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House | May 14, 2013 | Committee Room | Agriculture

Full MP3 Audio File

Members of the house committee on ??would you please take your seats. and if seems to be any confusion in the room u have perceived correctly. Transportation was little late getting out, we would first like to acknowledge ?? John crook?? Charles Goodwin and we are also delighted to have our pages you with us today and half men sponsored by representative Radal, Robert Jenkins sponsored by speaker Telis, Curtis Johnson sponsored by representative Stanberg and Christin ?? sponsored by representative Malfit. And we do have another special guest in the room today which is require all of you in this committee to be very kind to me today because I have told my wife how much you all love and respect me and she is in the back seat the young lady with the green top on ?? and we would be glad to have her here. You have an order representative ??. Our first bill that would.Jackson would you be kind enough to give the committee an ?? condition of representative Langdon. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you representative. Representative Langdon was in wake mid last night and he has two adjacent stands put in his heart. He want me to give a excuse absence for today and tomorrow. ??. But he is in good spirits and he is doing well and he should be home today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you and I am sure that we all sure remember him and those who give him ?? prayers. Our first bill this afternoon is has bill 663 representative Ramsey you are recognised to explain the bill. This bill will ??[SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. chairman members of the committee and lot to be recognised sent forth in moment Mr chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES]The PCS represented ?? are ready with force from last week. Representatives Ramsey's recognised sent forth in the moment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think the surgeon of arms have passed out the moment with any view anyone just has and let us know. What is moment does it changes and we had some discussions about this bill at the last committee meeting and I had good discussions with that with the justice and others and ?? regarding their concerns about this bill. And if we recall the prior bill gave you some protection ?? and ?? certified and the plan would have to show aggressive negligent standard to be successful and but this moment does is give you reward-able perception and if u get certified and if get good standing with that program but that perception can be overcome by clearing conventional evidence. They felt like from party stand forth and put them in better instead to be fair to the former and to the consumer down the line and that would be the moment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] representative ?? you are recognised to read the moment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr Chairman I have a question for staff. If staff could explain for me the difference between the committee substitute and the amendment, how the amendment ?? changes the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] staff you have recognised to answer the question from the representative. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you representative and Than you chairman, so the PCS would have provided a strict bar to liability for a certified producer. In last ?? was caused by the producer ?? negligence and intentional misconducts. The amendment would still allow negligence liability

It would just increase the burden of proof on the plaintiff from preponderance of the evidenced too clear and convincing evidence, which is a higher evidentiary standard if the producer is certified. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Refer to the amendment. Further discussion, further debate? Hearing none, all in favor of the amendment, say aye. Any opposed? The amendment barries. You're now represented. We're back on the bill. Any questions or discussion on the bill itself? Representative Luebke, you're recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Well, Mr. Chairman, I'm wondering if there's anyone from the public who wanted to comment on this because this is about lawsuits, and I just know is there anyone in particular from the academy, the trial lawyers. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Luebke, I did have one person to approach me, but that person came to me and withdrew from speaking. Is there anyone who would like to speak to this. Identify yourself to the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you for recognizing me. My name is Phillip Eisley, and I met a contract lobbyist for the North Carolina advocates for justice. I wanna thank representative for working with us, getting the bill much better. We're very supportive of his changes, and we appreciate the opportunity to sit down and talk this through. We appreciate the amendment, and we're supportive of the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Pittman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For a motion to probate time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Other discussion, other debate? Now's the time. This does have a referral to judiciary, and it is PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] OK, I move a favorable report to the PCS, [SPEAKER CHANGES] As amended. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As amended. Unfavorable to the original, with referral to judiciary subcommittee A. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You've heard the motion. Discussion, debate? All in favor, say aye. Any opposed? The bill receives a favorable review. Congratulations, Representative Ramsey. And thank you. Our next bill for discussion as house bill 816. Representative Daughtry, you're recognized to explain the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This bill [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members of the committee, there is a strictly, strictly technical amendment that is being passed out at this time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's not in the folder. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Those who do not have 816 PCS, would you please raise your hand? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Now's a good time to vote. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Daughtry, would you be kind enough? The staff has asked me to give them time to locate this. Would you be kind enough to let us displace momentarily? Thank you. Is representative Ray here? Representative Ray. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. Representative Faircloth is going to run this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Faircloth is recognized to explain house bill 936. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and committee. This is a bill that addresses a quite interesting problem. I got several requests from across the state to look at the problem of people who poach wildlife. Who either take it for commercial purposes illegally or destroy it in some way illegally

This is not at all talking about the person who legally goes out and hunts or fishes or whatever the case may be. We're talking here about people in many cases who are taking wildlife for commercial purposes and it's a very serious crime when you look at what it can result in. This bill establishes a what's called a wildlife poacher reward fund within the office of the state treasurer. The fund will be used to pay rewards to persons who provided information to the wildlife resources commission or to other law enforcement officials having to do with the taking, injury, removal, damage or destruction of wildlife resources. These are serious levels of crime as far as wildlife's concerned. The assets of the wildlife poacher reward fund would be derived from the following: a percentage of the compensation paid annually to the commission and special conditions of offender's probation. Any amounts paid to the commission as ordered by the judge, any amounts paid to the commission or rewards paid from the fund, the proceeds of any gifts, grants and contributions to the state which are specifically designated for inclusion in the fund and there are clubs and individuals who have already said they would be contributing to the fund and then any other sources that are allowed by law. There's a special condition under section 2 a special condition simply says a court after finding them guilty the court may also include as a condition to probation compensation to the agency for any reward paid for information leading to the arrest and conviction. If for instance a reward is paid out of let's say 1000 dollars to discover who this wrong doer is, the wrong doer is then arrested based on information and then is convicted then his punishment could include repayment back for the amount of that reward that was spent so it can be used again if you will. I think it's a good bill. I've got a lot of support for it and Mr. Chairman there's a spokesman here I think from the commission and ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would you like to do the amendment first? Representative Brisson this is a very technical amendment, Representative Faircloth, Representative Brisson recognize and send forth the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We'd like to recognize the staff to explain the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. The amendment simply changes on line 17 of page 1 where it reads "resources commission shall establish rules" it simply changes that to "shall adopt rules". [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion further debate on the amendment? All in favor say aye. All opposed. The amendment passes. Further discussion further debate on the bill. I have Representative Riddell first. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir for a motion at an appropriate time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion? Representative Starnes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Representative Faircloth, tell me in layman terms how you envision this to work. Give me an example of the poaching you're talking about. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Could we have the wildlife representative speak to that? I think you'd probably give a better illustration. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would the representative from the wildlife commission please state your name for the record please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm Dale Cavney, Colonel with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commissions Division of Law Enforcement. And the way we would envision this working is we would specify through those rules the types of violations that would warrant the awarding of the rewards and the levels of the rewards based on the type of offense. In other words, fishing without a license, I couldn't see that we would pay reward for that. But for the more serious offenses, taking big game illegally, commercialization of wildlife, those types of offenses. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So shooting deer out of season or any animal or any of the game out of season would that be considered poaching? Do you envision that to be a poachable offense subject to

[Speaker Changes] Mr. Carter, you’re recognized to respond. [Speaker Changes] Yes sir. [Speaker Changes] Follow up. [Speaker Changes] Well its illegal killing rattlesnakes and copperheads and some of these vipers are considered to be endangered. If someone killed a rattlesnake, would that be something that would be subject to a reward? [Speaker Changes] You are recognized Mr. Carter. [Speaker Changes] It would depend on the rules that are adopted by the commission and those would go through public hearing so there would be a betting process by the types of offenses we would offer rewards for. [Speaker Changes] Representative Lucas. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Chair. Question, if in the event that the poacher is a juvenile, who is responsible for the fine? [Speaker Changes] Representative Faircloth, are you prepared or would you like staff? [Speaker Changes] Staff. [Speaker Changes] Staff, you’re recognized to answer the question from Representative Lucas. [Speaker Changes] Representative Lucas, could you repeat the question. [Speaker Changes] For Juvenile offenders or those who are indigent, and have no resources for fines, would it be the parental responsibility, or what happens in that case? [Speaker Changes] The bill does not speak to that, so it would be just whatever provisions are in existing law for other fines for juveniles and indigents. [Speaker Changes] Further discussion, further debate? Representative wAddell, you’re recognized for a motion. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Chairmen, I move we give a favorable report to the... [Speaker Changes] Representative Waddell, would you hold just a second. Representative Lubekey you’re recognized. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Chairmen, I’m sorry last minute here, but I wanted to follow up on Representative Lucas’ question. What if the person is an adult is given a $5000 cost and that person doesn’t have $5000, or even $500. What is the consequence for the violator when the judge says pay back $5000 or $500, and the person doesn’t have any assets. [Speaker Changes] Representative Faircloth or staff. [Speaker Changes] Representative Luebke, just frankly, I don’t have an answer for you off the top of my head. We’ve have to look at it, but it would be whatever would govern this particular statutes and penalties assess that a dependent was unable to pay, it would be applicable to all penalties where defendants were not able to pay. So it is general existing law, and we’d have to go look that up. [Speaker Changes] Thank you. [Speaker Changes] Representative Waddell, you’re recognized for a motion. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Chairman, I move we give a favorable report to House Bill 936 with referral to finance. [Speaker Changes] As amended? [Speaker Changes] As amended, yes. [Speaker Changes] You’ve heard the motion. All in favor say aye. All opposed. The ayes have it, bill passes Representative Daughtry, you’re recognized to explain 816. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Committee. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Chairmen. Before I do I want to send forth an amendment. [Speaker Changes] You’re recognized to send forth the amendment. [Speaker Changes] To explain the amendment, its very technical the change it makes, it harmonizes the bill to make sure that its not one half, its two thirds of the vote. [Speaker Changes] Representative Daughtry, Representative Horn moves that we have the PCS before us. All in favor say aye. The PCS is now before us. [Speaker Changes] And I want to send forth the amendment. [Speaker Changes] Recognized to send forth the amendment. [Speaker Changes] Simply those changes the one half to two thirds is technical and makes it harmonizes the bill. Appreciate your support. [Speaker Changes] Further discussion, further debate on the amendment. All in favor say aye, [Speaker Changes] Aye. [Speaker Changes] All opposed? The amendment passes, we’re now back on the bill. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Chairmen. Tobacco, in this state, has been the fabric of this state for years, not only the growing, but the processing and the manufacturing. We have been...

List, the good things that tobacco has done. We all know what the bad things are, but the good things include Duke University, Wake Forest University and many many other things throughout our state. Tobacco continues to be a good product in our state and it is being promoted now by the Tobacco Growers Association. Which has been in existence, as I recall, for many years. This simply allows them by referendum to assess the growers if they choose to be assessed, so that they can promote tobacco throughout the world. We’re selling our tobacco in many places in the world and this simply is a mechanism, as sweet potatoes has a mechanism, to promote their tobacco. It’s all it does, it takes two-thirds of the vote of the growers if they choose. After the referendum, if they choose to do so, then the association would promote tobacco as they have, as they see fit. And all of the money is kept up with, in a very appropriate way. I don’t know of anybody who’s opposed to it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative West. Representative West. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman, at the appropriate time I’d like to make a motion [SPEAKER CHANGES] OK. Representative Lubke. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m sorry to be asking so many questions, but this is for Representative Daughtry, in years past, and it’s been a while since we’ve had one of these, but there have been other commodities where the issue of this kind of assessment has come up. My recollection is they always came to finance. I don’t see that this one is going to finance. You know, I don’t care because I support the bill, except from a policy perspective or rules perspective. They used to have to go to finance, I’m quite sure of that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It’s not in my pay grade, I don’t know. Representative Starnes may know. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Starnes, you are recognized to address the question put forth by Representative Lubke. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Under the rules of the House, I don’t see how this bill could just skate finance, and I think their meeting in the morning at 8:30. I bet we could get it on the agenda. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have no – if it needs a referral it does. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Starnes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, I had a question I wanted to ask the department just out of curiosity. Now that the allotment system has ended, how many acres of tobacco are we growing in North Carolina and how does that compare to when we had the allotment program? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We’ll recognize the Representative from the Department. Identify yourself. Mr. McCloud? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman we’ve got Graham Boyd here with the Tobacco Growers Association. He knows the numbers on acreage produced. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Last year approximately 165,000 flue cured in North Carolina projection for this year is maybe 170- 175,000 range. [SPEAKER CHANGES] How does that compare? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That would be trending upwards since the tobacco buyout. North Carolina now accounts for approximately 80% of the flue cured tobacco in the United States. Total production. And demand worldwide continues to increase as well. And then opportunities for crop advancements research technology, accountabilities, new procedures that we’re also implementing to provide better integrity for a product. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Starnes, follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, and how many acres were we growing prior to the buyout? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, at our peak say in 1996, belt-wide, Florida to Virginia for flue cured, and that’s what we’re specifically talking about on this bill, we were producing somewhere, marketing when we had the program, about 1.2 or 3 billion pounds at the pinnacle of that. Of course it was controlled by a USDA program. When that program went away, tobacco trended, of course, in a different direction. I would say that 2003 we were probably 140 or 150,000 acres in the state. So we have benefited from migration of production. For us to increase our acres, some of that has come at the expense of states like Georgia, Florida, and a lot of that is due to the fact of our close proximity to processing. Universal Leads in Nash County, largest processor in the world. Alliance One is here. Stabilization Cooperative has its facility in Timber Lake. So you products move closer to where the center of processing and manufacturing tend to be.

We have the opportunity to expand significantly more as long as we keep a close match on supply and demand. The acreage is out there. And the disposition of the growers is out there, too, to grow more. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If I could say one more thing about tobacco before I close my remarks. I grew up on a tobacco farm and there was a family near where I grew up that not only grew tobacco but sold pesticides and fertilizers to the various farmers in the community. And back in the 50s or late 40s, the federal government abolished or outlawed DDT and a thing called malathion. I don't know if you remember that or not, but it was outlawed. And this farmer who had sold that product as well as fertilizer, a black car pulled in the yard. And when a black car pulls in a farmer's yard, it's an issue; it's an alarm bell goes off. And this man got out and he said he was with the federal government and that he was checking around to be sure that those people that sold malathion and DDT did not have any more inventory. He said, "I have this card and this card is from the federal government. And it allows me to go on your farm and to ensure that you don't have any of these outlaw products." Well, the farmer and his wife under the tree said, "Okay, well." And he showed the card to the wife and then he went and looked in the pack houses and in the shelters, all the shelters, and he didn't find anything. And he was ready to leave and he looked out and there was a pasture and a small cinder-block building in the middle of the pasture. And he decided to go look at that. And he started walking across the field. And the farmer had bought a new bull. [LAUGHTER] And when he got about half-way out there, that bull started chasing that guy from Washington. And he started yelling, "Help! Help!" And the farmer said, "Show him your card! Show him your card!" [LAUGHTER] I move for a favorable report on this as adopted. [LAUGHTER] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Before we recognize that there were three other people who wanted a brief comment, a statement of clarification from the Chair. Representative Luebke, we will speak to the speaker about this. The referral to Finance, that would come when he reads this in. We will cover that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just wanted to mention that Finance, Representative Starnes, doesn't have to meet tomorrow morning at 8:30 because the bill is not subject to the cross-over in that case. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have three. Representatives Waddell, Brisson, and Jordan. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just wanted to make a comment about the bill. When you're talking about making an assessment, and they're referring to Finance, this only affects the tobacco farmers, the certified tobacco farmers in North Carolina. And it's being voted on only by the certified tobacco farmers. So I don't understand the real reason why it would have to go to Finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brisson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That was basically the same question I had. I was going to ask our majority leader why he thought it might need to go to Finance since there's no state dollars or anything else, just the growers money. They make the decisions; a decision has not been made on the amount, whatever they would contribute, but maybe rules says it does have to. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Starnes? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, I'm probably wrong, as usual. [LAUGHTER] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Jordan. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I had just an inquiry for Mr. Boyd. Very quickly, is this a completely brand new assessment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Boyd. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Yes, this would be a new assessment to address some of the issues coming forward. Good agricultural practice programs that has a cost associated with it, that's new as we talked about integrity, cost of that. One thing to mention to, it is refundable. So that if a grower is disgruntled or dissatisfied, he can apply, he or she can apply to receive their monies back. So in that sense it is their prerogative. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And I had a comment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Jordan. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just over twenty-five years ago, I made a choice. I almost went into a situation where I would have been in agriculture trying to figure out how to kill the little critters that eat tobacco. But I chose a different way. And I'm still dealing with little critters with the law field. But anyway, my comment here was my friends in the Christmas Tree Association, I have the chairman of the national association in my county, tried to do this on a national level and got ...[AUDIO ENDS]

I thought it was a tax that was put on everybody for Christmas trees. So I think they need to get this kind of thing too. That’s where some people might consider it something. Because it is the ultimate buyer who pay for it. That might be what some people are thinking out there [Speaker Changes]: Rep Brisson. Follow comment. Rep West, You are recognized for a motion. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr chairman I move that we give the proposed committee substitute for house bill 816 as amended a favorable report. [Speaker Changes] Any further debate or discussion. All in favor of the motion may say Aye , All opposed . The Ayes have it. The bill passes. we adjourn