here, I've never ever seen a budget that you couldn't find something in there that you didn't like. Until constituents back home, it's an up or down vote. It's all or nothing. You can't line item out the things that you like from the things that you dislike. You've got to vote for it all or vote against it all. And you know I tease, I was telling someone the other day, and I was joking of course, being an appropriations chair has been an absolute experience. I think if you go on a submarine that you have to take a test to test your mental stability, make sure you're of sound mind before they let you go on. I think you should have to take that test to be a full appropriations chair, but you should have to fail it before you get to do it because I don't know anybody in their right mind that would want to go through the hours and hours that we go through. And even good folks are like my good friend Justin Burr, I told him the other day that if I never see him again, it will be too soon. And so- sorry Justin. But folks, and you know we can look through this budget, we've talked to people who say "there's policy in there. There shouldn't be policy in the budget." Well I can agree with that, but when you look at the policy and look at some of the examples of some things that are in there, there are things like schematics for schools, to try to make sure that our law enforcement officers have the materials and the information that they need if tragic situations happen in schools. There's epi-pens in schools in there, to make sure that there are not tragic situations with kids dying from allergic reaction. Those are good things. And In some of this was even emotional for me, in working on the teachers' salary schedule. Is this the
that I preferred. It's not, but the more I read it, the more I look at it, the more time I've spent with it to understand it, to take the blinders off and take the emotion out of it, it's not that bad. Actually, it's pretty good. And one thing that I've got to correct Rep. Hall on, and say that longevity is taken and Rep. Hall, I was in the same exact place you were. I believed it was as well. But I sat down with staff and I've talked with staff, and I'll be happy to sit down with anyone who wants to with staff, and we'll go over that whole new schedule, and I can assure you that longevity is not gone. Now I didn't understand at first either what they were doing. But finally I came to the realization that it is there, as Rep. Elmore says, every single teacher is going to get a raise, everybody is going to. And if we don't pass a budget, they won't get anything. And talking with staff is estimated that we're moving in this from 46th in the nation, again estimated using the data that is available, we're moving from 46th to 29th in the nation. Now I also want to point out that we at the State, we're not the only ones who have skin in that game, because counties do to with their local supplements. And we can't control what counties can and cannot do. But we're moving from 46th to 29th with the data that we have available. Everybody gets a raise, and looking through this, and I've heard folks say "well it's not a true raise, what you're saying." Talking with staff the way that we have figured these raises is the way that they have always been figured historically. I'll just run through it from zero. I won't go through the whole entire thing, but 7.1, 7.1, 7.1, 7.1, 7.1, 18.5, I think Rep. Elmore, we were looking and he was going to get a 2% raise, and one might say "man, he's really getting the shaft," but the very next year he turns around and gets a 9.5% raise. I mean, it's- I just don't understand, and like I said I was right there in the same place, but after spending some time and looking at it, it's not as bad as I originally thought, and as again I think that's pretty good. The comment about the 90 day piece about us, we're coming back in 90 days, we're gonna come back and look at medicaid reform. And I can tell you, medicaid reform is like 100,000 piece puzzle and it is something that I would not want to put together by myself, it's not something that I would want us to rush through, and it's something that we need to take our time, and whether we want to admit it or not, we have elections coming up, we don't need to have many distractions, we need our mind focused completely on Medicaid reform. And I don't agree that this budget is just a 90 day budget to just get us through the elections, I don't agree with that at all. Putting this on the backs of all the poor peoples, I think there was a reference made to the lottery about poor people. This budget makes no changes with the lottery. Yes, the House budget, we did, we were looking for ways to find revenue, but this budget makes no changes, it just spends the money that's there, I mean the lottery's the lottery, and we wanted to use that for education. I'm gonna vote for this budget today again. Is it what I would put together personally? In every facet? No. But I don't think a single person in here could exactly say that, that is exactly theirs. That's why we have a legislative process, we have 120 members. We've got the Senate. Sometimes I think we could live without the Senate. Actually, I know I can live without the Senate. And if I could slip a special provision in there that would make us a unicameral government, I'd probably do it. But all jokes aside, it gives the folks a raise. Yes it's got little things, I could call out a thing or two. I think Rep. Hall named some things that were cut. I could go back through the ghosts of Christmas past, and I could name things that were cut in Democrat budgets that probably the Democrat members didn't like It's just part of the budgeting process. And like I said, you will always find things that you don't like, but when you weigh the scales, and you weigh the scales as a whole,
I think this one tips to the good. If you want more money and you want things, the thing that we've said many, many times before, you've got to tell us where you're going to get it. Tell us where you want to move it from. Tell us what tax you want to raise. I mean, let's just be point blank. Let's be honest. I mean, I'm honest. I said, I agreed with you at first. I thought longevity was gone myself but it's not. It's not. Let's just be up front. Let's be honest. If we want to raise taxes and that's what you want to do to get money, then tell us that. Folks, I say that we need to vote for this budget. We need to let the teachers, the state employees, we need to let everybody get the raise that this budget is giving them. We need to go home for a little while, take some time off, because like I said when you're already telling your good friends that if you see them again, it's too soon, it's probably time to take a little break and cool off and then we'll come back, we'll do Medicaid reform, not because this is a 90 day budget but because we need to take the time to do it right, and that's what we want to do. I ask that you vote for this budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentlelady from Wake, Representative Avila, arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Madam Speaker. Members, I'm going to approach my argument in favor of this motion a little bit differently in the sense that I've heard the section I'm interested in referred to briefly in Representative Horn's comments about what they've put in the budget. I've heard Representative Hall refer to the fluff that we've stuck in here that looks good and doesn't do much. And I've heard Representative Halloway refer to people complaining about policy in the budget. And Section 108A80, page 45, line 33. It's the educational opportunities for our children who are residents in psychiatric residential facilities. That piece of legislation passed this House 113 to 0. And we ran into the budget wall. Are we going to have enough money to take care of this particular problem in the state of North Carolina? We had some of the best people from our staff, from advocacy groups, from DPI, the Board of Education, the LEAs, spend hours and hours and days, struggling with how we can take care of these very fragile, vulnerable children in our population. What I'm trying to explain is that every section in this budget has a story of how it came to be there. And every one of them is there because of the expertise and the passion of the people who've been involved in the budget process. And I don't want anybody to every discredit or defame in any way the motives and direction and ideas that people have put into this budget, for the people of the state of North Carolina. We are here because we care. We've been put here because people care about what we do here. And it's our responsibility to respect each other and our differences of opinion, of how we want to get to the same point. We argue repeatedly about methodologies, and what road we're going to take. But our end journey destination is the same. Safe, healthy, happy citizens in the North Carolina population, from the oldest to the youngest, and the unborn. And I would just ask that we kind of ratchet down the rhetoric, admit the truth, when the other guy's done something well, complement him. But when you see he's on the wrong track, give him your opinion. We've lost the ability to be statesmen. And we've become politicians. Partisan politicians. And it's damaging our people, because they don't know who to believe.
This guy says that, this guy says the other. We’ve gotten to the point that there are no longer two sides to an argument. There’s now three or four or five. We have to set the tone. We have to let people know what we’re doing with their lives and be honest and upfront and truthful, even sometimes when the truth hurts. But the people of the state, we need to give them more credit sometimes than we do. Look at it like this, they put you here. They can’t be that bad off. The ability to think and to make decisions. There were people that earned the money that we take away to do what we do down here. So let’s become statesmen and women and let’s work for the good of the people. Let’s put aside our partisan differences. Keep them we’re they’re needed, but let’s not make it the total road that we walk in putting forth legislation. I strongly suggest that we vote for a good budget that will do so much to move our state forward, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Cumberland, Representative Glazier, rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the motion, Mr. Speaker...Madam Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. I’ll start my comments by thanking the chairs, the House Appropriations chairs. Representative Johnson has probably gone through more packs of cigarettes than...less than Representative Torbett, but still… And the work that had to be done and the subcommittee chairs, and I do applaud the majority on finding a way within the confines of an enormously restrictive revenue plan to fund teacher pay and begin to undo some of the damage of the last 3 budget cycles. Representative Holloway was correct, there are some good things in every budget, including this one. In the education budget, I applaud the schematic provision, of course it was in our budget last year, the Senate and we put it back in, but it was worth an applause. The epi pens, which has been a journey for many, and the PFRT program for which Representative Avila’s entire legislative career seems to have had to be devoted last year. There are things. But before we pat ourselves on the back too much, we deserve no award for simply doing our job. Sadly, I find myself in a position where I think this budget highlights to the public perhaps better than any way in any speech any of us could give, the real public policy choices that differentiate philosophies in this House. It is to those provisions more than a number that I’m going to speak, because sadly what I believe is this budget contains, and I understand in large measure because of Senate Republican pressure, what I can only call an unrelenting fatwa in all policy matters related to public education, the budget provisions on public education contain the following public education destroying cocktail, in my opinion. The teaching fellows program, which served hundreds of students with national acclaim, gone. The House in your budget, in our budget, put it back. The conference report takes it out. No problem identified, but program eliminated. The teaching, the fix that was in the House budget, for the very silly A to F report card rating of schools, as if that somehow will increase the effectiveness of the school and gain public confidence for our system, we fixed that in the House budget. Conference takes it out. Problem identified, problem unsolved. Read to achieve and how many days or hours did we spend in here trying to fix a problem the Senate caused with their provisions last time, hurting and harming far more parents and children, I would think, than it actually helped and every single….
?? that this House almost unitedly put in the House budget the conference report takes out. Expect the thousands of phone calls and emails next year because you have done nothing to fix that problem other than move the summer camp from six weeks to three weeks. Congratulations. Career teacher status, how many people fought in this House to undo again what the Senate forced in the budget last time and which has only stopped because a court has ordered it in joint. The House tried to at least grandfather and fix that responding to the teachers. Conference report takes it out. And we are told to the teachers well we really have your back while the legislative leadership in both chambers appeals the judge's decision that enjoins the program, pardon them if they just don't think you're really being upfront about that issue. Masters pay, the House fixed yet again a bad provision that told people you no longer have an incentive to get a better and master's degree in your area but go do it because it's the right thing to do, but we're not going to pay you for it. The House understood that problem and put a fix across the board to content areas in the budget. Conference report takes it all out, applies it to grandfather for anybody who's in as of August as I recall. But anybody who wants a master's degree to improve their educational scholarship and capacity to teach, gone. And what does that do ripple affect to the graduate schools in our state and the people who will go to seek those degrees. How does that propel us forward. And then we have the $20 million additional cuts to teachers TA when you net it all out, $44 million in the second year maybe depending on the will of this body next year. No fix at all for the hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts of the last three years and even a couple $100 million that was done in 2009 and 10 during the recession. Cuts that were meant to be one time things that when we started to recover would be backfilled and instead of backfilling we've added to them and we refuse to backfill. And we now tell people people the sacrifice we expected you to make for one or two years in your school system well go make them for a career because we're not going to get to it. Somehow we forget that context in this budget. Then there's the virtual charter schools, disastrous in almost every place they have started in this country yet we pass provisions, not consistent with the Republican State Board of Education's guidelines. The House, I know, conferees attempted to try to modify those to do the right thing again. Not a single change to the provisions occurs in the conference report. Not a single lesson learned from the experience across the country on what virtual charters are gonna do. We compound that with vouchers. We've had the policy argument, but not content to simply let it lie. We've added money into the voucher program this time assuming I guess that the Supreme Court will eventually uphold them despite the constitutional provision to the contrary. Our point here about the public's little issue that vouchers and charters creates, there are reasons for good charters and we all know them. I think there's unification between the parties on that. There are reasons to put in accountability provisions for the bad charters. Regardless of where you stand on charters and vouchers, 1000 charters and vouchers will never replace the dynamic and the importance of public education which is the single institution in this country that bonds our people together as one nation under one flag with a common set of values. I don't care how many charters and vouchers you have you lose all of that in that process and we have undervalued public education in this budget repeatedly. Then the pay scale, $500 for the non-certified maintenance worker in the school. Sounds fine at least it's raise, except the person who has the exact same maintenance job in a state building doing the exact same job responsibilities gets $1,000 for that job increase.
There is no rational reason any of you could stand up on this floor and tell me why the school maintenance worker gets $500 and the other maintenance worker gets $1000. Try it. Let’s talk about it. And then there’s the DPI reduction of 10% on top of the almost 40% in the last five years. And I include us in that. We continue to give them more and more tasks, we put more and more pressure on them, and we give them less and less personnel to do it. And this time we’ve gone so far that we might have violated federal law in doing it, and restricted their capacity even more. That remains an open question probably for a few more weeks. We just passed a bill a few days ago that extended the reporting deadline by DPI for a series of reports because they can’t get to them in time. We’ve added more reports and now we’re cutting them by 10%. Really, what sense does that make when we say we’re trying to improve public education. My only spot on the pay raise, because I think there are good points and bad points here, is simply to say this: so under the pay chart we’re going to pay next year, a starting teacher $33,000. Good for us. It’s an improvement. We’re going to put in that pay chart that the 30 year teacher is capped at $50,000 for the future. So we are, as far as I can tell, agreeing in the chart and in the budget to pay a 30 year veteran teacher the exact same amount that the Houston school district is paying their first year starting teachers. Congratulations to us. Have we really solved any problem there? And then let me suggest, the issue, with regard to this idea that’s cropped up in the debate today, that this somehow advances us from 46th or whatever the number was, to 32nd in the nation. Well all I am reminded of is the program Fact or Fiction on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and you guys believe that’s fact and the rest of the world will know it is a fiction. There is no data out there to compare that. We don’t know. We know we may come up. We assume we may come up some. Not much, probably because everyone else is raising. But to say we’ve gone from 46th to 32nd, the only way you get that is comparing our raise to last year’s data. Well why don’t you just go compare that to our 2000 salary and say you gave them 100% and we’re going up to 1st in the nation? I mean, what silly statistics. Mark Twain had that one right. I’m limiting my comments for the most part to education, but I can’t help but make two comments on another part of the budget. The move of the SDI to the DPS, a move that was never requested, never sought, never asked for, except in purely partisan tones, is simply, fundamentally the wrong way to do that. But I am even more stunned by the majority’s inclusion in the Senate provision in this bill that says when there’s any lawsuit and there’s gonna be a constitutional attack on the judgment of this body, it’s now to go to a three judge court. With the judges to be picked in Wake County, right, by the Chief Justice, who I assume the majority believes will be a Republican Chief Justice, with the hopes that maybe we can forum shop the judges and the answer cause you are 0 for on the score card of litigation. Well I have a better solution for the majority. Quit passing unconstitutional bills and you wouldn’t have to worry about what court they go to. And finally I would say, I’ve heard the response that this is a solid budget, a good budget, a not as bad as it appears budget. Well my adjective is it’s a duct tape budget. One that is strewn together and that is, for the future, fiscally irresponsible, and unsustainable. One that relies on non-recurring money for recurring positions, far, far too much. And it does so simply because of this, and here is maybe the ultimate philosophical difference. The majority refuses to breach, let alone deconstruct, the ideological revenue wall it has created. Willfully blind or deliberately indifferent, one or the other, to the bad numbers that have occurred, the miscalculation of the effect, of the tax shifting plan to provide the basic infrastructure for the state. And that is something we all
We'll have to face together. But it is punted, like Medicaid and coal ash, apparently, out of this session. And that is a shame. In conclusion, budgets are not merely numbers that we arrange on a piece of paper. They have real effects on real people and this budget to me seeks to apply one small tourniquet to a myriad of self-inflicted wounds to the body politic that the majority's policies have caused for the last four years, and it is barely going to staunch the flow. And so be proud of the pay increase that's in here, we all should to some degree. But I am not proud, nor do I think any of us should be, about the rest of most of the rest of what is in the budget. The people expected us to do far better. We disappoint them today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, that was very good timing. You'd used up almost all your time. For what purpose does the gentleman from Transylvania county, Representative Whitmire rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Debate the bill please madam chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think everybody in this body knows that I pay particular interest to education issues. I'm blessed with three outstanding systems in my district and was a multi-term school board chair. In June, the budget that came out of this house I was extremely pleased with. No, in, in, in hundreds of pages there's always things you can pick out, but certainly it was superior. And I commend our leadership, our chairs, our sub-chairs who fought many battles to hold onto extremely key elements and ultimately shape what we're voting on today so that we have something that the good far, far, far outweighs anything that's marginal. Specific to education, I have said many times that having people in the classrooms in our K through twelve, our teacher's assistants is extremely important. That's something I advocated all the way back to last year's budget that we have to hold onto. And we did that. School starts in a couple of weeks. And we had seventy four hundred teachers assistants or HAL LEAs may or may not have used that money for other essential individuals, very uncertain of their future. And this budget as a very concise piece addresses that, fixes that, and going forward with a framework to improve education in many ways, pay, and I could go on and on and on with other items. This is an, this is an incredible step in the right direction, framework, to make our traditional public education, our education in general better. And I commend it, and I'm most gracious that we do have, and have protected our teachers assistants. Thank you madam chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. For what purpose does the gentleman from Durham, Representative Michaux rise? Michaux. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speak on the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I shall not be long, because most folks have made the points that are salient here, but what you have to understand is that, you have to take, in my situation, you have to take in the whole budget, everything that we're talking about. For instance, last year when we passed the two year budget, we had a carryover of about three hundred and eighty, three hundred and ninety million dollars to this year. Well what we found out when we came back this year was that because of the revenue shortfall of about four hundred and some odd million dollars, that we had to take that overage that we had that could have been used for a lot of other things to take care of that shortfall that we had. And then lo and behold, in the, after having done that, we found out that we had an additional two hundred and five million dollar shortfall that has to be made up. Now when you consider that close to six hundred and eighty million dollar shortfall, and you consider the amount set aside for the Medicaid shortfall, and a few other shortfalls, you're getting close to a billion dollars, folks. Which means that you don't have the money really to do a lot of the things that you want to do. Now I, Representative Dollar I commend you for sitting through this. I did it for four years. And it was just like, and a lot of this is like herding cats, except you're kinda herding dollars. So what you've got to take into account is the whole budget, and not only that, once you do that, then you got to think about what's gonna happen the next year. This is the end of our term. We're through. We have a new legislature
Are coming in, in January of next year. Well what are we gonna pass on to them? You criticized us for passing a $2.5billion shortfall. Which I’m still trying to find to you. In spite of the fact, that when we had it there was an awful recession going on. So we had to live through that. You had to live through the purported 2.5 billion shortfall. You’ve come out to a degree. But what about next year? What have you put on that legislature for next year? And anything you put in this bill does not bind the next legislature. So there’s nothing you can do. What I want to point out, see I’m losing my voice now y’all have gotten me to that point. But, I want to point out Representative Holloway, I talked to staff and staff told us yesterday that longevity was gone. That’s what they told us flat out in a meeting yesterday with them. Longevity is gone. And that stands to reason. Because what you have done, is you’ve taken that earned money that has been done, you have put it into the raise that you got, that you’re giving these teachers. They don’t get longevity anymore. They get what you’re calling a raise. So it’s basically gone. The only other thing I want to have a little say on is the lottery. Now we put in a non-supplant clause in that lottery. That you couldn’t use lottery funds to supplant anything coming out of the general fund. I call your attention to the money book. On page I-3. Item 12. Education Lottery Receipts. Teachers Assistance. This budgets lottery receipts into the teacher assistance allotment, and takes an equivalent reduction in the allotments to general fund support. That is pure supplanting. So what you’ve done is you’ve take the general fund money out, that you put into that program, and in place of that you’ve put lottery money. So you’re supplanting money in there. And the only other item that I can call to your attention is the items that call for one-time monies to be spent on recurring items. Which are too numerous to prove in here. But the bottom line is if you don’t look at the whole budget, you’ve got, for instance you’ve got $282 million coming in in teacher salary increases, where does the money come from? It comes from a variety of sources. What does that variety of sources that you’re looking at, where that money comes from? It affects every part of the budget that you have. The only people who know where that money’s coming from, are the big Chairs. Because they’re the ones who authorize it. They’re the ones who will tell you how much you are going to have in your particular area of budget. So if they’re the only ones, but you don’t know. You don’t know, for instance, they come and they tell you well you got this amount of money to work with. Come back later and say, well you got to cut it this much. But they don’t tell you where all of that money is coming from. The idea of a budget, talking about being open – And I told somebody the other day, folks, I said they’re going to rue the day that they really holding up this budget, cause everybody and his brother gonna have a say so about it. The bottom line is I don’t think this is a fair budget. I don’t think this budget really carries out what it intends to carry out. I think that the raise that you gave the teachers is a good idea that you’ve done. But how long is that raise gonna last? What are you leaving for the next legislature coming in here next year? Right now, the way it looks like, is they gonna be coming in here with about an $800 million shortfall to start with. How we gonna, are you gonna be, are they gonna be able to sustain what you have done here today? I just ask that you look at it that way, and vote against this budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Madam Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Floor purposes, the gentleman from ?? into ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] See if the Gentleman from Durham will yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Michaux will you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes [SPEAKER CHANGES] I got a couple questions, but let me ask this. Representative Michaux, are you not aware that longevity is rolled into the new compensation system? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir, I am aware of that. That’s exactly.
My point. It's not, it's not, the longevity was paid as a separate item to those teachers, and now it's not gonna be paid as a separate item to them, it's rolled into the budget as a part of the raise. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Dollar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you yield to a follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. Yes ma'am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So you're not aware that it's actually gonna be part of your base salary, that your amount is rolled in there, and are you not further aware that those individuals who would be receiving most of which receive it in the next thirty to sixty days longevity checks are gonna be receiving those checks. Are you not aware of that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm aware of the fact that they're gonna be receiving those checks within the next thirty to sixty days. I'm also aware that what they, what they're gonna receive in the next thirty to sixty days is not gonna be received next year in the next thirty to sixty days. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One more on that particular point, so you're not aware that you're actually receiving a raise and that that raise is gonna include moving forward, longevity pay in. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just thought I said that you did put the longevity into the raise. That's what I said. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Additional questions? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Another question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. I, keeps asking those kind of, I'd be happy to. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You were talking about problems in the budget. Do you recall section 2.3 of the 2010 budget that was the last one in which you were senior chair, when you passed that budget with a five hundred and eighteen million dollar hole in it anti, funding programs on anticipated federal money for which the actual provision admits that Congress had taken no action for. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir I do very definitely remember that, and to answer your question on that, it was a five hundred and eighty thousand dollar FMAT money that we were expecting to receive. Congress had not voted the money in yet. We were still working with Congress to do it. However, reading further into that provision, if that money did not come through, there was an item. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Medicaid provider rate cuts of twenty six million dollars. Funds from the saving reserve and reductions to the retirement system contributions. Those were all put at risk, those we had to address because, and my question to you is, do you recall that the full amount of that money, less than half of it actually showed up from Congress in our budget, and that the 2011 general assembly had to address that shortfall that you passed, you passed the budget and didn't have the money for. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir, and mister Dollar, if you look at that list, it's prioritized. The first item you mentioned was the first item that was to be cut all the way down to the last item which was the retirement system which did not get reached. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Bladen, Representative Brisson arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Representative Dollar would yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Dollar, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you madam chair. Thank you Representative Dollar. Representative Dollar, I listen very carefully to your presentation and like always you did a great job of explaining. I just kept waiting for you to mention the problems that we went through in the last month in the Bellhaven area with the hospital closing and, I was just wondering if there was any money been appropriated directly or indirectly to address the healthcare problem that's, in that area that's left two counties with, not an emergency facility within seventy five miles of them. Is anything in this that addresses that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brisson, I, I, I know there has been some money that was put in there for mental health crisis and either we've got money in there for additional medicaid rebates that was put in there
Last year and 136 million dollars that had been put in there to cover backlogs and other contingencies directly in the budget, 185 million dollars that is in a risk reserve, should that be needed sometime in this upcoming budget year for Medicaid, but I'm not sure that I'm addressing the specific issue that you're, I'm not sure that I'm catching the specific issue that you're asking about. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up, Mr. Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What I was trying to get to is making sure, I thought this was a medical hospital, not a mental health hospital that closed down, and do I have any problems in that area, and I don't know if the secretary has addressed it. I know that it was never brought to our attention in committee and I don't miss, I've had the pleasure of serving with you for 8 years in Health and Human Services and I don't know anyone in this chamber that's more caring or more passionate to the healthcare of the people of this state than you are. And I appreciate that more than you will ever know. But I don't know how we can know that this is going on this area and we can address it in one way or another. We just can't leave these people hanging down there without some kind of emergency services. And you know as well as I know, we have problems in a lot of rural areas. We have about 25 hospitals that's operating as critical access hospitals, which the federal government comes in and does 100% of Medicaid. The state doesn't even have to pay a portion of it. I'm sure that this area would qualify for one of those if somebody would stand up for them and make sure that we address their problem. And maybe and hopefully that secretary has somebody working on this and we can eliminate this health issue in that area. I'm not sure but do you know any ?? that's in this budget that addresses those issues in any way? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Fowler? Do you know? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. I think you're talking about Representative Brisson, the hospital in Pungo. That one that is changing from a hospital into a clinic, and that's part of ?? system. And as ?? is concerned, its linkage in with ECU Medical School, there was an issue with the upper payment limit that is very beneficial to them and very beneficial to the teaching aspect of what they are doing at ECU which is ?? runs the hospital piece of that. And that impacts their whole network down east. We put that provision, we fought for it very hard, we got that provision in the budget, that will have some ripple effect help to the issue down there. They decided, the last I heard is that they decided not to close that facility and to keep it open for the time being. I think there's some additional work that needs to be done there. There's another issue that involved both ECU and UNC and their ability to collect from, debt that was owed from insurers. That language is in this budget. That helps them to the tune of several million dollars, which strengthens ?? entire system. I certainly stand ready to work with you and work with the secretary on anything that we can do specific to keeping that hospital access open out there. One of the main things that I would point to is that the bill that we passed here in the General Assembly, or in the House, for Medicaid reform, the intent there is to be able to strengthen the providers, not to bring in the commercial people that take money out of the system but to strengthen the providers and be able to have them put together the networks that they need to be able to put together to ensure both stability in the overall Medicaid budget and be able to ensure that rural access, that rural areas of this state have
The medical access that they need, but specific to your question about that hospital. I'll be more than happy to work with you and work with the secretary to see what we can do now, and moving forward to ensure that area has emergency care and other care that's necessary for those citizens. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I assume that this . . . [SPEAKER CHANGE] One out of five. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Additional questions, follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGE] ?? it will be the last, I promise. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Dollar, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGE] My understanding is your understanding, now as it stands today, that these people actually have access in their ?? of where they're at, 24 hour a day emergency care facility that they can respond to, in case of all of the emergencies. Not dependent upon on somebody to save me if I have ?? Is that what I'm understanding you're saying? [SPEAKER CHANGE] The last I heard on the hospital in Pamlico or Bell Haven and in that area, the last I understood was that ?? was not clear. Because, the plan was to convert that to a clinic. Its a fairly new facility, if I recall correctly. The last I heard was that that was delayed and staying open. But, I'll be more than happy to have staff or myself check on that and see if they still have. What level of care they have and whether or not their emergency room is running 24 hours a day. I'll be happy to check on that. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative ?? you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Just a follow up. Thank you. I want to thank Representative Dollar for being a little patient with me. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Madam Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Insko. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I'd like to ask Representative Brisson some questions, if I may. If he will yield. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Brisson, would you yield to questions from Representative Insko? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I will. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Brisson, isn't it your understanding that if the hospital in Belhaven has already been closed. That Vident has already closed that hospital? As of July 1, that's what my understanding in this. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up, Representative Inski, you have additional questions? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes, I do. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Brisson, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Is it your understand that Vident is thinking about replace that with an urgent care unit, not a hospital? [SPEAKER CHANGE] To be honest on that question, I hope that there's plans there, but specifically I haven't heard of any. If its not a 24 hour urgent care, then urgent care will take care of their needs their for basically the same thing the emergency room does in any local area. But, its just having a place to get to as soon you can to help stabilize a patient until we can get them in better health care facilities. But, other than that I don't know. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Insko, do you have a question different from those that have been asked by Representative Dollar, who's going to follow up with staff? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I'd like to get the clarification that I'm aware of now and I'm not in line right now to speak, but if I can be recognized to speak on this issue I'd like to do that. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I will recognize you to speak in turn. [SPEAKER CHANGE] May I ask Representative Brisson one, only one more question? [SPEAKER CHANGE] As long as its not duplicative of . . . [SPEAKER CHANGE] It's not duplicative, at least I don't think it is. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Do you yield Representative . . . [SPEAKER CHANGE] I'll yield. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Brisson, I believe you did make a statement about needing help. But, I believe that community would actually like to buy that hospital, that is my understanding and that they can use money from the general assembly to reopen. Then, help to arrange something so that the community would actually buy it and run their own hospital. Have you any information on that? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Just hear say, ?? nothing on paper. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Madam Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Dollar? [SPEAKER CHANGE] To see if the Representative from Orange County would yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Insko, do you yield? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I yield. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Insko, I wasn't going to get into it, but since you all want to into it. Are you not aware of the fact that ?? with the passage of
affordable care act sometimes referred to as "Obamacare". We have seen an unprecedented acceleration of these smaller hospitals and even mid sized hospitals that are undergoing consolidation. And are you not also aware that the main driver behind that is that the number one payer in this country for medical services is medicare, and in that legislation medicare is being cut and in North Carolina, it is being cut over the next 7-8 years, $7 billion just in the next few years here in North Carolina, and that is driving these systems, including these small hospitals out of business because they can't afford it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of order, Mr. Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are you aware of that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] ??- suspend please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Michaux. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I thought we were talking about our budget and not any particular- [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman's point is well taken, we will abandon this line of questioning. Thank you. For what purpose does the gentlelady from Guilford, Rep. Adams arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the conference report Madam Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you madam Speaker. Members of the House, people work hard in North Carolina every day to make ends meet including our educators. But working hard is not enough if you don't make enough. That includes teachers. And I'm sure like me, many of you have received numerous calls and emails about the content and the impact of this budget will have on people's lives. A lot of the mail that I have received have come from teachers, some from principals and other folk as well, who are concerned about our elderly and our poor. But I can tell you that this budget is not a promise fulfilled, and I certainly haven't heard that from anybody who's called me or contacted me. You don't fulfill promises to people when you rob Peter to pay Paul. It's not a promise fulfilled when you compromise the time that teachers have put into the system over their careers- we call it longevity and they call it too, and you roll it into salary increases and think that they don't know that they have lost longevity. And I was in the meeting as well, and I heard staff say it's gone. In effect, it's a broken promise. Attaching strings to teacher pay raises, and requiring that they give up the longevity when others in our system are allowed to keep their longevity, it's not a promise kept, but it's a promise broken and it's unfair. Longevity is time that you've earned and time that you should be entitled to keep. As a matter of fact, the longer you work when you look at this scale, you really don't benefit that much. As a recent retiree, my longevity of 40 years was extremely important to the retirement that I'm receiving right now. But I believe that if you earn the time for doing the job that you love and all the teachers and folk that I talked to love doing this work, then it shouldn't be arbitrarily taken away. You don't fulfill promises, members of the House, when incentives for advancement to stay in a profession that you love, that you devoted your life to, is being compromised and clearly it is here. So if you want an advanced degree, after this budget is enacted, there's no incentive to pursue one or to stay in teaching because you won't be compensated. The promise fulfilled here is that this budget ensures that we might just bring in some teachers on the front end for a few years, but they'll be looking down the road like we all do when we begin a job we want to look at the bottom line. So if they look at the bottom line, then the promise will be that there will be no real future in teaching and staying in education. So the promise that we fulfill is that we will continue to lose good teachers when their salaries don't keep up with the cost of living. And we're losing them now, and you know that, to Texas, to Virginia, and to other places around. But there's no promise fulfilled to promote positive attitudes, when teachers are being treated differently from other employees. It's a bit disingenuous to say "this is 7% increase across the board", because when you
Look across this board, everybody doesn't get that 7 percent. Like citizens around this state. Be they teachers, retirees, or state employees or care givers or other people who are concerned about our elderly, our children and our poor. I am also concerned, and I'm disappointed. And I'm still a bit amazed around here. About how we continue to divide and conquer and it seems to me that the haves continue to get and the have not's get not. As an educator, as a parent and a grandparent, as a member of this body. I still wonder day in and day out why we still to be out to get our educators who do so much for our children. And thank about it they've done a lot for us in here too. Because we've all been trained by some teachers, some where some times in our lives for the respective careers that we have undertaken. And even today as they continue to feel attacked and disrespected and they do. And abused by this body our educators continue to fight for out children. And in large measure they are the ones who shape young minds. our public schools will continue to educate majority of our kids. And we need to fulfill the promise to make sure that we sustain our public schools and support our teachers and our children. And not continue to devote public dollars to private schools. The teachers and educators that I've talked to, they don't believe that promises made have been fulfilled, and I don't either. So my promise today is to vote no on this conference report and I hope you will do.[SPEAKER CHANGES] Madam speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representatives Forwer ?? To what purpose does the representative from Wake, representative Stam rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I wonder if representative Adams would yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I will. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Adams, do you think we should spend money to send our scarce education resources to Bennett College in Greensboro? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You send them to private colleges and Universities through our North Carolina that's apart of our charter. ?? Students who attend our private schools, don't attend our public universities and that's a decision that this gentlemen simple made well before I came here. And yes I think we need to support our universities and we've done it in that way and I hope we'll continue to do that. But not to the schools that you know I'm referring to representative Stam, you know that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To what purpose does the gentlemen from Stokes, representative Holloway rise?[SPEAKER CHANGES] See if representative Adams, will yield to a few questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Adams do you yield. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No ma'am I don't think so.[SPEAKER CHANGES] She does not yield. To what purpose does the representative from Cumberland, representative Lucas rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the conference report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you madam chair. You know, I've sat here and I've listened quite attentively to the debate of this conference report. And I've become disillusion at some of the statements that have been made. And some of the redderick ?? that's prominently the chamber. This conference report, the budgetary process specifically, should be to address the need of the citizens of this great state of North Carolina. And I would for one like to see the partisan stuff get removed. We've all taken an oath of office to do the very best that we can for our citizens regardless of their label. Rather they are republicans, democrats, independents, libertarians or nothing at all. They all deserve our best. And I'm not so sure that we'r doing this right now. Because we are not taking all of the aspects of consideration that we to take. Yes our teachers have indicated very loud and clear, and they've demonstrated a need for a salary increase. And I could..
. . . us for that. We’ve done the very best that we can. I think those who developed this budget have done the very best that they can, and I commend them for that. Given the resources, and that’s the caveat, I think that we owe our citizens the revenue resources to give all of our citizens a better budget, and it’s within our power. They are powerless to do anything about the circumstances in which they find themselves. Salary-wise, it’s left up to us whether the teachers have a 7% raise — I don’t know. I think some may, some may not. I do know that previously teachers were getting a longevity increase. There’s some sentiment that, well, they’re still gonna get that. There is some other sentiment that it’s been folded into the salary increase, and they will get that into their salaries, th-- that‘s probably good and well. The bottom line is they are concerned with what they are going to take home. That’s all they care about, and how they are gonna feed their families. So are teacher assistants. I’m happy to know that some of them will get $500.00, although I don’t know—I don’t personally feel that’s adequate, but I feel that you did the very best that you could with the resources that you have that exist now. We can do better. The question is: are we willing to bite the bullet to do better? I don’t think it’s a good idea to have differentiated pay among those who perform the same task; for example, the custodians. If you work for the state at large, you get $1,000.00. If you work in the school system, you get $500.00. Well, I’ll submit to you that a loaf of bread for that custodian either way costs the same as it does for the superintendant. There are no cheap loaves. All these folk want to do is feed their families and provide some comforts of life, and I submit to you that it’s very, very difficult, if not impossible, to do that on some of the salaries that we are paying our folk. It almost goes back – it’s called morale – all the way back to the old Hawthorne effects many, many years ago. You probably know that – about working conditions. People who are satisfied with their working conditions generally produce more than they are required to do. That custodian will go and open that building up early in the morning and be happy to have those teachers – to greet those teachers – when they came in. He’d have clean floors. That cafeteria worker would gladly provide those meals with love and affection if they felt that they were treated fairly. That bus driver would probably work for nothing and gladly do so if they felt that the working conditions were to the extent that they could get those children th – and if they don’t get them there, we don’t have education – if they felt appreciated. But I am not so sure that this budget appreciates them as it ought to. I’m not gonna say that you didn’t do – well, yeah, you didn’t do better, but I’m not gonna say that you ought to do better. I’ll leave that up to you. You decide if, in fact, we’ve done the very best that we can by all of our citizens that we can, and it rests with our conscience. Thank you, Madame Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. For what purpose does the lady from Mecklenburg, Representative Cotham ??. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Madame Speaker. To debate the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Madame Speaker and members. This is probably my seventh or eighth more budget or so, and I know that the budget process in the long and the short session can be very tiring. You can get very conflicting information. There’s la . . .
Lots of information. Almost like information overwhelm. There’s lots of coming and going. There’s lots of pushing from various advocates, citizens, and lobbyists. Lots of data, lots of graphs, lots of charts, and a lot of dollar signs. But you know, there’s a lot more than numbers and than dollar signs to this budget. There are people, people in North Carolina, in every single one of our districts, and so I was thinking about some of these cuts or percentages, looking at some of the graphs, some of the charts, all that fiscal research provided to both caucuses. And just by looking at the information they gave, came up with a family. So if you will indulge me, I’d like to introduce you to the “Help Us” family. The “Help Us” family, is a family of three. They’re a church-going, sport-watching family trying to do the very best they can to make a good life in North Carolina. This budget, just like any budget, but this budget directly impacts the Help Us family. Helen Help Us is a teacher. She’s been teaching 13 years and she’s going to get roughly about a $770 raise. This fall she was excited to start her master’s degree coursework, but this budget says “we won’t pay you if you do that.” Like many teachers, myself included, Helen works a part-time job to help her family have some extra money to maybe have some extra gifts under the Christmas tree. And Helen, as an art teacher, worked with the film industry and now that’s in flux. So Helen’s part-time job is likely gone. Her husband John has been employed by the local community hospital for over twenty years. This budget makes deep cuts to our local hospitals, to our community hospitals that are our economic engine in many communities and some of our largest employers like in my county. John’s going to lose his job. He doesn’t really have other skills and there’s not a variety of other hospitals in his community to go to. What is John going to do? And then there’s Brent, their son, he’s in the third grade. Now, his mama’s kind of upset because there’s no tax-free holiday this school month like we used to have. Brent’s more upset about what he keeps hearing about read to achieve and all the 32 tests and mini tests that it’s going to require. And his school got a D in it’s school rating, like most schools in North Carolina will get when those grades come out. His parents don’t have money for vouchers to pay the difference although vouchers are provided some money in this budget, but they can’t make up the difference so that’s not an option for them. Their school system had to make some tough choices with the resources that we gave the school system and money flows down and choices are made. So his teacher assistant, again from the local option, is gone. So class size may have gone down by one, but the teacher assistant is gone and we still have more, more high stakes testing. And Brent has Juvenile Diabetes. A disease that many of us know really well and that impacts our lives or people that we know. His school nurse was cut though. His county can’t provide it, and his primary doctor can’t take any more patients. And doctor’s having to reduce his staff and cut their overhead, and so they just can’t keep up with Brent and his glucose monitors like they used to. Just not the resources available. And then there’s grandma, who lives…
in another county, but she's pretty sick. And there's a worry over what's going to happen to Miss Sarah. Helen and John worry about "What if she needs to go to adult care home? Will she be eligible?" They don't have the resources to care for her. And they keep asking "Who's looking out for Grandma?" And then there's Helen's sister-in-law, her beloved best friend. Her name is Melanie, and she works as a deputy industrial commissioner. And she's fired by this budget. She will lose her job. And Melanie has a 6-year-old son named Wayne. What's going to happen to him? Will he be eligible for after school care? What happens to these people? And you know, like many of us who are mothers who have small children, we have a hard time going to sleep at night. We lay there doing the ultimate list, and the juggling and the worrying over our families, and over our children, and we worry about our employment, we worry about our spouse's employment. We worry will we every be able to go to the beach and have family time? Will there be a Christmas? These are real life situations. Real people. Not just data, or a chart, or a percentage. Actual people. Human beings. And you know, Helen is not looking for a handout. She just wants the state budget to help her family. This budget picks winners and losers. The Help Us family, like so many, they're on the losing side. And their message simply back to the General Assembly is just like their last hame is. Help Us. As a mom to 2 babies, as an educator, as a daughter, as someone who is so proud of her community hospital and has been a patient in it many times, I cannot support this budget. I ask you to vote no, and let's not forget that budgets are about people. And our choices affect people. I ask you to vote no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. For what purpose does the lady from Bunkem, Rep. Fisher arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the motion, madam chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, first of all, I'd just like to observer that it feels like everybody's packing up and going home because half the chamber's empty, or at least a good percentage of it is empty on a day where we're debating one of the most important bills that we see all session. Just an observation. We've gone a month beyond the beginning of the fiscal year, to get to this day, and this plan in my view, fails the sustainability test. It offers a tiny bit of compensation to teachers, and it calls it "historic", it 's basing what we can do on this budget on tax giveaways from last year, and those will continue into next year, and it will ensure that there will be enough money to support state employees, public schools, and universities. It guarantees that working families will continue to suffer because of the refusal to expand the earned income tax credit. It doesn't expand medicaid, which would have provided healthcare to 500,000 North Carolinians. It forces 12,000 low income families to lose childcare subsidy, which helps them pay for day care,
while they work or while they look for work. And what about what didn't even happen in this session? The Republican budget says no to the tax credits, the historic credits, it says no to renewable energy tax credits, it says no to film credits, says no to EITC, which basically says no to jobs and to hard-working families. Representative Dollar: Madam Speaker. The Speaker Pro Tempore: For what purpose does Representative Dollar rise? Representative Dollar: To see if the lady from Buncombe County will yield for a question. Representative Fisher: I will not. The Speaker Pro Tempore: Representative Fisher, do you yield/ Representative Fisher: I do not yield. It says no to coal ash cleanup. Which effectively says no to clean water in North Carolina, at least until after the November election. [chuckle in background] It says no to Medicaid reform -- at least until after the November election. This session has been made more convenient for candidates and politicians, and it works a hardship on the working families and people of this state. While the 'ship of state' metaphor is a tempting one to buy into, and one that we heard at the beginning of this debate, I'd like us to think about the way this budget compares to a clean house, a house where the dirt hasn't gone away, but it's just been swept under the rug, to reappear in the form of deeper revenue losses to come, and an even greater burden to the hard-working people of North Carolina. I ask you to vote no. Thank you. Representative Dollar: Madam Chair. The Speaker Pro Tempore: Representative Dollar, for what purpose do you rise? Representative Dollar: To see if the lady from Buncombe County would yield at this point. The Speaker Pro Tempore: Representative Fisher, would you yield to the question? Representative Fisher: No, I do not yield. Representative Dollar: Well, will the gentleman from Stanly County yield? The Speaker Pro Tempore: Representative Burr, do you yield? Representative Burr: I yield. Representative Dollar: Representative Burr, you might be able to refresh my recollection. Representative Burr, I think yesterday, as I recall, this House passed a bill that included the historic restoration tax, the renewable energy tax, and the funeral [?] tax credit, is that not correct? Representative Burr: You are correct, Representative Dollar. Representative Dollar: Followup. The Speaker Pro Tempore: Representative Burr, do you yield? Representative Burr: I yield. Representative Dollar: Representative Burr, is it also not correct that this House passed Medicaid reform and that it was sent back to us by the Senate, and that we are now in a position to go to conference on that very complex bill, is that correct? Representative Burr: You are correct. We passed a very good plan and a plan that I think we can continue to develop until November and make sure that we produce something that's of value and can be sustained long-term for the state of North Carolina and the recipients of Medicaid. Representative Dollar; Thank you. The Speaker Pro Tempore: For what purpose does the lady from Orange, Representative Insko, rise? Representative Insko: To debate the motion. The Speaker Pro Tempore: You have the floor. Representative Insko: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'd like to start by thanking Representative Lucas, who seems to have left the Chamber for the moment, for his comment about civility. And I think that's true, because I think it's your job, the job of the majority party, to do the very best that they can to put together a responsible budget, and we did vote unanimously in this Chamber to support the budget that you put together. Given your resources, you did a good job, much better, much, much better, than the Senate. And I think you've done a good job, given the situation, in your conference report. But that's not my job. My job is to be the Loyal Opposition, because I was elected by a group of people back home -- we all were -- to represent the values of our community. And based on the values of the citizens I represent, this is a...
Failed effort. And I have a responsibility to say that. I have a responsibility to represent the people in my district. In a way, the chickens have come home to roost. And we, several of us have mentioned the tax cut last year, it turned out, I don't think you thought it was irresponsible at the time, but it turns out it was an irresponsible tax cut. It, it, it took away the revenue, denied you access to the revenue that you needed that you actually wanted to fund services with. I don't think you thought the teachers would rebel the way they did. And I think you do want to restore those cuts based on the response that you've gotten, but you can't do it, because you don't have the revenue, because the tax cuts that you made last year cut the revenue to a point where you actually don't have access to doing what even you want to do. But you have not made any changes in that decision, and you haven't even taken the opportunity to just delay the next tax cut that's in line. So in 2015, you all have even a greater reduction in your access to revenue to fund the budget. In addition to that, it turns out that your estimates were incorrect and that this year's tax cut is gonna have a greater impact than you expected or that we expected, and next year's tax cut will have a bigger impact. So I don't see a road clear in the near future for us to be able to restore the damage that's been done. I don't think we're gonna see teachers flocking to North Carolina, the best teachers flocking to North Carolina because we've done such a good job funding our teachers here. I don't see that happening. I don't see, I don't see it happening that our teachers will quit going to Texas or our University professors will quit going to Connecticut, because they've done such a better job. So as I think about this budget, I think I, we need, it's our job to point out the problems with this budget and as I think about problems with the budget I have to turn to Medicaid because that's the area, one of the areas that I know best. And I'm going to also turn to, on page G-19 to a hospital outpatient cost that mentions Vident. And Vident of course is the hospital that owns the Bellhaven hospital. And I have to say that this is also relevant to this budget. This budget would have been helped, we would have had additional revenue if we had expanded Medicaid. It would have bought Medicaid, revenue into this state. We would have had an excess of thirty eight million dollars this year based on Medicaid expansion to fill some of these holes and to keep the hospital in Bellhaven open because they depend on Medicaid dollars. Vident is a very rich, very wealthy, income wealthy hospital association. They didn't close Bellhaven because of, they didn't have any money. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Speaker will suspend. For what purpose does Representative Brown of Pitt County arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Representative Insko would yield to a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Insko would you yield for a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd be glad to yield when I'm finished with my comments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The lady has the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. So that's my responsibility to my constituents back home to be the loyal opposition, to point out the failures that we have that the constituents in my districts and I believe in many of our districts back home would have funded. They would have wanted those funds available for their citizens, for their children. One of the, I think one of the most problematic things for me is what we've done to child, to our children. If we can't, if we can't take care of our children, that's our next generation. That's our future, it's not just their future, it's our future, it's the future of our state. We know that the first thousand days is the most important thousand day period in a child's life. Ensuring that they have adequate childcare in those years when so many of our low income moms are working, sometimes more than one job to make sure that their children have a chance, that's our responsibility. We come here and vote on programs that provide that, or we vote to cut those programs that provide that
Speaker: This budget makes additional cuts to our children who depend on childcare subsidy. I know that you can say that you’re actually adding 25 hundred children. The way that you’ve added 25 hundred children who are on the waiting list is that you’ve cut 11 thousand children who currently get those funds. And not only that, there are still an additional 24 thousand children who are still on the waiting list that we’re not providing funds for. It’s my responsibility to be the loyal opposition, to say what it is we failed to do, and what it is I believe our caucus would have done. And I want you to vote against this budget because we can do better. You can do better, we can do better. Thank you. Speaker: For what purpose does the gentleman from Pitt, Representative Brown, arise? Speaker: To see if Representative Insko will now yield for a question? Speaker: Representative Insko, would you yield for a question? Speaker: I do, thank you. Speaker: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Representative Insko, since you brought up Vident Medical Center, Vident Medical as a hospital group and Vident Pungo, I just wanted to see if you were aware of a few things. Were you aware that in 2001 Pungo hospital filed for bankruptcy, and at that time then approached Vident’s hospitals to take over operations of Vident Pungo, and they assumed that responsibility? Were you aware that at that point in time Vident Medical paid off $1.6 million dollars worth of debt, made $2.5 million dollars’ worth of capital investment into that hospital system? And are you aware that the average daily patient load at Vident Pungo has dropped from 4.4 patients into 2012, to 4.1 patients in 2013, two patients average daily attendance in that hospital in 2014, and has lost millions of dollars year over year. And that 77% of the healthcare services provided at Vident Pungo hospital are primary care related; heart attacks, traumas, strokes, all of those facilities are being stripped out to 26 miles away, to the Vident Beaufort facility 50 miles away. Speaker: Madam Speaker. Speaker: You'll hold, you'll suspend. For what purpose does the gentleman from Vance, Representative Baskerville? Speaker: Point of order. Speaker: Yes sir, you may proceed. Speaker: I don't think there was a question propounded there. Speaker: I am still hearing the question. I don't know if he is finished, it’s a rather lengthy question. Speaker: It’s a series of questions. Speaker: You may proceed. Speaker: Do you know that out of 100 counties, that only 20 counties in this state have more than 2 hospitals presiding within the same county. And that Beaufort County is 55th out of 100 in population. And that out of those 2 hospitals, that Vident Medical Center has lost $34 million dollars net losses from the operations of those 2 hospitals. Speaker: Thank you for the question. I do know that Vident currently has $550 million in reserves. And so if it's such a bad deal for Vident, why don't we let the community take over that hospital and help them? That's my response. Speaker: Do you yield for a follow-up? Speaker: I agree with the people who have called this at this point. I think we have had an opportunity to talk about it. I don't yield. Speaker: She does not yield. For what purpose does the gentleman from Forsyth, Representative Lambeth arise? Speaker: To debate the motion. Speaker: Representative Lambeth is recognized for the motion. Speaker: Thank you, Madam Chairman. In my prior life I was a hospital CEO of one of the largest health systems in North Carolina. When I retired in 2012 to come to the General Assembly, I had a pretty good feel of what was going on around the state in healthcare. I understand how payment systems work. I understand how cost reports work, etc. The plight of rural healthcare in North Carolina is not changing because of this budget. It’s been changing for the last 15 to 20 years. It's been changing because the market is changing. The market is changing in many ways. Remember when we used to send family members to hospitals that stayed a long length of stay for relatively simple things. You don't go to a hospital much anymore to be an inpatient. The market has pushed things to an outpatient basis. There's not as many inpatients that are being spread around a number of hospitals. Technology is so much better today that you can do things on an outpatient basis that used to require a long length of stay in the hospital. The market is changing. Little hospitals in rural North Carolina cannot justify
don’t have the strength to negotiate managed care contracts like the large systems. They don’t have the buying power to buy supplies at the same rate as the large systems. They can’t recruit physicians into those communities, particularly young physicians, and the backbone of any hospital system is getting physicians into the communities. They’re not able to do that. This budget actually has a provision in it that’s based around the base rate. The base rate is a median rate that will be paid through Medicaid. That base rate will actually improve payments to rural hospitals in North Carolina. There is also a way that rural hospitals in North Carolina can be designated as critical access hospitals and they can get reimbursed on cost. There are things that they can do to improve their operations. It’s a tough market for rural America. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ms. Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The member will suspend. Representative Cleveland, for what purpose do you rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You may make your point of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do believe we’ve gotten off of the budget and we’re going into the operation and administration of hospitals. I think we should get back to our budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman’s point is well made. We have had lots of discussions about hospitals, so if you could clearly wrap that up and try to move aside to the budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’ll wrap up on reiterating the base rate. The rate that is in the budget actually improves reimbursement to rural hospitals. We’re actually looking at the rate that it will improve. My point is that there’s a lot of things going on in this state that has nothing to do with this budget that is impacting the rural hospitals across out great state. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Madam Speaker? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Guilford, Representative Blust rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point of personal privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You may state your point. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Madam Speaker, members of the House, the debate here is very important, and I respect every member’s right to make their heartfelt points they want to make on an issue, but I do believe when there’s an issue like this that’s particularly partisan in nature, which budgets are, when members get up and make comments, sometimes incendiary, and sometimes it can be interpreted almost as in-your-face, that they ought to have the courage to yield for questions that the other aside might pose that would show their points in the debate are not correct or not factual, and I for one am chagrin to see members sometimes be very acrimonious and then will not yet the other side have a chance to point out the flaws in the argument, and I hope we’ll see this addressed and see better conduct from the members going forward on this debate. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And the Chair appreciates your comments, and some of them would actually be points of order if you want to make them at the appropriate time. For what purpose does the lady from Mecklenburg, Representative Earle arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask Representative Daughtry a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the lady from Mecklenburg, Representative Earle arise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask Representative Daughtry a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Daughtry or Dollar? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Daughtry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do not see Representative Daughtry in the chamber at this time. If the lady… We’ll send someone for him if the lady would like to yield, and I’ll come back to the lady and recognize her for that purpose, if that’s – [SPEAKER CHANGES] If he has a co-chair for his committee, that will do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Johnston, Representative Daughtry, yield to the lady from Mecklenburg? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Representative Daughtry, my question is concerning the prison transfer, the prisoners charged with a misdemeanor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes ma’am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And my question is I saw the savings that the state would realize, but my concern is who’s going to be paying for the inmates that get transferred to the county jails. Who’s going to pay for that, and will the counties be reimbursed at the actual cost, or is this a mandate?
...unfunded mandate to the counties. If you could just explain that, I would appreciate it. Representative: It's not a mandate. As a matter of fact, a county does not have to participate, does not have to take any miscreants and if they want to take the miscreants. they are reimbursed by the state, and many counties are looking forward to this, because they have new jails; this is a way for them to help pay it. We also have the misdemeanor centers, two of them, for those cases where there's a problem. One is at Burke County, I believe, and I've forgotten where the other one is -- Robinson County. So no one has to take any, and it's not a mandate whatsoever. Female Representative: Followup question? The Speaker Pro Tempore: Does the gentleman yield to an additional question? He yields. Female Representative: Could you just share with us the amount that counties are reimbursed for housing these inmates? Male Representative: It's $40 a day, which is same that the counties pay, the state reimbursement. Female Representative: $40 a day. The Speaker Pro Tempore: Does the lady wish to be recognized for an additional purpose? Female Representative: Yes, please. The Speaker Pro Tempore: For what purpose? Does the lady wish to propound an additional question? Female Representative: I have an additional question, yes. The Speaker Pro Tempore: Does the gentleman yield to the additional question. Male Representative: I yield. Female Representative: Okay, the $40 a day, it's the same rate for each county? Or I would think that maybe some counties are, would be higher than others. Male Representative: It's the same rate that the counties reimburse the state for safekeepers, all, every county gets paid the same. Female Representative: Followup. The Speaker Pro Tempore: Does the gentleman yield to an additional question. He yields. Female Representative: Could you share with me what safekeepers is? Male Representative: Safekeepers are inmates that cannot be housed by the county that has to be housed by the state for security reasons. Female Representative: Thank you. The Speaker Pro Tempore: Members on motion, the gentleman from Haywood, Representative McCoy [?]. The Speaker Pro Tempore: For what purpose does the lady from Guilford, Representative Harrison rise? Representative Harrison: To debate the motion. The Speaker Pro Tempore: The lady has the floor to debate the motion. Representative Harrison: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I don't want to repeat the eloquent comments made by my colleagues related to the shortcomings of the public education aspect of the budget and DPS. I instead want to focus on the environmental portion of the bill, and I do applaud the leadership of the subcommittee co-chairs, because I know the're responsible for the extra million dollars in the Farmland Preservation funding and $500,000 in storm water control to our sensitive watersheds, which I think is a far wiser investment than the millions that we put into solar B last year. But I do want to acknowledge, and this point was raised by my seat mate, Representative Fisher, about the lack of funding for individuals who do need to deal with the threats posed by coal ash to our state. I recognize the fact that we don't have legislation, which I think is most unfortunate, but we do have a coal ash problem. We've got documented ground water contamination and illegal discharges of contaminants into our rivers and streams, and we have a structural problem with these coal ash ponds. This is a reality that affects our state right now when we have double-digit decreases to the Division of Water Quality budget over the past several years, and it's just most unfortunate that we don't have any funding for any extra staff who are able to deal with the large coal ash problem our state faces. I also wanted to point out that we are diverting money from many of the environmental cleanup and conservation funds that we have in this state, so the interest-bearing accounts for clean water management trust fund, for parks and rec, for the dry cleaner solvent fund, for the commercial underground storage tank fund, brown fields emergency drinking water fund -- all those funds are being diverted to the general fund, and the problem with this strategy is that these are woefully underfunded funds as it is, and some of them, like the dry cleaning solvent fund, the commercial underground storage tank fund, and the brown fields fund, are actually paid for by the industry that is regulated, so we're actually taking away the money that they put into the cleanup. So I think that's an unfortunate policy decision made by this budget. I will not go into the other aspects of it. I just think we could have done better on environmental protection, and I will be voting no. Thank you. The Speaker Pro Tempore: For what purpose does the gentleman from Orange, Representative Meyer, rise?
To speak on the bill, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, I’m still looking at the new teacher’s salary schedule and just trying to figure out why we think this is a great idea for promoting and retaining a teaching force in North Carolina. I’m really happy with the people of North Carolina that they made teacher pay and retention into a major issue for this legislative session, but this scale, to me, what it says, it doesn’t advance people very fast. You take one step forward and then you have stand still for four years. It makes me wonder what other industry would we recommend our young people to go into where every five years they get a pay raise and then they have to wait another five years for the next pay raise. This morning I spoke on the phone with a young woman who was raised in North Carolina, went to North Carolina public schools, was educated in a North Carolina public university, went on to teach in North Carolina public schools for six years. She was speaking to me from Houston, Texas where she’s been hired as a teacher for over $50,000 a year. A raise of nearly $20,000 from the amount that she was making this year because this past school year she was making nearly the exact same amount of money that she was making in 2008 when she entered the teaching force. She moved to Texas and will paid a rate at which on the pay scale in front of us, she would have to stay here until about her 29th year to be able to make. Do we really expect our young people to stay in the state of North Carolina for up to 30 years to be able to make the pay that teachers are making in other states? If you want to base teacher pay on a competitive marketplace, we have to recognize that we are competing with states near and far. When I came here at the beginning of this session as a Freshman and started talking to members, the one thing that I thought we had consensus on teacher pay was that we were going to reinstate pay for masters degrees. I heard from numerous members on both sides of the aisle that that was something we were certainly going to fix and yet it’s not here. Any teacher who we tried to recruit from Texas to come here, not only would they take a pay cut, but if they already had a master’s degree, they wouldn’t be eligible to get a master teacher’s 10% supplement in North Carolina. They’d look at our pay scale and see that they would top out at 30 years making $50,000 a year. That would kill the deal for any teacher looking to come here from out of state. I feel poorly that we lost of our youngest and best teachers, someone who we paid to educate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Mecklenburg, Representative Jeter, rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if Representative Meyer would yield to a quick question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Orange yield to the gentleman from Mecklenburg. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I heard you speak about the Houston system. Are you aware that the Houston system doesn’t offer a master’s pay supplement? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I am aware of that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I am also aware that their pay is sufficiently high compared to the state of North Carolina’s that this teacher that I’m speaking of is going to make more as a 7th year teacher than she would here in her 30th year with a master’s supplement. The fact that they don’t provide the supplement isn’t the issue. The issue is that we’re not providing enough supplement, enough pay, to keep our teaching force in tact. If we’re serious about using education as a piece of the toolkit that we have to keep North Carolina’s economy strong, we have to play with other states. This budget is a step in the right direction in terms of increasing teacher pay this year, but it does not get us nearly close enough to where we need to be competitive. We still have work to do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Columbus, Representative Waddell, rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak on the...
bill, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You know, I've listened and I decided at one time I was not gonna get up and say anything at all. It's often amazing and amusing at the same time to me sometimes to listen to some of the arguments in here, I'm gonna give you a simple argument. You know I have voted for appropriations bills, I think most of y'all know the side that I will agree that I agreed with a lot of the things that you have put forth. And I certainly agree with a lot of tenants in this budget. But I've had an awful lot of calls and looked at an awful lot of things that have to do with the teacher scale. And as some of you may know I was a thirty-year teacher. And one of the things that we did as veteran teachers was mentor young teachers, and we need a lot of that. Now I've asked for the list of how many veteran teachers that we have in the state of North Carolina. And if you'll look at that list, I actually sent it out to all my Democratic members, but I'll be glad to send it out to all the Republican members too, the numbers have actually gone down, for veteran teachers. That's important folks, I also live on a border county, and that border county borders with South Carolina. And South Carolina's payscale in Horry county is pretty large. Now a lot of those veteran teachers are moving from Columbus county straight into South Carolina because they're making more money. A few years ago, I was sitting in the classroom and actually witnessed the fact that we had a shortage of science and math teachers, so we decided to give science and math teachers a $10,000 supplement, I'm sure the Democrats were in charge then, when that happened. But it was demoralizing to a lot of folks in education because they felt like they knew that science teachers and math teachers were important, but the rest of them felt like that they were not as important as those. I know this goes on in industry, but folks you need to keep those teachers focused on what they're supposed to be doing, they shouldn't have to worry about payscales, they shouldn't have to be worried about any of that. They need to be focused on education, and not worry about that. I think it, I will, I agree with Representative Meyer, that when you're looking at getting a pay raise, and then you've gotten that bump, and then all of a sudden for five years you're stuck. And then, all of a sudden, euphoria happens again and you get another pay raise. I really like the House budget when it went out to the Senate, I applaud all the members on that side for working as hard as you did to do all the things that you did, especially for education and other areas. I just wish we'd have to stuck to our guns when it left here, I really do. I'm not gonna be able to vote for this budget today, and it's not, it's been really a struggle with me, because teachers are getting a raise. I also think, and I voted for the tax reform package last year, and I, when I voted for that tax reform package, I'm the kind of wait-and-see guy, wait-and-see what the revenues are gonna be. Well we've already heard from Fiscal Research that the revenues are not, probably not gonna be what we thought they were gonna be next year. So we cannot encumber another legislature, but we'll just wait until next year to see whether or not we've enough revenues to be able sustain what we started. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the Gentleman from Dare, Representative Tine rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak to the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor, to debate the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker, there's been a lot of interest in my hospital today, and I appreciate that very much. I do represent the Belhaven area, the hospital does serve both the Hyde and Beaufort counties, so it's a multiple-county hospital, and there's been some questions asked that couldn't be answered, and I just wanted to give you an update, and then talk about it just a little bit. The update is that it is, is that is, the hospital is closed, we do not have emergency services right now at that location, the equipment has been removed and we're operating under a regular clinic that you would have with doctors in the area right now. So I was trying to explain to one of the members that was talking about the
00:00 and they said well where have you been on this issue why haven't you been out there and why haven't you been talking about it and my answer was I've been in the district trying to figure out the best solution and facilitate that that we can have a bad situation 'cause it's not a good situation when you're losing access to health care and I chose all the way through not to politicize it I didn't walk with the mayor up to DC I didn't join in the bandwagon of some of these things because really we needed to negotiate the best we could possibly get for these folks down in [??] but the problem that I had today is we put real [??] impediment in the way to the work that I'm trying to do to create a solution and that impediment is we already took a 3 percent reimbursement or a payment cut to hospitals and then we just added another 2.1 percent so in this [??] budget we've reduced by 5.1 percent to those hospitals which doesn't sound like a whole lot [??] as representative from Pitt said earlier you're already losing money you're already making it very difficult to make [??] and so we know we've got challenges in role communities in providing health care and we know things are changing and it's getting harder and harder and the choice that we have here is that we're gonna make it better are we gonna make it some solutions to bring health care to these areas or are we gonna make it worse and I'm very concerned that with a 5.1 percent cut we're making it worse 'cause we are looking at options at what to do we're looking at whether or not a critical access hospital run by the community would be the best solution we're looking at whether [??] solution of an emergency care clinic would be the best thing that we can do at this situation but I'm afraid with a reduction in the hospital payments without the medicate expansion and the cuts that were created at the federal level with the medicare from the reimbursements or for the indigent care and the reduction in the out patient reimbursement that we had last time that it's making my job to find a good solution to this problem a whole lot harder so for that reason and some other in the role I'll be voting no thank you. for what purpose does the gentleman from Stanely representative Burr arise. to see if representative Jeter will yield for a question. does the gentleman from Mecklenburg yield to the gentleman from Stanely. happily. he yields. representative Jeter we heard Huston Texas mentioned a while ago in the Texas pay or the current Texas salary schedule and if you could on your computer google the Texas salary schedule and pull up the Texas education agency I'm wondering if you could tell me what we heard a number mentioned about Huston Texas and I guess that kind of be like member of the Texas legislature pointing out Charlotte North Carolina or Rawley trying to say that's what the base pay is for a particular teacher for the state can you tell me what is the starting teacher's salary in the state of Texas. I appreciate that I actually did google that and the starting salary under the as you know representative Burr the starting salary under the new house plan or the budget is going to be 33000 dollars in North Carolina the starting salary in Texas is 27540 dollars some 5500 dollars 6000 dollars or less. follow up. does the gentleman yield to an additional question. I yield. he yields. thank you for answering that question representative Jeter and pointing out that our pay with our new salary schedule will be substantially higher than the state of Texas that was mentioned a while ago can you tell me for a teacher that has a 20 years or more of experience what their pay will be. you know I can I googled it and I'm getting good at this google even though I'm from South Carolina which I think is a state as well it's interesting a 30 year teacher in Texas their top salary baseline salary from the state is 44000 dollars yeah when I pull up our budget a 30 year teacher's base salary from the state of North Carolina is 50000 dollars which again is seems significantly more but as you know I'm from South Carolina. thank you Mr chairman. members the chair notices .. 05:00
At this point there are two lights on, those two lights on to speak are representative Dollar and speaker Tillis. It is the, it is the intention of the chair to take those two individuals as the last speakers, so any individuals who would like to debate the bill, the chair would ask those members to activate their lights so that they can be called in the queue. For what purpose does the gentleman from Gilford, representative Brandon rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To see if representative ?? will yield for a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Mecklenburg yield to the gentleman from Gilford? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I am waiting for some of your colleagues to yield to my colleagues, so I'll pass. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Gilford rise for another purpose? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, can I speak on the bill just briefly? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman from Gilford has the floor to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I guess I could have yielded, asked representative Burr this question, if he would be willing to yield, but if y'all are protesting I get that. But really the point is I'm trying to make is that representative Burr made a very good comment about what teachers make in other states. And what we don't realize is, is that in Houston and other places, that we can look at what they, what the state is bringing, but it's a little bit disingenuous because of the fact that there're also supplementals. And that even though that the state might be paying in Texas 27,000 dollars that there are other people that contribute to that and therefore altogether the teachers in Houston and the teachers in their surrounding counties are making more than our teachers if you add the supplemental. Now we do have to make a decision in this body if we're going to continue to have, and this is for everybody, this is not a partisan thing, we have to make a decision in this body if we're going to continue to let education spending to be done by a single source. Or are we going to be able to give the counties and the cities the ability to be able to generate revenue that we can not do it? After you pay for 57 community colleges and 17 colleges in every single [SPEAKER CHAGES] Mister speaker [SPEAKER CHANGES] public school, yes? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Wilkes, representative Elmore rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To ask representative Brandon a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Gilford yield to the gentleman from WIlkes? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Always. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, representative Brandon. These top, are you aware that these type policies of the local supplements are currently in place in North Carolina, and that I believe the system that you're at pays quite a high supplement because of cost of living, so that exist in our state currently, were you aware of that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I am very aware of that fact. I'm also very aware, representative Elmore, that our county's and other local supplements are literally lower than most of the country. This is the reason why we really get into the problems that we get into. Like I said, this is not a partisan debate. This is really what I'm trying to get at is that we have got to, in this state, we have to, we have got to be able to get more flexibility and we need to invest in more public private partnerships, because we have been having a false conversation. We, it does not matter how great of a teacher you are, it just matters how much money we have. And as long as that's the case we're always going to have this debate, we've been having this debate for two hundred years, we're going to have it for two hundred more if we continue to allow this conversation to be hijacked by politics and rhetoric and understand it is what it is, and that we have a tax revenue, and unfortunately we have decided to cut some of that revenue, so we still have a situation where we'll have to invest in public education enough where it reaches the kids that I constantly talk about. We have a great example in Charlotte, North Carolina, where we get project lift, and we did legislation to build that up, but it was fifty five million dollars of a public private partnership that changed that around. Well folks I can tell you that there's a lot of areas in Mecklenburg county that looks like that across the state, and we don't have fifty five million dollars for every area like that, so we are really going to have to look at how do we build the revenue? How do we create the revenue? Yes we are supplying it at the state, but if we are still at forty nine, forty six, and even if we move up to thirty five or thirty seven, thirty eight, there is still not good enough for the people that need education the most. You have fifty three percent of african american males that drop out of school, that is not okay. And we have a bigger problem in the [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Speaker [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Randolph, representative McNeill rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] See if mister Brandon would yield for a question [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does the gentleman from Gilford yield to the gentleman from Randolph? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Always. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He yields. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I, I think, and this is a question, I know you heard earlier
hear the talk about the Houston system and the difference between the seven-year teacher, or are you aware that if a seven-year teacher is making 36 thousand in North Carolina and they get a 10% Master’s supplement and a 12% National Board certification and just a small 5% supplement for a local, they would be making 47 thousand dollars? Are you aware of that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I am aware. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 47 thousand dollars. Would you agree with me that 47 thousand dollars is not that much difference that 50 thousand, and would you rather live in North Carolina or in Houston where the cost of living is a lot greater? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think that I don’t answer for other educators. I think they make the best choice that they can make for their family. All I’m saying to this body is that as I’m not coming back, I would rather… I would really, really, really hope that we stop having a false conversation about the funding of public education. It has gone on for too long and the only people that suffer from it is people that look like me, and I need for you to understand that that is actually killing folks that either could go to jail or they die, and so we have to have a legitimate conversation. We could come here every year and debate, “Oh my gosh, we have put in x amount of dollars; oh my god, we did this,” and we’ve never had a different debate about education since I’ve been here and probably since before I was here. It’s always the same and it’s always continued to be the same, and it’s always about the much revenue that you have. I would urge the body that we look at public, private partnerships to invest in education, I would ask that we give LEAs and other folks in cities and counties better taxing authority and better flexibility to be able to increase the revenue because it is clear over 200 years in this body that we cannot continue to have a one single source education system, that we’re going to need help in order to reach to the students that I stood up here for four years for, and so this is not a partisan debate; this is for both sides of the aisle because over 200 years, both sides have been in charge, and for 200 years, people in my community have not necessarily gotten their fair shake out of the budget. I thank you for that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, the Chair will once again repeat the statement made earlier, which is that at this time there are two members whose lights are on to debate, those being Speaker Tillis, who will speak last, and Representative Dollar, who will speak prior to Speaker Tillis. If there are any members wishing to debate the bill, those members should activate their lights. Is their further discussion from members other than those two whom I’ve named? Seeing none at this time, the gentleman from Wake, Representative Dollar, is recognized to speak a second time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker and members of the House. The Houston thing is kind of amusing to me, that Houston has to go 1 thousand miles to North Carolina, I guess to maybe escape something, to find somebody who wants to come work there. I don’t know. It raises a whole bunch of interesting issues, but I think what’s most important from what I’m hearing, and I’m hearing a lot of different things on the floor today, but they all kind of come back, and some of them were just mentioned a moment ago, and that is raised taxes. That’s really what people are saying. They’re saying “Well you have less revenue.” We cut taxes in this start to get our economy going. We had a scenario in this state in 2011 where we had higher unemployment in North Carolina over an extended period of time. When North Carolina had for many years had a lower unemployment rate than the national average, we had gone above it and we had stayed there, and it didn’t look like there were any policies in place that I could see that we were going to change that. So we came in in 2011 and we did regulatory reform, did a whole bunch of things, and we addressed the issue in the budget, and we said “We’ve got to cut those tax rates, cut those marginal tax rates – sales, corporate, personal income – and become more competitive, whether it be with Houston or anybody else for that matter.” We’ve got to get our economy going because it’s really only by getting the economy going, it’s only jobs and quality jobs that are what give you the revenue to be able to do all the things that we want to do in this General Assembly. So the answer I keep hearing back in very subtle ways and clever different ways is, and the other one was “Oh well. You should have taken the Medicaid expansion,” but I saw a report the other day that said that would have cost us this year about 200 million dollars if we had done that.
And I also note that other states that have done that are not necessarily out of the woods in terms of their various budget issues. It certainly hasn't been any particular salvation there. This state is making the right decisions it’s certainly indicative of that with what we've seen in unemployment that has now dropped below the national average. We’re actually generating real jobs, not simply as a matter of a shrinkage of the employment base but actual real jobs year over year increases. If you want to look at the long term health of the budget, we just heard a report yesterday from our economist here in the General Assembly. We said, what are your out year estimates? The out year estimates and these are conservative, and these are in the out years. They’re taken with all of the qualifications in mind but they’re looking at growth rate in revenues of 4.1% in the year beyond this upcoming one and 5.5% in the year beyond that. We will have sufficient growth and if this economy takes off and jobs take off, we’ll have greater growth in that and that’s what we’re working toward. Now, I find it interesting. We said to start with we have fulfilled promise made by this General Assembly. So, I would simply say, that all those who vote for this budget, are fulfilling your promise to raise incoming teacher salaries, and to put us on the two-year plan to raise those salaries as was mentioned before over 14% over two years, so that we can recruit the type of individuals we want teaching in our classrooms. If you vote for this budget you are fulfilling your promise to raise teacher pay for every teacher in this state, and by an average of 7%, the most substantial raise in a decade. If you vote for this budget, you are fulfilling your promise to give state employees a substantial raise. A thousand dollars, across the board plus benefits and you’re giving them 5 permanent bankable days that they can use, which are very important to career employees. You are fulfilling your promise, if you vote for this budget, to provide a COLA for retirees. You’re fulfilling your promise in this budget, to some of the groups like Highway Patrol that have been stuck that have been promised when they were hired they were going to move up a certain amount to get to what their salary was supposed to be in a certain period of time. That got frozen. You are fulfilling your promise, not only to unfreeze teacher salaries, to unfreeze salaries for other critical law enforcement people. If you vote for this budget, you are fulfilling your promise to maintain those classroom resources, TAs, teachers, and other resources in the classroom that come out of those line items. If you vote for this budget, you are fulfilling the promise we made not to make major cuts in eligibility in Medicaid. If you vote for this budget, you’re fulfilling your commitment and I think that it’s a commitment that everyone in here agrees to, that you’re not cutting the universities. We’re actually giving money to the universities for maybe the first time in a while, that we’re strengthening our community colleges, that we’re putting money in to the closing the skills gap. You are fulfilling your promise if you vote for this budget. You are fulfilling your promise to the people of North Carolina to produce a budget for this state that is sound, that is reasonable, that is responsible an fulfills the top priorities that the citizens of this state sent us here to do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For what purpose does the gentleman from Mecklenburg, Representative Tillis rise? [SPEAKER CHANGES] To debate the motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman has the floor to debate motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen I’m not going to cover the ground that Representative Dollar and the chairs have covered and other members here. I’m going to talk a little bit more about, and two people outside of this chamber. But before I do, I do have to mention my colleague from Guilford, Representative Brandon. I’m going to miss you because you are truly one of the most independent, courageous people in this building, in terms of the people…
you stand up for. And I've seen you look at members in your caucus who wanted to pressure you to do things that you don't think were right, and you stood up and did the right thing. And for that, I thank you for your courage and your leadership. On Project L.I.F.T., that's something I know a little bit about because I was supporting that before the school board would support it, because that's the way we start fixing the long-term foundational problems in this state. And we have a long way to go. When I was the P.T.A. president at Hopewell High School back in 2005 and 2006, though, the issues were not very different from what they are today. We've got foundational problems that we have to solve. We have teachers who are frustrated. We don't have the kind of compensation that we want to have, and we need to work on that. And that's what this budget does. I mean, when you have the problems that we have in this state, problems that I would argue have been here for a few decades, you don't solve them overnight, and if you try and solve them all at once, you won't solve any of them. What we've done with this budget is to begin to solve the problem on compensation, to get us to a point to where starting teacher pay is competitive with every state in the Southeast. And you know what, when we're competitive with every state in the Southeast, just on the basis of the money, people come to North Carolina because North Carolina is the greatest state in the Southeast, bar none. There's not a state in the Southeast that can touch our university systems. There's not a state in the Southeast that can touch our community college systems. This budget even does more to make them better than they already are. And now what we're trying to do is get right on the baseline compensation and then begin to work on the other things that are very important. I've got a quote up at my desk, and is says, "Exaggerations have speed but the truth has endurance." The truth of this budget will be known. And with all due respect to some of the members who referred to this as a 90-day budget, that's nonsense. This is a budget that's going into effect and will run through June 30th of next year. And the Moore people out in the mountains, they've got a saying. They say, "When they learn us, they like us." When they learn this budget, they're going to like it. When the teachers see the increase in pay, they're going to like it. When people understand what we're really paying the teachers, including understanding and having more transparent, the impact that longevity has on compensation, they're going to like it. When a teacher in Virginia decides they may want to come across the border and work in North Carolina, now that longevity is baked into the pay for more experienced people, they're going to like it. When teacher assistants know that the House fought and stood firm and was prepared to walk away without a budget change, because we said zero teachers' assistants will be cut, they're going to like it. When the teachers know that we fought against the Senate position to fire nearly a thousand teachers to provide a higher raise, they're going to like it. This budget is a strong budget. This budget doesn't solve all the problems in education, but it goes a long way to doing it by getting the foundation right. When teachers find out that we've unfrozen the S.T.E.P. Program, and we've simplified it, and we've given the school districts more flexibility to move money from teacher assistants to teachers and back, they're going to like it. They're going to like this budget because it's the most significant positive message we've made to education in a decade. And the way that we got here was making the tough decisions, beginning in 2011. If anybody wants to know how you find that two and a half billion dollar structural deficit that we inherited in 2011, it's pretty simple fifth grade math. You take a one and a half billion dollar promise to cut taxes, a promise made by the leadership before we came in. We fulfilled it. And incidentally, it was a tax cut that benefited poor people disproportionately higher than the rich. We then laid the groundwork for actually filling a billion dollar hole that was based on recurring obligations with nonrecurring sources in the stimulus. We fixed it. Three years later, we're in a position to be able to fulfill this promise and improve the foundation for education, without raising taxes, and incidentally holding the line on Medicaid and not cutting the proposed 31,000 people through eligibility cuts that were proposed by the other chamber. We stood firm. This budget embraces most of the core elements, the most important things that we as legislators said that we had to have, to have a budget. The House delivered. Many of my colleagues worked hard to do it, and I'm proud of them. And incidentally, a few of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle were working in support of it, Representative Brisson being one of them. This is a good budget. The truth will get out about this budget, and people will like it. We have a lot of work to go. But, folks, let's not lead these people to believe that the helpless fictional family that was referred to in a debate earlier are going to be harmed by this budget, simply
I'm sure this is a good budget that tries to take care of the medically needy because of the hard work of Nelson dollars and those that are wanted at our own health care issues this budget takes care of teacher assistance unless I know absolutely was full of things they have a job that's what we fought against and that's what we delivered this is a good budget and the people of North Carolina, like it and will do everything that we can select all know would care about teachers which are about the medically needy we put something together that is sustainable and incidentally when I just hoping next year that while the revenue to cover we know that we have the revenue to cover and allow the thoughts out there to know that because I'm not going to its fear I'm not getting used fear to one a political position we worked hard to make sure that we could deliver on the promises we made in February we have what's hard to make sure that this budget will sustain the promises next year and it's a good budget now I know based on why the debates gone today anytime people talk about innovating bipartisan opinion the loyal opposition at the setup or most likely was a caucus positions was likely to be a parse about today I respect that but if you look at this budget and you really open up your mind and your heart I actually believe if we sitting in here and the Democrats were in the majority and house was in the minority based on all the circumstances up to and including having to deal with the Senate is probably look a lot like your budget and hope about the conference report the question before the house is the adoption of the conference report to Senate Bill 744 on the second reading submitted driving adoption of the conference approval by the those opposing the equipment (the Courtney Michelle required about 68 had encoded in the affirmative and 46 having been in the negative squares adopted passes a second reading will remain Members upon motion of represented on indicated shares happy to extend the courtesy's legality to the friends and also absolutely teacher from you again $200 to the state asked if Lisa Leslie grab special message from Sen. Kirkwood specialists at the the national Center pathogens information the silver dots are both companies have been forever Directly metallic relentlessly accused actually with the action has been taken by both drivers will be rewarded well respectfully saline principle is elder operations of the house with people all pictures as recommended as part of animation second half website and the system whenever possible and not recognized multiple Pentagon operation Project by both terms about "well respectfully saline principle part that it is Sen. Nagin wants to have a body for the Germans passion for humans Germans and to date certainly limited the matters presented public domain providers of procurement to date certain limiting matters that may be considered when we can be provided back to him at Sunnyside of the 2013 writing session of the Gen. assembly rules calendar operations of the house is measurement for your planning purposes of course you know we we get to come back and have session tomorrow morning on third reading everybody invested up in a represented Florida's looking forward to a review of the last 3.3 hours but we were becoming and I think it but at probably 9 AM we're going to take a recess until three to
and we will be back for a few other items to dispose on the calendar. Notices and announcements? Representative Starnes please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Republicans will have a caucus at 2:30 in room 1228. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Larry Hall please state your purpose. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker for announcement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The gentleman is recognized for an announcement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Democrats will caucus in 1425 at 2:30. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Actually I have made a grave mistake by allowing the staff to leave before we thanked them. So if you're listening out there the appropriation staff again for all the work that they've done when we were here at 4 in the morning they were right with us and my guess is they were there long after us to take up. So please members let's show them our gratitude. I've also informed the staff that they need not be here tomorrow, so if you do have any technical questions they will be deferred or will refer you to a website. Before we go on to recess are there any other notices and announcements? Ladies and gentlemen we're going to recess subject to ratification of bills and resolutions, messages from the Senate, receipt of committee reports, conference reports, re-referral bills and resolutions, employment of conferees, introductions of bills and resolutions, and modifications to the calendar. We will reconvene at 3 pm. The House stands in rest of recess.